Frontline Season 2004
S2004 E01Jan 15, 2004
From China with Love Jan 15, 2004 Her code name was "Parlor Maid." She was a spy whose information about China found its way to four American presidents. For 20 years Katrina Leung's handler was a freewheeling FBI agent named J.J. Smith. But "Parlor Maid" and J.J. were more than agent and asset: they were lovers. Last April, the government claimed "Parlor Maid" was a double agent--spying for China with the help of her lover J.J.--and the two were arrested. FRONTLINE investigates a story of sex, secrets, risk, patriotism and power, and explores how U.S. intelligence about China has been seriously compromised.
S2004 E02Jan 22, 2004
Chasing Saddam's Weapons Jan 22, 2004 With the credibility of President Bush and Prime Minister Blair at stake, BBC reporter Jane Corbin takes viewers inside the high-stakes search for Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction. Through exclusive access to top-secret locations and key U.S. officials leading the hunt, including David Kay, FRONTLINE reveals new details about what the search has uncovered and questions whether the investigation's final results will justify the White House's call for war.
S2004 E03Feb 12, 2004
Beyond Baghdad Feb 12, 2004 As Washington continues to celebrate the capture of Saddam Hussein, FRONTLINE takes viewers on a journey across Iraq to reveal just what it will take to stabilize the volatile nation and accelerate the transfer of power to the Iraqi people. In "Beyond Baghdad," FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith travels the length and breadth of Iraq for five weeks, interviewing everyone from tribal sheiks and ayatollahs to politicians and U.S. military commanders. Smith's reporting reveals a seriously fractured Iraq, where modest successes in nation-building have been offset by widespread inter-ethnic and sectarian rivalry, frustration, and violence.
S2004 E04Feb 19, 2004
Tax Me if You Can Feb 19, 2004 The tax shelter was one of corporate America's biggest hidden profit centers in recent years. Shelters have become so lucrative that some experts estimate as much as $50 billion is lost to the U.S. Treasury each year. And ordinary taxpayers wind up footing the bill. FRONTLINE correspondent Hedrick Smith provides an inside look at how big corporations and wealthy individuals cut their taxes with intricate, hidden, and abusive tax shelters and investigates the role of blue chip accounting firms in these secret deals.
S2004 E05Feb 26, 2004
The Invasion of Iraq Feb 26, 2004 FRONTLINE marks the first anniversary of the Iraqi War with a two-hour documentary investigation that recounts the key strategies, battles, and turning points of the war from both sides of the battlefield. Through firsthand accounts from many of the war's key participants--from strategists in Washington to the soldiers who actually fought the battles--"The Invasion of Iraq" promises to be a definitive television history of America's most recent war.
S2004 E06Apr 1, 2004
Ghosts of Rwanda Apr 1, 2004 FRONTLINE marks the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide with a documentary chronicling one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. In addition to interviews with key government officials and diplomats, the two-hour documentary offers groundbreaking, eyewitness accounts of the genocide from those who experienced it firsthand: from Tutsi survivors who recount the horror of seeing their friends and family members slaughtered by neighbors and coworkers; to the UN peacekeepers stationed amid the carnage who were ordered not to intervene; to those holding positions of power at the White House. Through these accounts, FRONTLINE illustrates the social, political, and diplomatic failures that enabled the slaughter of 800,000 people to occur unabated and unchallenged by the global community.
S2004 E07Apr 8, 2004
Diet Wars Apr 8, 2004 Americans spend $40 billion a year on books, products, and programs designed to do one thing: help us lose weight. From Atkins to Ornish and Weight Watchers to the Zone, today's dieters have a dizzying array of weight loss programs from which to choose--yet the underlying principles of these diets are often contradictory. Is low fat better than low carb? Is Atkins the answer? And has the USDA Food Pyramid done more harm than good? In "Diet Wars," FRONTLINE examines the great diet debate.
S2004 E08Apr 22, 2004
Son of Al Qaeda Apr 22, 2004 Growing up in the 1990s, Abdurahman Khadr's playmates were the children of his father's longtime friend, Osama bin Laden. How Khadr was raised to be an Al Qaeda terrorist--and how he ultimately found himself working for the U.S.--is the focus of FRONTLINE's "Son of Al Qaeda." Through interviews with Khadr as well as his mother and siblings, the documentary recounts his incredible journey from terrorist upbringing to CIA informant, offering a revealing glimpse inside the mindset of an Al Qaeda family.
S2004 E09Apr 29, 2004
The Jesus Factor Apr 29, 2004 As an evangelical Christian, President Bush has something in common with the 46 percent of Americans who describe themselves as being "born again" or having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Often has the president recounted praying about major decisions facing the nation--but what do we actually know about the rudiments of George Bush's faith? To what extent do the president's spiritual beliefs impact or influence his political decision-making? And how closely do Bush's religious views mirror those of the country's burgeoning--and politically influential--evangelical movement?
S2004 E10May 27, 2004
The Way the Music Died May 27, 2004 The modern music scene was created in 1969, at Woodstock. Half a million fans, dozens of artists, and the politics of the times came together as a big bang moment that eventually would generate billions of dollars. But over the last twenty years, MTV, compact discs, corporate consolidation, Internet piracy, and greed have contributed to a perfect storm for the recording industry. FRONTLINE examines how the business that has provided the soundtrack of the lives of a generation is on the verge of collapse.
S2004 E11Jun 17, 2004
The Plea Jun 17, 2004 It is the centerpiece of America's judicial process: the trial by jury system that places a defendant's fate in the hands of a jury of one's peers. But just how many citizens are aware that nearly 95 percent of all criminal cases never reach a jury but instead are settled through plea bargains? To overworked and understaffed defense lawyers prosecutors and jurists plea bargains are the safety valve that keeps cases moving through our backlogged courts. Critics however contend that the push to resolve cases through plea bargains jeopardizes the constitutional rights of defendants who may be pressured to admit their guilt whether they're guilty or not. In this 90-minute documentary FRONTLINE explores the moral judicial and constitutional implications of relying on plea bargains to expedite justice.
S2004 E12Sep 7, 2004
Sacred Ground Sep 7, 2004 Within days of the September 11 attacks, the questions began: What should be built on the site of Ground Zero? Who should build it? And should anything be built there at all? FRONTLINE tells the inside story of the first stormy year in the plans to rebuild on the site of the World Trade Center. With exclusive access to architect Daniel Libeskind, the one-hour documentary follows the process to build Libeskind's proposed Freedom Tower and reveals how the desire to build the world's most meaningful architectural tribute descended into a billion-dollar battle for the soul of Ground Zero.
S2004 E13Oct 12, 2004
The Choice 2004 Oct 12, 2004 As Americans prepare to choose their next president, FRONTLINE offers viewers a special, two-hour dual biography of the two candidates who hope to lead the nation for the next four years. The fifth installment in FRONTLINE's continuing election series pairs filmmaker Martin Smith and correspondent Nicholas Lemann, who go beyond sound bites and 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 2004," airing Tuesday, October 12, at 9 P.M. on PBS (check local listings), offers viewers--and voters--a chance to see the candidates in a fresh light before the campaign reaches its climax on Election Day.
S2004 E14Oct 26, 2004
Rumsfeld's War Oct 26, 2004 With the United States Army deployed in a dozen hot spots around the world, on constant alert in Afghanistan, and taking casualties every day in Iraq, some current and former officers now say the army is on the verge of being "broken." They charge that the army is overstretched, demoralized, and may be unable to fight where and when the nation desires. This fall, FRONTLINE and the Washington Post join forces for an in-depth assessment of the state of the American army and the nation's military establishment. The program digs into the aggressive attempts to assert civilian control and remake the military by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his allies.
S2004 E15Nov 9, 2004
The Persuaders Nov 9, 2004 FRONTLINE takes an in-depth look at the multibillion-dollar "persuasion industries" of advertising and public relations and how marketers have developed new ways of integrating their messages deeper into the fabric of our lives. Through sophisticated market research methods to better understand consumers and by turning to the little-understood techniques of public relations to make sure their messages come from sources we trust, marketers are crafting messages that resonate with an increasingly cynical public. In this documentary essay, correspondent Douglas Rushkoff (correspondent for FRONTLINE's "The Merchants of Cool") also explores how the culture of marketing has come to shape the way Americans understand the world and themselves and how the techniques of the persuasion industries have migrated to politics, shaping the way our leaders formulate policy, influence public opinion, make decisions, and stay in power.
S2004 E16Nov 16, 2004
Is Wal-Mart Good for America? Nov 16, 2004 FRONTLINE offers two starkly contrasting images: one of empty storefronts in Circleville, Ohio, where the local TV manufacturing plant has closed down; the other--a sea of high rises in the South China boomtown of Shenzhen. The connection between American job losses and soaring Chinese exports? Wal-Mart. For Wal-Mart, China has become the cheapest, most reliable production platform in the world, the source of up to $25 billion in annual imports that help the company deliver everyday low prices to 100 million customers a week. But while some economists credit Wal-Mart's single-minded focus on low costs with helping contain U.S. inflation, others charge that the company is the main force driving the massive overseas shift to China in the production of American consumer goods, resulting in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs and a lower standard of living here at home.
S2004 E17Nov 23, 2004
Secret History of the Credit Card Nov 23, 2004 The surprising history and clever tactics of an industry few Americans fully understand.