American Forum / About American Forum

Civil discourse in an era of political road rage

American Forum  went beyond sound bites for thoughtful discussion of critical national issues

About American Forum

American Forum was the Miller Center’s 30-minute public-affairs television program taped before a live studio audience at the nation’s preeminent center for the study of the presidency. Until it was cancelled in March, 2018 due to lack of funding to continue, the show was broadcast weekly on 85 percent of all PBS stations around the U.S., and viewers could also watch the show on demand at and sit on on live tapings in person or virtually on our Facebook page.

Guests on American Forum came from across the political spectrum and included the great minds in the history, politics, and public policy of American life. Experienced old hands and exciting new voices joined a free-flowing conversation with host Douglas Blackmon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former editor and correspondent at the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. These interviews were substantive and lively—and a stark break from the verbal swordplay of most news and public affairs programs today. The objective was to hear from the country’s most insightful voices on critical issues, to demonstrate that there can still be civility in American public life, and to do so with no policy agenda.

Past episodes of American Forum remain available for viewing on the American Forum page of the the website.


Finally—a chance for an in-depth discussion where we can explore our viewpoints, not simply argue for them.

American Forum host Doug Blackmon

Pulitzer Prize–winning host Doug Blackmon

About the host

Host and executive producer Douglas Blackmon brought the benefit of 30 years of reporting from across the U.S. and around the world, primarily for the Wall Street Journal. His book, Slavery By Another Name, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009, and other assignments through the years included multiple presidential campaigns, the rise of the Tea Party, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the civil war in Yugoslavia, the 9/11 hijackers, Hurricane Katrina, and the BP oil spill—for which he was a finalist for another Pulitzer Prize in 2011. 

Blackmon's unique interview style, honed during his long career as a journalist, led to insightful, in-depth, and accessible conversations across a broad range of topics with a wide variety of guests.