Patriot Games
Ben Calhoun


This American Life, USA, 2011
TCF Winners
Identity, Politics
34 22


Best friends Rich Carlson and Tom Swenor got so fed up with the political process in America that they decided to form their own Tea Party chapter in Petoskey, Michigan.

But as election season revved up and push came to shove, Rich and Tom had very different ideas about how to advance a conservative agenda. In the end, their idealism, their jobs and their friendship suffered the consequences. 

Patriot Games won the Best Documentary: Bronze Award in the 2011 Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. It was reported and produced by Ben Calhoun in 2010 for WBEZ's This American Life, and was edited by Ira Glass and Julie Snyder.


Ben Calhoun joined This American Life as a producer in 2010. Before that, he was a reporter who contributed to most every major public radio news entity heard in the country—including Radiolab, NPR, the BBC, and Marketplace. Calhoun worked in WBEZ’s newsroom for eight years, where he reported on politics and produced documentary work. 


Hear more stories from This American Life.

Check out other winners from the 2011 Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition.