Weekend Gallimaufry - an interview with H.L. Mencken - A a rare and almost unknown interview with Journalism icon H.L. Mencken - recorded June 30, 1948. Mencken is interviewed by colleague Donald H Kirkley of The Baltimore Sun.
September 5, 2010

H.L. Mencken - did not believe in the forty hour work week for journalists. Makes perfect sense.

Very few recordings of the voice of H.L. Mencken exist. Aside from this one it is believed there are maybe one or two others. H.L. Mencken is probably best known as the Grandfather of modern journalism. Coming about at a time when the Press became more actively involved in investigating the wrongs of our society than merely a mouthpiece for the status quo. Hard hitting journalism that stepped on a few toes, but with the conviction the public had a right to know. And talk of a forty hour work week was an abstract concept to him (well . .it is Labor Day Weekend isn't it?).

H.L. Mencken: “You can no more have a forty hour week for a good newspaper reporter than you could have a forty hour week for an Archbishop. It’s just not possible. A good reporter . . .he simply refuses to let a story go when he’s got his teeth into it."

This interview was done under the auspices of the Library Of Congress on June 30, 1948. It was conducted by Mencken's colleague Donald H. Kirkley Sr. of The Baltimore Sun in a small recording room at the LC in Washington.


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