POV: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (PBS)
Winner 2010 | American Documentary, POV, ITVS
Here, Daniel Ellsberg narrates his own story, but that story is much more than a personal biography. It is a story of a transformation that had consequences far beyond any anguish or guilt or innocence, beyond notions of bravery or betrayal. Rather, it is all those things as they swirl about Ellsberg and those who surround him. The woman who was to become his wife first rejected him because of his complicity in making war, then was transformed by his transformation and stood with him in his actions. Professional colleagues divided into camps, those who applauded or assisted and those who walked away. At an even larger level this is the story of a divided nation and the profound battle over the meaning of the First Amendment in addressing those divisions. The decisions by newspapers to first receive the Pentagon Papers, then scrutinize them, then to publish them in the face of government restrictions is the story that makes all these events, all these individuals and issues as alive and as significant today as they were decades ago. Time passes. Principles should not. A Peabody Award is presented to POV: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers for reminding us of those facts.
Executive producers: Simon Kilmurry (for American Documentary/POV), Sally Jo Fifer (for ITVS). Producers: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith. Directors: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith.