John Lennon’s Deportation Hearings and the Role of the Media
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March 1972 brought John Lennon and Yoko Ono into conflict with the government, mainly the Immigration and Naturalization Service. After the Beatles broke up, Lennon and Ono became involved with a radical revolutionary group consisting of Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman which the government already was watching. Combined with the Lennon’s political affiliations and current company actions were taken to deport the couple back to England because they were seen as a threat to the current Nixon administration. A contributing factor to the case was the media coverage and the stance they took against the government. I have chosen to focus mainly on print media and the articles appearing in the New York Times, Washington Post and Rolling Stone surrounding John Lennon’s hearings. The Washington Post had significant influence over the Watergate scandal of the Nixon administration, which was evolving at the same time as the deportation hearings; the Rolling Stone had a similar influence over Lennon’s deportation hearing as it evolved. Investigative journalism was a new trend and both of these publications utilized the new style to break open these cases. Watergate and Lennon’s hearings evolved at the same time and mirrored each other and the abuses of power being exerted by the Nixon government. Even though the media’s coverage in the beginning months of the case was not enough to cause public awareness and outcry, eventually it was a key factor in his victory over the political misuse of a government agency, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) because of how the press presented the case with political intentions and for what they published.
Lennon, John, 1940-1980.
Investigative reporting--United States.
Misconduct in office--United States.