The Fourth Estate takes viewers into the newsroom of The New York Times through the first year of the Trump presidency, illuminating critical issues faced by journalists today. The documentary series examines how The New York Times journalists cover the President with accuracy and honesty in spite of his efforts to undermine the integrity of journalism with claims of ‘fake news’. Through extraordinary access and exclusive interviews,filmmaker Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?) chronicles the tenacious men and women in the trenches who are fighting for the freedom of the press.
Part 1: The First 100 Days
The first three months of Trump’s presidency tests the stamina of the political reporters at The New York Times as they adapt to a nonstop news cycle, an unpredictable White House, and the President calling them “the enemy of the people.”
Part 2: The Trump Bump
Comey is fired; Mueller is appointed special counsel; turnover in White House staff is constant; and the Trump campaign met with Russians offering “dirt” on Clinton. The New York Times’ reporters hit their stride in covering and uncovering the new administration.
Part 3: American Carnage
As violence erupts in Charlottesville, the president’s unwillingness to denounce the racist hate groups presents a new test for journalists. Trump blames the “failing New York Times” and “crooked media” for distorting his speech and further deepening the country’s divisions. Meanwhile, Steve Bannon exits the White House and a Times reporter questions where his populist revolution is headed now, as the paper deals with reining in its own reporters on Twitter.
Part 4: Matters of Fact
Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI and The New York Times probes deeper into the Russian investigation.