Writing | Dan Abrams

Dan Abrams’ New Book “John Adams Under Fire” is Out Soon

October 3, 2019

The New York Times bestselling authors, Dan Abrams and David Fisher, have a new book out March 3rd 2020, John Adams Under Fire. This is the pair’s third book that revives America’s great legal battles, having previously written about trials involving Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. 

John Adams Under Fire goes back to colonial Boston in the aftermath of one of America’s founding moments, the Boston Massacre. It tells the story of a young lawyer, John Adams, taking the defense of the British soldiers that killed five colonists and in doing so establishing himself as the center of Bostonian legal and political life. 

Abrams and Fisher use Adams’ own words and the trial’s transcript to transport the reader into a colonial Boston with narrow streets, British ships in the harbor, and palpable political tension to paint a full picture of both the trial and the massacre itself. In the atmosphere of outrage and partisan charges circulating, Adams stuck to the facts and examined the evidence of the massacre. By piecing together the events from first hand accounts, the book digs into what actually happened leading up to and on the night of the massacre. The book shows a defiantly evenhanded and diligent Adams on the frontlines of a trial that helped define American civic engagement. 

On the eve of revolution, John Adams maintained that “Facts are stubborn things.” A lesson that rings throughout American politics from the colonial era to today. Abrams and Fisher examine how Adams’ defense of the British soldiers led to his passionate belief that there should be, “A government of laws, and not of men.”

Read more about the book at Dan Abrams Books and preorder from Amazon and Barnes & Noble today.

Bloomberg Businessweek Sees Live PD as Cable’s Future

August 22, 2019
Filed under: Blog,Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Editorial Staff @ 2:44 pm

Bloomberg Businessweek reported yesterday on Live PD’s success despite the new media landscape of streaming websites. Amidst reports of stagnation of cable’s audience Bloomberg reports, “The show, now in its third season, is often the No. 1 program on American cable TV on Friday and Saturday nights. A&E is one of only two cable channels to show growth in 18-to-49-year-old viewers since September 2018, along with TLC.” Bloomberg credits this success to the “irresistible content” that blends the time tested genre of police shows with high-paced, real time footage of the police. 

This new formula is paving the way in new content creation. According to Bloomberg, “A&E, jointly owned by Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp., runs six hours of new Live PD episodes a week. There are hours more of reruns and seven spinoffs, including Live PD Presents: Women on Patrol and Live Rescue, which focuses on firefighters and other first responders. Top Dog, which features police dogs competing on an obstacle course, is set to make its debut in the fall.” This has resulted in the shift away from more traditional scripted material, “Says A&E President Paul Buccieri: ‘We think we’ve struck a real opportunity with live unscripted storytelling.’”

This rings true not just for TV execs, but also the police featured on Live PD. Richland County is featured on Live PD, and their sheriff reports, “The department gets fan mail and job inquiries from across the country, he says. Some 5,000 fans came to Columbia, the county’s largest city, for a celebration of the 200th episode in April. ‘I think Live PD is the future of law enforcement.’” The show’s host, Dan Abrams, told Bloomberg, “‘I think that more people in other parts of the country are probably touched by law enforcement, they have friends, relatives that are in some ways connected to it.’” 

Live PD airs Friday and Saturdays at 9PM on A&E. 

Variety Interviews Dan Abrams on Live PD, ABC News, Abrams Media

June 26, 2019
Filed under: Blog,Writing — Tags: , , , , — Editorial Staff @ 5:59 pm

Variety reporter Brian Steinberg recently spoke with Dan and sat in with him on his daily SiriusXM radio show. The article, titled “‘Live P.D.’ Host Dan Abrams Brings New Order to Law-Focused Media,” takes a deep dive into Dan’s current and former endeavors and how he balances so many unique responsibilities. 

“It is, to some degree, different lives,” notes Abrams, sitting behind an adjustable desk in his company’s Manhattan offices. “I have the life of running a growing company, and everything has to be done economically, and I have to be monitoring how may coffee refills we get. And yet I live a very different life as an on-air guy, where the coffee is plentiful.”

Being the Chief Legal Correspondent for ABC News, and being the CEO of his own companies pose very different challenges. Steinberg reached out to Dan’s ABC News colleague to understand just how he does it. 

“Figuring out how to connect the dots of his various enterprises might be difficult, but George Stephanopoulos, the ABC News anchor, can do it: Abrams is working on a way to keep up with the nation’s increasing fascination with the overlap of law, media and politics. “He can play in all of these different arenas,” says Stephanopoulos, in a brief phone interview.”

Dan’s work as host of Live PD, the number one show on cable, contrasts his smaller four media companies. But the mid-size media outlets are quickly growing. Two of the four, the Law & Crime Network and Mediaite.com, recently helped create a business deal between multiple news outlets. 

Dan described to Steinberg the goal of the new deal:

“In a world of internet behemoths, it can be tough to compete for ad dollars as a mid-sized web property. So with the 2020 election around the corner, we thought the best way for us to get some of the political advertising that will be flooding the internet was to join with other similarly sized sites and offer larger packages together,” says Abrams, adding: “Since the announcement we have had a number of other sites inquire about joining the coalition as well.”

The two companies fit perfectly into the alliance. 

From TV green rooms to the corridors of the senate to the latest White House press briefing, Mediaite is a trusted source on the intersection of politics and media across the political spectrum. Breaking news, analysis and opinions aplenty, Mediaite delivers it all with lightning quick speed. 

Law & Crime is both a 24/7 live trial network, as well as a website that hosts multiple live trial streams and expert legal articles. LawandCrime.com is the only site for live court video, high-profile criminal trials, crazy crime, celebrity justice, and smart legal analysis. Law & Crime brings common sense written and video analysis to the often confusing and always intriguing world of the law. The site’s team of journalists and lawyers provide real-time news updates along with live courtroom coverage of the most fascinating trials and legal stories.

Variety’s piece was published in the wake of wide media attention around Dan’s new book, Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense: The Courtroom Battle to Save His Legacy

Dan Abrams on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

June 17, 2019
Filed under: Blog,Public Appearances,Writing — Editorial Staff @ 3:57 pm

Dan appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Friday to discuss his new book Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense: The Courtroom Battle to Save His Legacy. Before diving in to the book, Colbert asked about Dan’s time at MSNBC. Former host of The Abrams Report, Dan gained experience on both sides of news media, on-air and behind-the-scenes. One thing he learned, he told Colbert, was that “it is sometimes a lot more fun being the on-air person complaining about management, than it is being the management being complained about.”

Now host of top-rated Live PD, Dan joked about his MSNBC replacement: ““Then MSNBC made the worst decision and they still regret it to this day, I had the nine o’clock show and they replaced me with this woman Rachel Maddow…They regret it everyday.”

On the book, Dan describes how Theodore Roosevelt was known for handling problems “mano a mano.” Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense looks at the “Trial of the Century” in which Roosevelt had to defend his legacy in the courthouse instead of his usual wrestling mat.

Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense tells the largely forgotten story of the 1915 trial where the former president was sued for libel. Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the boisterous and mostly beloved legendary American hero, accused his former friend and ally, now turned rival, Republican Party leader William Barnes of political corruption. The furious Barnes responded by suing Roosevelt for an enormous sum that could have financially devastated him.

The book is now available online and in stores.

“Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense” Releases to Rave Reviews

May 24, 2019
Filed under: Blog,Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Editorial Staff @ 2:22 pm

Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense: The Courtroom Battle to Save His Legacy was published this week to high praise from critics at NPR, Publisher’s Weekly, and The New York Journal of Books. The book centers around a hundred-year-old “trial of the century.” Dan Abrams and David Fisher use parts of the trial’s transcripts to create a compelling story. The New York Journal of Books says it reads “like a blow-by-blow radio account of a prizefight between two heavyweights, although the arena is a courtroom, not a boxing ring.”

While true crime novels are exploding in popularity, Abrams and Fisher venture into uncharted waters with a case that involves no murder, maiming, or likewise morbid indulgence. NPR reviewed the book and remarked that “it’s difficult to turn a civil trial into a gripping narrative, but Abrams and Fisher do just that…the authors do an excellent job providing the context of the case, deftly explaining the political ‘boss system’ that controlled New York at the time and charting Roosevelt’s political evolution from rock-ribbed Republican to progressive independent.”

Abrams’ prowess in the legal world and extensive experience analyzing the most important cases involving law and politics influences his writing style. According to NPR, the co-authors are “gifted writers, and their prose is neither overly spare nor showy; they’re clearly fascinated by the trial, and their enthusiasm for their subject matter shows.”

Chief U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon describes the trial as “brought vividly to life by Abrams and Fisher, whose research led them through both the trial transcript and copious press coverage of the event. Abrams has a law degree from Columbia University, but he approaches the trial like the Court TV reporter he used to be — which is consistent with how the journalists of the day covered the story.”

And for those not typically enthralled by legal cases long over, Publisher’s Weekly believes “many of the questions the trial raised about the effects of money in politics, the dangers of blind allegiance to party politics, and oversize corporate political influence will resonate with contemporary readers.”

The instant New York Times bestselling authors of Lincoln’s Last Trial, Dan Abrams and David Fisher return with Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense to tell the largely forgotten story of the 1915 trial where the former president was sued for libel. Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the boisterous and mostly beloved legendary American hero, accused his former friend and ally, now turned rival, Republican Party leader William Barnes of political corruption. The furious Barnes responded by suing Roosevelt for an enormous sum that could have financially devastated him.

The book is now available online and in stores.

Hosts Sean ‘Sticks’ Larkin and Tom Morris Jr. Talk ‘Live PD’ on The Dan Abrams Show

March 15, 2019
Filed under: Blog,Podcasts,The Dan Abrams Show,Writing — Editorial Staff @ 5:15 pm

The Dan Abrams Show: Where Politics Meets The Law this week showcases three of the best law enforcement experts on cable television.

Co-host Sean Larkin, who started as a patrol officer and member of the Gang Unit of the Tulsa Police Department, was often broadcast on Live PD. He quickly become a fan — and host — favorite.

Larkin says the attention he receives as an officer is many times amplified by the popularity of Live PD, but Dan is not convinced that’s all.

“These are many women who are saying ‘Hey, did you see that cop over there, he’s a sexy police man.’”

The other co-host is Tom Morris Jr., former America’s Most Wanted senior correspondent and Washington DC special police officer, who joined the show without fully realizing what he signed onto. In the podcast, Morris recounts his first day on set, where he believed the show to be much shorter than its actual runtime.

“As we approached the second hour ending, I said to the studio crew ‘well we’re almost done’ they go ‘uh, no dude, we got another hour’ I said ‘what, this is three hours long?’”

And the three hours of filming twice every weekend requires more than your typical control room producers.

The production of Live PD is very staff and technology heavy. Live PD records and broadcasts numerous police departments across the country. Producers have to monitor all incoming feeds simultaneously and determine which viewers should see. Sean’s unique experience as a patrol officer positions him to lead in-depth discussions of the filming experience on the ground and in studio.  Larkin explained:

“To have somebody stationed in your car – there’s a producer, there’s a camera man, and a sound guy…and I had a partner, so it was a very, very packed police car.”

Later, describing the process of broadcasting the show:

“There’s 32 live feeds coming in, I don’t know how many audio feeds that are coming in”

The trio discuss the phenomena of Live PD Nation which has garnered an expansive online fan base; the K9 officers who risk life and safety like their handler counterparts; and the most important contributions Live PD offers viewers and their communities.

Will Mueller Actually Subpoena President Trump?

August 9, 2018
Filed under: Blog,Writing — Editorial Staff @ 8:00 pm

One thing that anyone following the Trump/Giuliani/Mueller interview dance has to realize at this point is that there is really no way that the President is going to voluntarily sit down with the Special Counsel. While Giuliani has flip-flopped on the question, when asked this week if the President would agree to testify under oath he candidly responded: “Come on, you think we are fools?”

The bottom line is that despite the public gamesmanship and talk of possible terms, under oath or not, the President almost certainly can’t and won’t take the risk.

So the question that will have to be resolved in the days to come is whether Mueller will subpoena– try to force– the President to testify in front of a grand jury. Independent Counsel Ken Starr prepared to subpoena President Clinton before he ultimately agreed to answer questions, under oath.

I have been publicly predicting that Mueller would not take the subpoena plunge. Not because the President would succeed in any legal challenge. The Supreme Court in the Nixon case ruled: “Neither the doctrine of separation of powers, nor the need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances.” Yes, there are differences here from both the Paula Jones/Clinton case (civil v. criminal) and the Nixon ruling (subpoena of tapes v. testimony) but in the end, Mueller’s legal odds would be more than good.

The primary reason Mueller wouldn’t move forward with a subpoena is because the President has likely become what is called a target of the investigation. There are three designations used by federal prosecutors: witness, subject and target. If he was just a witness, there would no obstacles to issuing a subpoena. The president’s lawyers have claimed that he has been deemed a “subject,” which is defined in the US Attorney manual as “a person whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury’s investigation.” Think of it as legal purgatory. A target, on the other hand, is “a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant.”

Even though few expect Mueller to seek to indict a sitting president, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t investigating him the same way they would anyone else. And typically a prosecutor would not subpoena a target because, in essence the defendant would be called in front of a grand jury just to invoke his/her fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. The goal of a subpoena is not to just create a constitutional show, but to get testimony and evidence which you won’t get from a target.

But what has me questioning my previous assessment, is that Giuliani now seems to be working off a timeline. While on the one hand publicly admitting that delaying the process works to the president’s advantage, he rushed to submit his response to Mueller yesterday. So has Mueller threatened to subpoena the president? Almost certainly. Will he actually do it? I am still betting no but with far less confidence than I initially had.

I asked my followers on twitter who are lawyers and legal geeks to weigh in on the question and they were similarly divided. Here is a sampling of the responses on both sides.

Yes, Trump will get subpoenaed

No, Trump will not get subpoenaed

 

Lincoln’s Last Trial named a NYT Bestseller

June 18, 2018
Filed under: Writing — Editorial Staff @ 2:39 pm

On this week’s New York Time’s Bestseller List, Dan’s new book Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency was listed as number nine in the bestselling non-fiction books, just below John McCain’s memoir and edging out James Comey’s book A Higher Loyalty for a spot in the top ten.

Publisher’s Weekly Review of Lincoln’s Last Trial

April 30, 2018
Filed under: Writing — Editorial Staff @ 4:27 pm

Set for a June 5th release date, check out Publishers Weekly’s advanced review of Dan’s new book, Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case that Propelled Him to the Presidency, below.

Publishers Weekly Review

Trump’s Attack on Hispanic Judge Not a Two Sided Issue Requiring Media ‘Balance’

June 7, 2016
Filed under: Writing — Tags: , , , , , — Editorial Staff @ 2:57 pm

Donald Trump recently claimed that having Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a Hispanic judge, preside over one of the lawsuits against Trump University, is somehow biased against Trump. Trump went on to say that even a Muslim judge might be unfit to hear a case against him as well, a comment denounced by the vast majority of Republican leaders for being bigoted and undermining the judicial system. Dan recently wrote an article for Mediaite.com  on this issue NOT requiring media balance or an objective light, he commented, “In certain cases, the two sides are much simpler: right and wrong. In those relatively rare cases, it should be the media’s obligation and duty to shed the veneer of “objectivity” and specifically and vociferously call it what it is. Wrong. Donald Trump‘s claim that Judge Gonzalo Curiel, presiding over one of the lawsuits against Trump University, is somehow biased against him because he is “Mexican”(born in Indiana of course) is one of those cases.” Read the full article here.

 

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