Is anyone surprised that Studs Terkel endorses Judy Peres, the Tribune's pro-Arafat reporter (Letters, May 17)? Studs's iconic aura and folksy populism make him a codger toward whom it is difficult to express anger.
Nonetheless, Studs's assertion that he is among the "voices in the Jewish community" who love the Tribune's coverage of Israel left me gasping. To my recollection (and I am something of a codger too), Studs has not publicly endorsed any concern of the Jewish community since the demise of Hitler. This is, of course, his unfettered right, but one may ask Studs: Where were you, sir, when Israel was besieged in 1967 or when Soviet Jewry sought freedom or today, when anti-Semitism is rampant in Europe and on many American college campuses?
The trouble with Studs is that he hasn't had an original political thought since the days of the popular front. Let him hear leftspeak, and the knees start jerking.
Sadly, this is proven by Studs's venerative reference to Bertie Russell, the looney Brit don who advocated unilateral nuclear disarmament in the 1950s. If you were willing to leave the West defenseless against Joe Stalin, it follows in leftthink that Arafat is a peacemaker!
Studs would do well to ponder the conundrum suggested in Larry Berlin's letter: Why does the right-wing Tribune adopt a leftist view toward Israel? Is Studs comfortable spending his golden years as a posthumous supporter of Colonel McCormick's views about Jews?
And since Studs now identifies himself openly as a member of the Jewish community, the next time we have a fund-raiser, I'll be sure to solicit him.
Joel J. Sprayreger, Esq.