Taping for the Fred Friendly Seminars



Last week Charmaine did the Fred Friendly Seminars. A civilized shouting show on PBS.

The program was on Ethics in America: My Brother’s Keeper. The moderator was Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School.


L to R: Rabbi Daniel Zemel, Elayne Bennett, Barney Frank, Charmaine Yoest,

Anita Allen


Charmaine in make-up


The Dude and The Diva get the camera angles


Cook’s Tour by

Producer Pamela Mason Wagner


Executive Producer Richard Kilberg with Charmaine


Note Ethics’ compass. Magnetic north?

Or left tilt?


Filmed on the sets of Atlantic Video

in Washington, DC

Professor Ogletree assured us during taping that the repeated use of the words “penis” and “sexually transmitted diseases” would probably end up on the cutting floor. The liberal panelists seemed to like very direct language.

Certainly Barney Frank did. Only the congressman from Massachusettes could use the words “fetish” and “fetish-ize” multiple times. Into a live mike. For cable.

We’ll let you know when it airs.


Was this helpful? Do comment.

Consider a free eMail subscription for this site.

Thank you (foot)notes:

The PBS operating revenue in fiscal year 2004 was $333 million. Leading sources of revenue included: …CPB and federal grants (24%); …and educational product sales (12%).

And the generous support of Annenberg Media.

The Seminar tapes are available from Fred Friendly Seminars for a fee. As part of their consulting offering and education packages. The guests appearing on the show are not compensated. Save for the croissants and coffee. Now that’s a business model.

See more on The Seminars at the jump.

Charmaine’s fellow panelists included:

Anita Allen, Professor of Law & Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania

Elayne Bennett, Founder and President, Best Friends Foundation

Randy Cohen, “The Ethicist”, New York Times Magazine

Stanley Crouch, Writer, jazz critic, syndicated columnist

Jill Ker Conway, Visiting Scholar in the Science, Technology and Society Program at MIT, first female president of Smith College

Congressman Barney Frank, 4th District of Massachusetts (D)

Reverend Dallin H. Oaks, Apostle and member fo the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Former Justice, Utah Supreme Court

Vince Passaro, Essayist and critic, contributing editor to Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The London Times, GQ, Esquire; author of Violence, Nudity, Adult Content: A Novel.

Denise V. Rodgers, M.D., Chief of Staff, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Professor of family at UNDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Victoria Toensiing, Founding partner, diGenova & Toensing

Charmaine Yoest, Director, The Family, Gender and Tenure Project, University of Virginia; Vice President, Family Research Council.

Rabbi Daniel Zemel, Temple Micah, Washington, DC

The Fred Friendly Seminar

Our unique format and the quality of seminars produced has allowed us to recruit as panelists an amazing group of luminaries – including some, such as Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer, Potter Stewart and Harry Blackmun, and Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, who rarely if ever appear on television. But, more than even the stature of some of our panelists, it is the combination of panelists on any one program that is a hallmark of a Fred Friendly Seminar. A discussion of presidential campaign coverage includes both CBS anchor Dan Rather and rap artist Chuck D; a discussion of the war on drugs includes both National Review editor William F. Buckley and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa; a discussion of hate speech and the First Amendment includes Kenneth Starr, then Solicitor General of the United States, and Eric Garcetti, then a student at Columbia University. Whatever the issue, the Seminars always include those who confront it at the grass-roots level, in their homes, jobs, or schools.


Past Fred Friendly Seminar panelists have included:

U.S. Presidents. Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford

U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Harry Blackmun, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia, Potter Stewart

Members of Congress. Barbara Boxer, Christopher Dodd, Barney Frank, Newt Gingrich, Orrin Hatch, Henry Hyde, Nancy Kassebaum, John Kerry, Patrick Leahy, Barbara Mikulski, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Charles Rangel, Frank Riggs, Patricia Schroeder, Paul Simon, Alan Simpson, Fred Thompson, Mark Sanford

Cabinet Members and Government Officials. Griffin Bell, Joseph Califano, Bill Campbell, William Casey, Archibald Cox, Jeffrey Garten, Alan Greenspan, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Robert McNamara, Edwin Meese, Paul Nitze, Robert Reich, Dean Rusk, James Schlesinger, Cyrus Vance, William Webster

Business Leaders. William Agee, Edward Brennan, Warren Buffett, James Burke, Robert L. Crandall, Stanley C. Gault, John Gutfreund, David T. Kearns, Heidi Kunz, George Keller, John Neff, Pete Peterson, T. Boone Pickens, Jay A. Pritzer, Henry Schacht, John G. Smale

Journalists. Ben Bradlee, William F. Buckley, Jr., Linda Ellerbee, Laurie Garrett, Ellen Goodman, Jeff Greenfield, Meg Greenfield, Nat Hentoff, John Hockenberry, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, Anthony Lewis, Bill Moyers, Anna Quindlen, Dan Rather, Morley Safer, William Safire, Lesley Stahl, Nina Totenberg, Mike Wallace, William Raspberry

Medicine and the Law. Michael DeBakey, Vincent DeVita, William DeVries, Willard Gaylin, Robert Jarvik, David Kessler, C. Everett Koop, Joshua Lederberg, Sherwin Nuland, Jeanine Pirro, Nadine Strossen

Education. John Brademas, Christopher Edley, Alexander Heard, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, Deborah Meier, Alvin Poussaint, Diane Ravitch, Albert Shanker, Tom Sobbel

Military Leaders. Gen. Peter Dawkins, Gen. Alexander Haig, Admiral Bobby Inman, Gen. Edward Meyer, Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, Admiral Stansfield Turner, Gen. William Westmoreland

Fred Friendly

… is a towering figure in the history of broadcast news who came to stand for quality and integrity in journalism. In the 1950’s, he and legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow created See It Now, the most critically-acclaimed series on television at the time. In 1954 they took on Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was waging a virulent campaign by naming suspected Communists inside the United States government. Their broadcast has been widely credited with breaking the Senator’s grip on the country in that paranoid era.

In 1959, Fred Friendly became the Executive Producer of CBS Reports, a documentary news series on such controversial issues as civil rights, migrant workers, government secrecy and the link between tobacco and lung cancer. After fifteen years producing the finest programs in television news and receiving countless awards, Friendly was named President of CBS News in 1964.

He resigned from CBS News in 1966 when the network pre-empted Congressional hearings on America’s involvement in the Vietnam War to air reruns of I Love Lucy. Friendly then joined the Ford Foundation where he was one of the driving forces behind the creation of public television. He began the public television program that became the Fred Friendly Seminars in 1984 as an outgrowth of the “Media and Society Seminars,” which he directed from Columbia University. When Fred Friendly retired from the series in 1992 at the age of 76, he repeated on air the familiar words that defined the purpose of these seminars as he saw it: “not to make up anybody’s mind, but to open minds and to make the agony of decision making so intense that you can escape only by thinking.”

Richard Kilberg, Executive Producer:

…is President of The Fred Friendly Seminars. Most recently, he has executive produced the Fred Friendly Seminars Beyond Black and White: Affirmative Action in America and Social Insecurity: Work, Family and Retirement. He was also the Executive Producer of the Fred Friendly series Liberty & Limits: The Federalist Idea 200 Years Later and Profits and Promises, as well as the specials, Before I Die: Medical Care and Personal Choices, Your Money and Your Life: America’s Managed Care Revolution. Kilberg has produced a variety of distinguished television programming, including public affair series, entertainment specials, and historical documentaries. His documentaries, Adam Clayton Powell, Huey Long, and The Brooklyn Bridge, have received two Academy Award nominations, a duPont Columbia Journalism Award, an Ohio State Journalism Award, a Christopher Medal, and many “Best of Festivals” awards. He also has been a programming and production executive at PBS, HBO and in the independent television production world.

Pamela Mason Wagner:

Pamela Mason Wagner is an Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker in New York City, whose previous work with Faith & Values Media includes an acclaimed docudrama about St. Francis, the “Reluctant Saint.”

In 2001 she won the primetime Emmy Award for Best Informational Series for her program in the American Masters series: “Finding Lucy”. The 90-minute PBS documentary about Lucille Ball garnered critical praise as well as popular acclaim and high ratings.

Much of Ms. Wagner’s work has been with journalist Bill Moyers. Their most recent collaboration was “The Mythology of Star Wars” with George Lucas and Bill Moyers. Previous Moyers credits include “Changing Lives,” a 90 minute film in the 5 part series Moyers on “Addiction: Close To Home,” and “Healing and the Mind” with Bill Moyers, the five part series which won the primetime Emmy Award for Best Informational Series, along with the American Television Award. She also directed, wrote and produced the five part series “The Wisdom of Faith” with Huston Smith which garnered a Bronze Plaque, The Wilbur Award, and an Emmy nomination.

In addition to her work for PBS, she has produced prime time specials for ABC, CBS, and NBC. Additional cable credits include producing and directing for Science Times/National Geographic Channel, a production of New York Times Television, and producing and directing a biography on Marlon Brando which aired on MSNBC.

The films she has been associated with have won numerous prizes including Emmy Awards, the American Television Award, the Ohio State Journalism Award, Columbus International Film and Video Bronze Placque, The Wilbur Award, CINE Golden Eagles, American Film Festival Red Ribbons, National Educational Film Festival Silver and Bronze Apples. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Ms. Wagner guest lectures and serves on the advisory board for Dartmouth College’s Film Studies Department. She is a member of the Director’s Guild of America, the Association for Independent Video and Filmmakers, Docuclub, and New York Women in Film and Television. She is now working on “Joan of Arc.”

Awards for Reluctant Saint: Francis of Assisi (As of January 2004):

Gold Medal winner in the 46th Annual International New York Festivals, Jan. 30, 2004

Bronze Plaque winner in the 51st Columbus International Film and Video Festival, (also known as The Chris Awards) Nov. 8, 2003

Top “Gold Award” in the 25th Anniversary “Classic Telly” Competition: a special event to award the best television programs from the past 25 years.

Omni Intermedia Award 2003

Cine Golden Eagle Award

Communicator Award

She is now working on “Joan of Arc”


You may also like...

1 Response

  1. sam says:

    Hi Jack,

    I just launched a website about my son and I ? he has Down syndrome and I?ve become concerned about the early prenatal tests leading to more children with Down syndrome being aborted.

    This is a multimedia presentation on our story that I?d love to have your feedback on.


    Please let me know what you think?I could really use some feedback before I launch this on-line.



    Gabriel?s Dad

    P.S. Feel free to share with your contact list or post a link on your site. The site that automatically opens up after the story is http://www.GabrielsAngelNetwork.org