This Spring, FRONTLINE and ProPublica Investigate Violent Domestic Extremism in “American Insurrection”


Richmond Virginia, November 21, 2020. (FRONTLINE/ProPublica)

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February 2, 2021

American Insurrection
 Tues., April 13, 2021
Streaming at 7/6c at & in the PBS Video App
Airing at 10/9c on PBS and on YouTube | Twitter: @frontlinepbs
Instagram: @frontlinepbs | YouTube:

Tuesday, Feb 2, 2020 — Over the last three years, FRONTLINE has collaborated with ProPublica to investigate the rise of extremism in America — from the deadly Charlottesville rally in 2017, to a neo-Nazi group that has actively recruited inside the U.S. military, to the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

On April 13, FRONTLINE, ProPublica and UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program will release American Insurrection: a timely, 90-minute documentary that probes the far-right groups and leaders responsible for the recent threats and violence.

The documentary is from the same team behind FRONTLINE and ProPublica’s award-winning Documenting Hate series. Correspondent A.C. Thompson, director Rick Rowley and producers Karim Hajj and Jacquie Soohen explore how far-right groups were emboldened and encouraged by former President Trump, how individuals were radicalized and brought into the political landscape — and what the fears and concerns are going forward.

“For the last few years, many of these far-right groups and militias have been talking about civil war, about overthrowing the government,” says Thompson. “These groups talk about revolution and believe that we have a tyrannical and profoundly corrupt government that prevented Trump from winning a second term.”

A stunning and urgent report, American Insurrection will investigate the threat posed by violent, far-right groups that see themselves as defending the U.S. constitution but are tied to anti-government, white supremacist ideologies and criminality.

American Insurrection will be the first in a series of new FRONTLINE documentaries examining the swell of violent extremism around the world. It is supported by Exploring Hate, a new, multiplatform public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York aimed at offering an in-depth understanding of the rising tide of hatred, hate crimes, anti-Semitism and racism.

“While we have reported on the division former President Trump stoked from the first days of his presidency to his last, the recent attack on the Capitol has reinforced the need for journalism that holds those in power to account — and for tough reporting on the threats of domestic and international extremism,” says Raney Aronson-Rath, executive producer of FRONTLINE. “We are committed to keeping our pulse on this urgent and evolving issue, and grateful to our partners at ProPublica and WNET.”

“We are proud to partner with FRONTLINE to launch the Exploring Hate: Anti-Semitism, Racism and Extremism reporting initiative,” says Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of The WNET Group. “FRONTLINE is the gold standard in investigative broadcast journalism. Their thoughtful and thorough examination of the rise of political extremism and violence in our country will offer important context as we work to advance education and understanding around this issue.”

American Insurrection premieres Tues., April 13, 2021 at 10/9c on PBS stations (check local listings) and will be available to stream on FRONTLINE’s website, YouTube and the PBS Video App. Plus, before the FRONTLINE’s premiere, don’t miss an encore presentation of American Experience’s Ruby Ridge — a documentary exploring the 1992 standoff that mesmerized the nation and gave rise to the modern American militia movement.

American Insurrectionis a FRONTLINE production with Midnight Films, LLC in partnership with ProPublica. The writer and director is Richard Rowley. The producer and correspondent is A.C. Thompson. The producers are Karim Hajj and Jacqueline Soohen. The consulting producer is Ford Fischer. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.

FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 95 Emmy Awards and 24 Peabody Awards. Visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to learn more. FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation; Park Foundation; the Heising-Simons Foundation; the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation; and Koo and Patricia Yuen. Funding for American Insurrection is provided by The WNET Group’s “Exploring Hate” initiative on Antisemitism, Racism and Extremism, with principal support by The Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Antisemitism and additional major funding from The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, and Patti Askwith Kenner. Additional support from Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, James and Merryl Tisch, Nancy and Morris W. Offit, and Judy and Josh Weston.

About ProPublica
ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. With a team of more than 100 dedicated journalists, ProPublica covers a range of topics, focusing on stories with the potential to spur real-world impact. Its reporting has contributed to the passage of new laws; reversals of harmful policies and practices; and accountability for leaders at local, state and national levels. Since it began publishing in 2008, ProPublica has received six Pulitzer Prizes, five Peabody Awards, three Emmy Awards and eight George Polk Awards, among others.

About Berkeley Journalism’s Investigative Reporting Program
Berkeley Journalism is one of the top graduate journalism programs in the United States and is a leader in upholding the values of a free press. It is home to the award-winning Investigative Reporting Program, a professional newsroom and teaching institute committed to reporting stories that expose injustice and abuse of power while training the next generation of journalists in the highest standards of our craft.

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