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celebrating 20 years of FRONTLINE
20 years / 420 programs: 2000
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20 years / 420 programs
david fanning
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» Real Justice

11.11.2000 (180 min)

 
 
Homicides, drug arrests, car theft, assault and battery...it's all in a day's work for the prosecutors of Boston's criminal courts, where 50,000 cases are decided each year. In a two-part special report, FRONTLINE goes inside the halls of the Suffolk County courts to reveal the offers, counteroffers, deals, and compromises that keep cases moving through our crowded courts.

Part I of the documentary takes viewers inside District Court, where overworked and underfunded prosecutors and public defenders shuttle between different cases and different courts in a seemingly endless attempt to keep the wheels of justice turning.

Part II of this special report moves from District Court to Suffolk County Superior Court, where the crimes are serious and the stakes are high. From manslaughter to child abuse to murder, FRONTLINE's cameras follow the prosecutors, defense attorneys, victims, and defendants as they bargain and negotiate their way through the criminal justice system.

Producers: Ben Gale, Ben Loeterman

» The Future of War

10.24.2000 (60 min)

 
 
The U.S. Army is experiencing an identity crisis brought on by the end of the Cold War. As it heads into the 21st century, the nationís largest military service is struggling to keep pace with changing technology, changing enemies and increasingly global missions. FRONTLINE examines the armyís internal debate between those promoting change and those resisting it, and how todayís decisions may impact the outcome of wars fought decades from now.

Producers: Michael Chandler, William Kistner

» Drug Wars

10.09.2000 (240 min)

 
 
In 1968, the federal drug enforcement budget was $60 million. By the end of fiscal year 1999, that same budget had exploded to more than $17 billion. Yet despite the United States' vast efforts during the past three decades to stop the flow of illegal drugs, the use of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and other illicit drugs remains essentially unchanged. FRONTLINE presents the first television history of America's war on drugs as told from both sides of the battlefield in a special four-hour report. Part I recounts the origins of the anti-drug campaign, from the Nixon administration's drug control efforts to the rapid rise and fall of the Colombian drug cartels.

In Part II of "Drug Wars," FRONTLINE examines the impact of crack cocaine on our city streets and our criminal justice system. The report also investigates Mexico's role in supplying drugs to meet American demand.

Producers: Martin Smith, Lowell Bergman

» The Choice 2000

10.02.2000 (120 min)

 
 
As Americans prepare for the first presidential election of the 21st century, FRONTLINE opens its nineteenth season with a dual biography of the two men who hope to become the next president of the United States. The two-hour documentary goes beyond the political rhetoric to explore how the candidates and their values have been shaped by family background, history, victory and defeat. By eschewing political pundits in favor of insightful comments from friends, mentors, historians, and spiritual advisors, "The Choice 2000" offers viewers-and voters-a chance to see these two individuals in a fresh light before the campaign reaches its climax on Election Day.

Producer: Mike Kirk

» The Battle Over School Choice

05.23.2000 (60 min)

 
 
With more students than ever enrolled in kindergarten through high school, education is now a top voter concern. What's needed to improve our public schoolsó-better teachers, smaller classes, greater parent involvement, higher standards, more tests? Or, is privatization the answer? Democrats and Republicans differ sharply on the hot button issue of school vouchers and whether public funds should be used to pay for private or parochial schools. FRONTLINE explores the heated political debate over the reform of public education and investigates the spectrum of "school choice" optionsó-from vouchers to charter schools to for-profit academiesó-and their growing popularity in troubled inner cities. FRONTLINE also interviews presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush about their views on reform initiatives and looks at their track records on improving public schools.

Producer: Steve Talbott

» Return of the Czar

05.09.2000 (60 min)

Almost a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia is arguably more free than at any time in its history. But while the West has applauded the market reforms of former President Boris Yeltsin, in Russia there has been collapse. Today, as the country is being militarized, anti-Western propaganda is increasing. In pushing its ideas of reform, did the U.S. turn a blind eye to Kremlin illegality and compromise the moral authority America cultivated throughout the Cold War? As career KGB officer Vladimir Putin-Yeltsin's annointed successor-is set to ascend to Russia's presidency, FRONTLINE takes an in-depth look at what Russia has become and why.

Producer: Sherry Jones

» Jefferson's Blood

05.02.2000 (90 min)

 
 
For years there existed a rumor that Thomas Jefferson had a long-standing relationship and several children by Sally Hemings, a woman who was his slave. Now, DNA tests all but prove the rumor true. An early hero of the anti-slavery movement, Jefferson wrote brilliantly of the corrupting influence of slavery on blacks and whites alike. Yet it is now apparent that he lived a dual life, sharing his house with his white daughter and grandchildren while his unacknowledged mistress and his children by her worked in the same house as slaves. In a personal essay, FRONTLINE correspondent Shelby Steele examines Jefferson's life and follows the descendants of Jefferson and Hemings as they undergo DNA testing, search out their family history, and try to sort out their place along America's blurred color line.

Producer: Thomas Lennon

» What's Up With the Weather?

04.18.2000 (120 min)

Since the late 1980s, rising temperatures and dramatic weather-from heat waves and hurricanes to melting glaciers-have fueled a global political and scientific debate about whether life on earth is imperiled by human-caused global warming. NOVA and FRONTLINE join forces to examine what climatologists really know about the greenhouse effect. What is the connection between rising levels of carbon dioxide and rising temperatures? And what will the real impact of global warming be? The program examines the enormous difficulty in reducing the levels of greenhouse gases in a highly technological world economy and explores the political struggle between environmentalists and industrialists, between rich and poor countries, to grapple with what promises to be the most perplexing issue of the twenty-first century.

Producer: Jon Palfreman

» Dr Solomon's Dilemma

04.04.2000 (60 min)

 
 
In the 1990s, cost-cutting HMOs were reviled as the enemy of doctors and patients. After fighting to regain control of the medical process, doctors are now struggling to manage tough financial decisions as well as patient care. On a daily basis, doctors find themselves faced with the often excruciating responsibility of balancing quality care against their own bottom line. FRONTLINE correspondent Hedrick Smith goes inside one of Harvard Medical Schoolís premier teaching hospitals and discovers Dr. Martin Solomon, a highly rated primary care physician, embroiled in the most bitter conflict of his career. He and his colleagues battle with each other over cutting costs, worry about the impact of red ink on their own income, and fear the struggle between care and costs will not only damage quality but will ultimately tear apart the trust between doctors and patients.

Producers: David Murdock, Hedrick Smith

» War in Europe

02.22.2000 (120 min)

Twelve months ago, in the skies above Kosovo, NATO went to war. It was a war that unleashed terrible brutality. On one side was a ruthless leader-Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic-who claimed history was on his side. On the other, an alliance whose politicians believed that this was a crusade for moral values. It was a war where the politicians, rather than the military commanders, dictated the battlefield strategy and tactics. At its end, the war had produced one million refugees, thousands of civilian deaths, and a broken land still without peace. FRONTLINE correspondent Peter Boyer undertakes the first in-depth examination of a European war rife with diplomatic infighting and military stumbling.

Producers: Michael Kirk, Eamonn Matthews, Rick Young

» Assault on Gay America

02.15.2000 (60 min)

 
 
On February 19, 1999, in Sylacauga, Alabama, 39-year-old computer programmer Billy Jack Gaither was murdered?the victim of a violent hate crime. One of the convicted killers testified he killed Gaither because he was "queer." Why have gays like Gaither and Matthew Shepard become the targets of such brutality? On February 15, nearly one year after the Gaither murder, FRONTLINE correspondent Forrest Sawyer explores the roots of homophobia in America-as a catalyst for hate crimes and as a phenomenon that permeates our society-and asks how these attitudes, beliefs, and fears contribute to the recent rise in violence against gays.

Producer: Claudia Pryor

» The Survival of Saddam

01.25.2000 (60 min)

 
 
When the Gulf War ended, the United States government believed the Iraqis would quickly overthrow Saddam Hussein. But nine years later, he still rules Iraq. FRONTLINE investigates Saddam's ruthless rise to power and how he has maintained his grip despite pressure from economic sanctions, no-fly zones, UN weapons inspectors, and military attacks from the Iraqi opposition.

Producer: William Cran

» The Killer at Thurston High

01.18.2000 (90 min)

 
 
In May 1998, a year before the massacre at Columbine High, fifteen-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his mother and father, and then opened fire at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, killing two fellow students and wounding twenty-five others. In this first in-depth television examination of a school shooter, FRONTLINE reveals the intimate inside story of how the "shy and likeable" Kip Kinkel from a solid middle-class family became the boy police call "a cold-hearted killer."

Producers: Michael Kirk, Karen O'Connor, Miri Navasky

» The Case For Innocence

01.11.2000 (90 min)

 
 
Fifteen years ago, DNA analysis was nonexistent. Today, more than seventy inmates accused of rape and murder have been freed because DNA tests proved their innocence in a way that evidence, courtroom testimony, and eyewitness accounts never could. Why then are prosecutors, courts, and even governors reluctant to use this scientific test? And when evidence has been tested and DNA does not match that of the accused, how can the law overlook the results? FRONTLINE investigates the reasons why inmates remain in prison despite DNA evidence that excludes them as the perpetrators.

Producer: Ofra Bikel


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20 years / 420 programs » a conversation with david fanning » highlights » FRONTLINE's impact » a short history
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