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PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT | WEB AND PHOTO CREDITS
PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT | WEB AND PHOTO CREDITS
Thomas Lennon, Producer and Writer
Thomas Lennon, a director and writer of non-fiction television, is president of the Lennon Documentary Group. His work has aired nationally on both commercial and public television and has been honored with many of television's most coveted prizes, including two George Foster Peabody Awards, two Writer's Guild Awards for outstanding documentary writing, and two national Emmys.
Lennon's most recent film, The Battle Over Citizen Kane, was invited to the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival. His 1994 film, Tabloid Truth, co-written with Richard Ben Cramer, was one of the most talked-about news documentaries of that year: "A rip-roaring, first-rate, top-drawer edition of FRONTLINE...says things that need to be said, shows things that need to be shown and does both uncommonly well, " wrote Tom Shales in The Washington Post. Lennon's PBS election special The Choice '92 reached some fifteen million viewers and was hailed by Variety as "a marvelous two-hour voyage...[that] accomplishes something the spin doctors and pundits have fallen short of: it shines a light into the heart of each man's character."
Since 1987, Lennon has divided his time between the two major documentary showcases on public television, the contemporary news strand, FRONTLINE, and the acclaimed history series, THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Lennon's films on THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE include Demon Rum (1988) and The Battle of the Bulge, winner of the 1994 Peabody Award.
Before establishing his own production company eight years ago, Lennon worked in the Closeup Division of ABC News for nearly a decade. His 1986 report on illiteracy, At A Loss For Words, with Peter Jennings as correspondent, was at the time it aired one of the most-watched documentaries in the network's history. From 1984 through 1987, Lennon served as a writer, director, and producer for both the Closeup series and the ABC newsmagazine, 20/20. During that time he was honored with the Christopher Award, the Humanitas, the Janus and many more. His directorial debut was the 1984 ABC Report, "To Save Our Schools, To Save Our Children," was described by The New York Times as "best of the year...the clear winner among documentaries this season."
Lennon traveled widely for ABC News as a writer and associate producer; assignments included the Soviet Union, South America, and numerous stints in the Middle East. He is a graduate of Yale University.
Richard Ben Cramer, Writer and Narrator
Richard Ben Cramer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of "What It Takes: The Way to the White House," which uses the 1988 presidential campaign to examine the forces that motivate those who run for President of the United States.
For THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, Cramer and producer Thomas Lennon wrote The Battle Over Citizen Kane, a look at the destructive battle between "boy genius" Orson Welles and tycoon William Randolph Hearst over the film that changed each of their lives.
In 1994, Cramer and Lennon wrote Tabloid Truth for FRONTLINE, an examination of the buying and selling of news stories and the tabloid news business. Cramer and Lennon also collaborated on The Choice '92 for FRONTLINE. This biographical profile of President George Bush and presidential candidate Bill Clinton won the Special Jury Award at the San Francisco Film Festival.
Cramer is a veteran print journalist who has reported for the Baltimore Evening Sun and the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his international reporting. His articles have appeared in Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Sports Illustrated.
Raised outside of Rochester, New York, Cramer graduated from the John Hopkins University and earned a master's degree from Columbia University School of Journalism. He is married to Carolyn White, a former Philadelphia Inquirer editor. They live in Maryland with their daughter.
Michael Epstein, Producer
For the past seven years, Michael Epstein has produced, written, and directed a variety of films for public television, most for THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and the FRONTLINE series. His previous collaborations with Thomas Lennon and Richard Ben Cramer include The Choice '92, a dual biography of Bill Clinton and George Bush, and Tabloid Truth, both for FRONTLINE. His last film for THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, The Hurricane of '38, was nominated for a Writer's Guild award. Epstein recently worked with Bill Moyers on a ten-part documentary series on the Book of Genesis. A native of Chicago, he is a graduate of the University of Michigan and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.