Trials: The Limits of Political Invective

The case was being tried in the small town of Okanogan, Wash. (pop. 2,001), but it had a big-city price tag: the plaintiffs asked $225,000 damages for libel and conspiracy. The cast of characters read like the line-up for a movie: an admitted ex-Communist, an organizer for the John Birch Society, two former state legislators (one a Democrat, the other Republican) and a dapper weekly newspaper publisher. Bit parts were to be played by a Hollywood star and an ex-U.S. Senator.

The lead was played by John Goldmark, 46, a Harvard law graduate...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!