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Statement on the Death of Fred Friendly

March 04, 1998

Hillary and I were deeply saddened today to learn of the death of Fred Friendly. One of the giants of American journalism, Fred started his career in radio, forming a partnership with Edward R. Murrow on the radio series "Hear It Now," which became the landmark television series "See It Now." To this day, the programs Fred produced four decades ago rank among the finest journalism of the century, exposing the demagoguery of Joe McCarthy, the poverty of migrant farmers, and so many other social ills.

Fred was always willing to challenge the powerful. He led CBS News at a time when television was just beginning to demonstrate its power to the world. When he left CBS, Fred became a pioneer in public television and public television documentaries. In more recent years, he has served as the conscience of his industry, exploring the ethics of journalism and teaching and training journalists to come. Through his many writings and television productions, he succeeded in his goal: to force the American public to think.

Our prayers today are with Fred's wife, Ruth, and their children.

William J. Clinton, Statement on the Death of Fred Friendly Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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