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Season 1989 1989

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  • 1989-01-19T02:00:00Z on PBS
  • 60 mins
  • 19 hours, 0 mins (19 episodes)
  • United States
  • English
  • Documentary, News, Talk Show, Drama
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Since it began in 1983, Frontline has been airing public-affairs documentaries that explore a wide scope of the complex human experience. Frontline's goal is to extend the impact of the documentary beyond its initial broadcast by serving as a catalyst for change.

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19 episodes

1989x01 The Real Life of Ronald Reagan

  • Season Premiere

    1989-01-19T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Frontline correspondent Garry Wills profiles the career of Ronald Reagan, his legacy, and public life through the eyes of friends, top aides, biographers, and critics. The role of myth, media, and politics in Reagan's popularity and policy decisions is portrayed in the light of our national romance with the 'Great Communicator.'

1989x02 The Spy who Broke the Code

  • 1989-01-25T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Was John Walker the spy of the century? Frontline investigates the Walker spy ring and how it sold secrets about American military codes to the Soviets. The program assesses the damage to US national security and includes exclusive interviews with Walker, the convicted ring leader, and his principal partner, Jerry Whitworth.

Donald Trump's recent purchase of Eastern Airlines' shuttle focused national attention once again on the fight for this troubled airline. Frontline correspondent Robert Kuttner chronicles the saga of Eastern's ongoing labor-management disputes and the behind-the-scenes struggles between Charlie Bryan, head of the machinists' union, and Texas Air's Frank Lorenzo, as well as the fate of the experiment in joint union and management ownership of Eastern under former astronaut Frank Borman.

1989x04 Running with Jesse

  • 1989-02-08T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

An inside look at the historic 1988 presidential campaign of the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Frontline profiles the Jackson strategy, his relationship with the press and his difficulties with the Jewish community and New York's Mayor Koch. The program chronicles the hopes and the hype of a campaign that became a crusade.

1989x05 Children of the Night

  • 1989-02-15T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

The story of Iain Brown, who at thirteen left the comfortable world of a middle-class family in Walnut Creek, CA, for the life of a male hustler in San Francisco. Iain committed suicide in December 1987 at the age of nineteen. His story highlights the disturbing and growing national problem of teenage runaways and suicides.

1989x06 Who Profits from Drugs

  • 1989-02-22T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Frontline investigates how the American economy uses the profits from the illegal drug trade. The program documents a network of lawyers, real estate developers, stock brokers, and bankers who launder drug proceeds through 'legitimate' businesses in Miami, Boston, and Dallas.

1989x07 Prescriptions for Profit

  • 1989-03-29T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Frontline reporter Joe Rosenbloom investigates abuses in the fiercely competitive marketing and promotion of prescription drugs by the pharmaceutical manufacturers. The program explores the dangers of hype and hard sell applied to widely prescribed arthritis medications and how the industry tries to influence the prescribing habits of doctors.

1989x08 The Dallas Drug War

  • 1989-04-05T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

Frontline correspondent Bob Ray Sanders profiles the struggle of one neighborhood in Dallas, Texas, to combat the drugs and violence that threaten the lives of its citizens and the future of the community.

1989x09 Murder in the Amazon

  • 1989-04-12T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

Chico Mendes was an environmentalist and a leader of seringueiros, Brazilian rubber tappers, who struggle to defend their forests from destruction by cattle ranchers and developers. Mendes's murder in December 1988 focused international attention on the ecological pillage of millions of acres of Amazonian rain forest.

1989x10 The Shakespeare Mystery

  • 1989-04-19T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, Henry James, Sigmund Freud, and Charlie Chaplin all doubted that William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon was the true author of the dramatic masterpieces that bear his name. Correspondent Al Austin investigates the latest controversial theory that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, a poet and intimate of Queen Elizabeth 1, was the real Shakespeare.

1989x11 Extraordinary People

  • 1989-05-03T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

Over 25 years ago, scores of Canadian women gave birth to badly malformed children because of a prescription drug called thalidomide. This program, anchored and narrated by Judy Woodruff, profiles the heroic struggle of 3 thalidomide children who overcame their handicaps despite government neglect and inadequate rehabilitative solutions.

1989x12 Yellowstone Under Fire

  • 1989-05-10T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

President Reagan's Interior secretaries, James Watt and Donald Hodel, may have altered the landscape of the Yellowstone Park area more dramatically than the fires that ravaged it in the summer of 1988. This program examines the impact of eight years of accelerated development of minerals, timber, and tourism on America's most famous wilderness.

1989x13 Israel: The Covert Connection

  • 1989-05-17T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

The Iran-contra scandal revealed a glimpse of the US government's secret relationship with Israel. This program investigates America's strategic alliance with Israel since the 1950's and our covert and overt ties to Israeli arms deals and intelligence operations.

1989x14 Remember My Lai

  • 1989-05-24T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

In 1968, American soldiers massacred over 500 adults and children in a Vietnamese hamlet called My Lai. Frontline explores the legacy of that savage day on the men who were there and the Vietnamese who survived.

1989x15 Babies at Risk

  • 1989-05-24T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

The infant mortality rate in some Chicago neighborhoods is higher than that of many third-world countries. Frontline investigates the political and bureaucratic neglect which fuels this crisis and examines how health and social workers combat the conditions that imperil the lives of poor infants.

1989x16 Death of a Terrorist

  • 1989-06-14T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

Mairead Farrell was one of three Irish Republican Army terrorists gunned down by British security forces on Gibraltar in March 1988. Frontline examines her 17 year career as an IRA militant and the questions her life and death raise about the British government's ability to apply the rule of law to political terrorism.

1989x17 Who's Killing Calvert City?

  • 1989-06-21T01:00:00Z — 60 mins

Calvert City, Kentucky, is at war with itself over the legacy of pollution and toxic waste from the chemical plants that are the heart of its economy. Frontline examines the struggle between citizens and industry giants, like GAF and BF Goodrich, to find the truth about what's happening to Calvert City.

1989x18 Tracking the Pan Am Bombers

  • 1989-11-29T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

A Frontline special report investigates the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988. The broadcast pieces together the latest information about the bomb, how the terrorists built it and placed it on board, and whether warnings about the attack were ignored by government officials. Frontline profiles the terrorist network believed responsible for the bombing and details blunders made by the German police that may have contributed to the tragedy.

1989x19 The Right to Die?

  • 1989-12-14T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Frontline and Fred Friendly's Media and Society series join forces to examine the complex legal and moral issues involved in the US Supreme Court's first right-to-die case, Cruzan vs. Harmon. The broadcast features exclusive coverage of the Cruzan family's legal struggle to remove their daughter Nancy from the life-support system that keeps her alive and explores the issues with the Cruzan's attorney as well as leading ethicists, jurists, and Supreme Court watchers.

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