The Chicago Conspiracy Trial and the Press

The Chicago Conspiracy Trial and the Press

by Nick Sharman

Hardcover(1st ed. 2016)

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This book analyzes the newspaper coverage of one of America’s most famous and dramatic trials–the trial of the “Chicago 8.” Covering a five month period from September 1969 to February 1970 the book considers the way eight radical activists including Black Panther leader Bobby Seale, antiwar activists Tom Hayden, David Dellinger, and Rennie Davis, and leading Yippies, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin are represented in the press. How did the New York Times represent Judge Hoffman’s decision to chain and gag Bobby Seale in the courtroom for demanding his right to represent himself? To what extent did the press adequately describe the injustice visited on the defendants in the trial by the presiding Judge, Julius J Hoffman? The author aims to answer these questions and demonstrate the press’s reluctance to criticize Judge Hoffman in the case until the evidence of his misconduct of the trial became overwhelming.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781137573872
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date: 05/11/2016
Edition description: 1st ed. 2016
Pages: 249
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Nick Sharman teaches in the Media and Communications program at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He obtained his PhD from Latrobe University, Australia. His research focuses on media representations of American politics and protest.

Table of Contents

Introduction .- Chapter 1: “My wishes are that a lawyer respect the court”: Initial representation of the trial and the lawyers’ arrest .- Chapter 2: “The Orderly Administration of Justice”: The Chaining and Gagging of defendant Bobby Seale .- Chapter 3: “The Use of Vile and Insulting Language”: The Voice of White Radicals .- Chapter 4: “You are a disgrace sir, I say you are a disgrace, I really say you are a disgrace”: The Voice of Anti-War: Rennie Davis .- Chapter 5: “The Exclusion of Authority”: Ramsey Clark’s Muted Evidence .- Chapter 6: The Summation on the Conclusion of the Chicago Conspiracy Trial .- Chapter 6: The Summation on the Conclusion of the Chicago Conspiracy Trial

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“A working democracy needs a strong, working press. Nick Sharman’s rich analysis of the often timid and compromised press coverage of the (in)famous Chicago ’68 Conspiracy Trial, reveals the political price a democratic citizenry pays when the media’s pro-establishment bias—or its bottom line imperatives—triumph over honest, tough-minded journalism.” (David Farber, Author of Chicago ’68 (1994) and the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas, USA)

“This is a fascinating and important book. The media shape our perceptions of important social struggles and their participants. In the universe of media, The New York Times has historically influenced official and quasi-official views. Nick Sharman has carefully and eloquently showed us how the Times coverage of the Chicago Conspiracy Trial developed and changed. On a personal note, it is refreshing to read a careful and thoughtful treatment of matters in which I was engaged.” (Michael Tigar, Lawyer, writer, law professor)

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