The Fifth Estate Explores The Stories That Shaped The First Decade Of The 21st Century

Beginning Friday, Feb. 12, at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT), on CBC-TV

EPISODE ONE: War and Terrorism

In a three-part series, beginning Friday, Feb. 12, at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT), the fifth estate will air special programming that looks back on a remarkable time—the tumultuous first decade of the 21st Century. In those 10 years, the program has investigated, uncovered, illuminated, aggravated and even entertained its viewers with nearly 200 stories. the fifth estate’s award-winning hosts will reflect on some of the significant issues and personalities they covered in that time.

Over the next three weeks, the fifth estate looks back at a decade defined, above all else, by war at home and abroad; the people and personalities you won’t forget; and justice and injustice.

The first episode of this special series will focus on the fifth estate’s unique coverage of War and Terrorism. Reporter Linden MacIntyre says:  “We tend not to follow the news agenda. We tend not to be terribly obliged to get on big bandwagons. But, you have an event like 9/11, like the invasion of Iraq…if everybody in your audience is thinking of this subject you have to at least find some way of looking at it that might be of service.”

Among the fifth estate stories that MacIntyre and his colleagues Hana Gartner, Bob McKeown and Gillian Findlay will be remembering and commenting on are:

Beyond Belief (October 2001)
– A lingering human puzzle from the ashes of Sept. 11. Who was Jiad Samir Jarrah? A quiet, pleasant young man from a middle-class Beirut family, he is also believed to have piloted United 93 and flown it into a farmer’s field in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11.   Just a month after that momentous event, Linden MacIntyre and the fifth estate team produced an indelible portrait of an enigma.

Conspiracy Theories (October 2003) – Bob McKeown delved into the labyrinthine and surprising ties between the Bushes and the bin Ladens and found that even the most outlandish conspiracy theory may have its basis in a legitimate question.

Act of Faith (April 2003) – As George Bush’s and Tony Blair’s armed forces invaded Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Linden MacIntyre investigated what possible bond could link two such disparate personalities and politicians and unite them in a common cause.

Sticks and Stones (January 2005) – In 2005, the United States was in the midst of a very un-civil war—a war of words that pitted conservative against liberal. The new gladiators were commentators like Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter and their forum was the television studios of networks like Fox. It was loud and raucous, Bob McKeown reported, but did it have anything to do with the truth?

The Unauthorized Biography of Dick Cheney (October 2004) – The real power in George Bush’s White House, many believed, lay inside the office of his Vice-President, Dick Cheney.  This is the story of Cheney’s vision of America—a very selective vision. Cheney’s remarkable life story involves the relentless accumulation of power in every form and Bob McKeown explored how he accomplished this and at what cost.

The Canadian (January 2005)
– Ottawa-born computer whiz Momin Khawaja instantly became notorious when he was the first person to be charged under Canada’s new anti-terrorist law.  Hana Gartner investigated Khawaja’s transformation from a road hockey player and civil servant to a planner of destruction and mayhem in the name of Islam.

Life and Death in Kandahar (March 2008)
– In this dramatic story, Gillian Findlay and the fifth estate cameras were granted four weeks of unprecedented and exclusive access to the NATO trauma hospital at the main military base in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. 

Broken Heroes (October 2009)
– Gillian Findlay examined the reality of soldiers returning from Afghanistan with invisible wounds, post-traumatic stress disorder. She spoke with three Canadian soldiers who candidly recall the hell that has consumed their lives and with Canada’s most eloquent spokesman on the subject of PTSD, Senator Romeo Dallaire.

Part Two of the fifth estate:
21st Century will broadcast on Friday, Feb. 19, at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT), and will look back on some of the extraordinary characters you’ve met on the program.

Part Three of the fifth estate: 21st Century will broadcast on Friday, Feb. 26, at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT), and will reflect on the issue that viewers may associate more than any other with the program: justice and injustice.

Executive producer of the fifth estate is Sally Reardon. The series producer of the fifth estate:  21st Century is Patsy Pehleman.

CBC News Network rebroadcasts the fifth estate on Saturdays, at 8 p.m. ET, Sundays, at 7 p.m. ET, and Tuesdays, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

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