When the News Broke: Chicago 1968 and the Polarizing of America

This program will be held in-person at the Newberry and livestreamed on Zoom. The online version of this event will be live captioned. Please register below. “The whole world is watching!” cried protestors at the 1968 Democratic convention as Chicago police beat them in the streets. When some of that violence was then aired on network television, another kind of hell broke loose. Some viewers were stunned and outraged; others thought the protestors deserved what they got. No one—least of all Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley—was happy with how the networks handled it. In this Meet the Author event, join Heather Hendershot and Simon Balto for a discussion of Hendershot’s new book, When the News Broke: Chicago 1968 and the Polarizing of America. In her book, Hendershot revisits TV coverage of those four chaotic days—not only the violence in the streets, but also the tumultuous convention itself, where Black citizens and others forcefully challenged southern delegations that had excluded them, anti-Vietnam delegates sought to change the party’s policy on the war, and journalists and delegates alike were bullied by both Daley’s security forces and party leaders. Ultimately, Hendershot reveals the convention as a pivotal moment in American political history, one in which a distorted notion of “liberal media bias” became mainstreamed and nationalized. As Hendershot demonstrates, it doesn’t matter whether the “whole world is watching” if people don’t believe what they see. When the News Broke is available to purchase at the Newberry bookshop, and Hendershot will sign copies after the talk. This event is co-sponsored by the Chicago Collections Consortium. Speakers Heather Hendershot, professor of film and media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is also author of What’s Fair on the Air? Cold War Right-Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest and Open to Debate: How William F. Buckley Put Liberal America on the Firing Line. Simon Balto is a scholar, writer, and teacher of History and African American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also the author of the multi-award-winning Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power. Cost and Registration This program is free and open to all. Advance registration required. In-Person Registration https://reg.learningstream.com/reg/event_page.aspx?ek=0057-0014-e6642331b2fb43e7b24ac116e27067e0 Livestream Registration https://reg.learningstream.com/reg/event_page.aspx?ek=0057-0014-ea2679e28bba4304bd7c3f8e992773fa