Like it or not, the law is subject to public and political manipulation through the media and the court of public opinion yet, as Coffey eloquently demonstrates, this is not a new phenomenon. Since the time of Socrates, the media frequently played a huge role in manipulating public and political perceptions and thus to a lesser extent, the outcome of trial cases. With the nonstop stream of information via the internet and 24/7 “news” programming the media’s presence on the judicial process has never been greater and it’s a fact that lawyers are adapting to and using to their advantage. Similarly, the political picture has become more about media manipulation and sound bytes then genuine issues.
Coffey effortlessly draws upon older cases such as the Lindbergh baby and OJ Simpson to illustrate well-reasoned and thoroughly researched points that are further emphasized by Spinning Lesson sidebars that range from erudite to funny. If this isn’t required reading for new lawyers and those looking to gain a better understanding of how the media, law and politics play together, it should be.