TV Eye 

According to the old counterculture adage, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you. Take the case of John Lennon: While he was somewhat aware that the government was interested in him in the late '60s and early '70s, it was only after his murder that it became clear just how much of a threat the Nixon administration considered him.

The U.S. vs. John Lennon details the political shenanigans driving Lennon's immigration troubles during that period. Michigan plays a large role in the story. Lennon's outrage over White Panther leader John Sinclair's infamous 10-years-for-two-joints conviction helped radicalize him. There's plenty of local interest, with a recent interview with Sinclair and footage from Steve Gebhardt's concert film of the Crisler Arena rally where Lennon shared a stage with Bob Seger, Stevie Wonder and others. (It's a crime that that film has never been commercially released.)

The DVD draws from archival footage and new interviews — from radicals like Sinclair, Angela Davis and Bobby Seale to Nixon administration officials like G. Gordon Liddy and John Dean to media figures like Walter Cronkite, Geraldo Rivera and Carl Bernstein. What's most chilling is that, even with this balanced cast of characters, Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover's persecution of Lennon comes off as completely indefensible. It's a cautionary tale that has increased relevance in these post-Patriot Act days. —Brian J. Bowe

Brian J. Bowe is a freelance writer. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 16, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation