"American's Black Forum," the first nationally syndicated black news interview program on commercial television, debuts Sunday with a half-hout of thoughtful and deft questioning of Rep. Andrew Young of Georgia, who Jimmy Carter has nominated as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
"Forum," on WMAL-7 at 10:30 a.m. and syndicated to 30 other stations, has not departed in style from the seasoned interview programs such as "Meet the Press," "Face the Nation," "Issues and Answers" and "Black Perspective on the News."
On the premiere show are Chuck Stone, columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, "Forum's moderator; Glen Ford, commentator for the Mutual Black Network, the show's executive producer, and Mal Johnson, correspondent for the Cox Broadcasting Corp.
According to Ford, "Forum" hopes to distinguish itself by bringing hard-edged questioning and the perceptions and sensitivities of participating black journalists to the program. "In the past," said Ford, "black reporters have often tended to soft-pedal criticism of black leaders. We have acted too much like protectors of black political personalities rather than seers of truth."
On the premiere, "Forum" examines Young's credibility in the international black community, his relations with black Americans and his influence on domestic policy.
Young said he wasn't disappointed in Carter's selection of only two blacks for Cabinet-level posts. "No, I figured all along there would be two," he said.