The 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago—as it sounded then

Thursday, September 1, 2016
Credit: Quartermaster
(Click to hear audio.)
Sept. 1, 1996: Chicago was sweeping up after hosting the Democratic National Convention as this audio journal reflecting the week that was hit the radio airwaves.

It was a week that gave Chicago a chance to put to rest memories of the city’s traumatic 1968 convention.

It seemed to work. At least that week.

And I got to interview comedian Jackie Mason, political writer (then Newsweek senior editor) Jonathan Alter, and some vendors who could neither sell Bulls or Blackhawks stuff nor talk to me — much, anyway. Also fun: Guest shots by my journalistic colleagues Thom Clark and Lynn Sweet.

I regret my upbeat conclusion here; it’s proven mostly unjustified—a reminder reporters should stick to sharing what they know and what they’ve learned, and not make predictions.

(Keep listening after the end of the convention journal to hear my morning-after-the-election newscast, Nov. 6, 1996—proclaiming not only Bill Clinton’s re-election but also historic developments like Rod Blagojevich’s election to the U.S. House and Dick Durbin’s ascension to the Senate.)

Then check out: White House reporter Helen Thomas in 1997 on her career making life difficult for politicians, and journalist Jules Witcover recalling the tumult of 1968.

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