FRONTLINE: Michael Flynn’s Holy War
FRONTLINE (PBS) with The Associated Press (PBS)
How did one of America’s three-star generals become a leading spokesperson for Christian Nationalism? The story of General Michael Flynn is a microcosm of the acceleration of political extremism in America. This profile documentary from FRONTLINE in collaboration with The Associated Press, doggedly reported over several years, follows Flynn as he travels across America speaking to growing crowds on the far right. Director Richard Rowley (American Insurrection) and AP correspondent Michelle R. Smith place Flynn’s rise in a larger context, particularly in relation to the Capitol insurrection of January 6th, 2021. Refusing to see him as an outlier, let alone a fanatical fringe figure, the entire documentary conveys a sense of foreboding as Flynn and his followers make plans for 2024 and beyond, with veiled threats as to what might happen “next time,” placing his religious extremist operation at the heart of American politics. Wide-ranging and tough but fair, with a climatic direct interview with Flynn himself who not only refutes but pushes back against such reporting and framing, this cautionary piece is an important exposé of a man on a mission, who remains dangerously under the radar. For their willingness to shine a bright light on religious extremism and its intersection with current politics, FRONTLINE wins a Peabody.