Airs Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
Monday, April 9, 2018
Credit: Courtesy of REUTERS/Brian Snyder
—FRONTLINE Presents “Trump’s Takeover” & “McCain,” Two Documentaries Exploring the Present, Past and Future of the Republican Party—
FRONTLINE continues the story of the Republican Party’s evolution with “McCain” – an exploration of Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.)’s complicated relationship with President Trump and the Republican Party, as well as his life and politics.
“No one knows the workings of the modern Republican Party like John McCain,” says FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk, who with his team has been reporting on McCain for years, including in "The Choice 2008." “In 'McCain,' we’ll chronicle how President Trump came to see him as a foe, and examine how the Republican Party has evolved across his political lifetime.”
Drawing on both new interviews and FRONTLINE’s deep archive of reporting, “McCain” traces the conservative standard-bearer’s motivations and his political history — from his experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, to speaking out against torture during the Bush administration, to his dramatic vote against the GOP’s health care bill last year.
“By McCain ending Trump’s initiative, by McCain putting his hand up and saying, ‘Stop,’ it was a roaring back for the Republican establishment,” Robert Costa of The Washington Post and WASHINGTON WEEK tells FRONTLINE.
But the film also examines how, with his 2008 nomination of Sarah Palin as running mate, McCain himself contributed to a growing challenge to the party establishment: “That was really the first time that you had this establishment versus grass roots conflict,” says Republican pollster Frank Luntz.
Both “Trump’s Takeover” (broadcast date April 10) and “McCain” (April 17) are must-watch documentaries for anyone who wants to understand American politics in the Trump era.
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Episodes of FRONTLINE become available for streaming on demand at pbs.org/frontline during each broadcast.
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FRONTLINE productions with the Kirk Documentary Group. The director is Michael Kirk. The producers are Michael Kirk, Mike Wiser, Jim Gilmore, and Gabrielle Schonder. The writers are Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser. The reporters are Jim Gilmore and Gabrielle Schonder. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath.
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