A revealing multi-part documentary series The Fourth Estate (wt), exploring the process and progress of The New York Times and its journalists in covering the Trump administration, is set to debut later this year – Sunday, May 27 at 8 PM ET/PT – on Showtime. Produced and directed by Emmy(R) Award winning and Oscar(R) nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?), the project illuminates critical issues facing journalism today – including the challenge to the bedrock concept of truth, the changing role of the media, and the Times’ response to President Trump’s war of words – through extraordinary access, on-the-scene filmmaking and exclusive sit-down interviews.
From the first time President Trump called The New York Times “highly inaccurate” in its coverage of his administration, through his false claim that the paper is “failing” and losing thousands of subscribers, to ultimately declaring the majority of the nation’s major news outlets “fake news,” a chief task for the Times, long considered the “newspaper of record,” has been to find the best way to accurately and honestly cover this new and unconventional president. With unprecedented access to the inner workings of the Times, including filming inside closed-door meetings, rare interviews with the editors and reporters who cover the President and the tumult around him, as well as an insider’s view of the Sulzberger family publisher transition, Garbus intimately chronicles the tenacious men and women in the trenches who are fighting for the freedom of the press and America’s right to know.
“The Times is an odd and confounding muse for the current president. Trump craves the positive coverage of his hometown paper while simultaneously denigrating the ‘failing New York Times’ on what seems to be a daily basis,” says Garbus. “We’ve been given unprecedented access to capture the challenges, triumphs and pitfalls of covering a president who has declared war on the free press, from the point of view of those on the front line – the White House correspondents, investigative journalists and editors at The New York Times. It’s the story of a lifetime, but what kind of story is it? Is it the story of a new era of the American presidency, or is it a reality show debacle? This series explores these questions as we take a front row seat to those writing the first draft of this moment in history.”
Garbus is an Oscar, Grammy(R) and DGA nominated and an Emmy and Peabody Award winning director. Her most recent film, Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper, had its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Her previous film, What Happened, Miss Simone?, was the opening film at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for a 2016 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, and received a Peabody Award and four Primetime Emmy nominations (including Best Directing for Garbus), winning the Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special. Garbus’ past work includes Love, Marilyn and Bobby Fischer Against the World. Garbus produced the documentary short Killing in the Name, directed by her partner Rory Kennedy and nominated for an Academy Award. Garbus received her first Emmy and Oscar nominations in 1998 when she won international public and critical acclaim for her film about prison life in America, The Farm: Angola, USA. Her directing credits include Girlhood, The Execution of Wanda Jean, The Nazi Officer’s Wife, Coma, Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech and There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane. Producing credits include Street Fight and Ghosts of Abu Ghraib.