Fred W Friendly: Journalist extraordinaire

Fred W Friendly

Today is the birthday of the man who said, “Television makes so much at its worst, that it can’t afford to do its best.” That’s the pioneering broadcast journalist Fred W. Friendly, born Ferdinand Friendly Wachenheimer in New York City (1915). While still a boy, Fred and his family moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where after college, Fred changed his name and began work as a reporter for the local radio station. He served as a war correspondent in World War II and joined CBS in 1950. Along with his colleague Edward R. Murrow, whom he’d first worked with in radio, Friendly essentially invented the news documentary for television. Weaving together unrehearsed interviews reports from the field, and original film clips, his work earned him 10 Peabody Awards over his career. He worked as a producer for Murrow’s influential “See it Now” documentaries, including his exposé on Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare, and soon took the helm as president of CBS News. A large persuasive man, with strongly held opinions, he frequently butted heads with the network executives over their commitment to hard news over commercial interests. His forthright criticism of the network’s priorities caused him to leave CBS in 1966 when coverage of a hearing on Vietnam was scrapped in place of a rerun of I Love Lucy.
Friendly was an outspoken advocate for fairness and ethics in journalism, and after leaving CBS, he developed a series of popular seminars for public television that brought together journalists, educators, and politicians to discuss the most pressing issues of the day. He died at his home in the Bronx in 1998 at the age of 82. His colleague Dan Rather remembered him as “a fierce and mighty warrior for the best […] principles in journalism, […] for his friends, and for his country.

He never gave up, he never gave in; he never backed down, and he never backed up.”

Riddle#27 Holy Mountain

stump with shoot
From the stump will grow a shoot!
Isaiah 11:1
The Spirit will rest upon Him:
wolf and lamb
leopard and goats
lions and cows
babies and snakes
Nothing will hurt or destroy in all God’s holy mountain.
A glorious place!

Holy Mountain
A shoot
from the stump
leopards and goats share
babies and snakes share
Nothing hurts or destroys on God’s Holy Mountain!

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