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The Rape of Mike Tyson: Race, Media, and Crime

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Frontpage Milwaukee

Frontpage Milwaukee


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The rape trial of former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson was one of the most prominent, perhaps notorious, news story of 1992. The trial pitted the celebrity boxer against a contestant in the Miss Black America pageant which lead to colorful testimony, varying stories, and constant media coverage. After two weeks of testimony and ten hours of deliberation, the jury found Tyson guilty of rape and sentenced him to six years in prison. From the start of the trial, questions were raised about press coverage. The Tyson trial has unavoidably become embroiled in racial politics and has brought much insights into the press' coverage on race. Throughout this blog talk radio session I will discuss race and crime in the media and touch base on the concept of "othering" as the media pegged Tyson as either a sex-obsessed savage or the victim of terrible social circumstances.