Falsely Accused: The Sad Life Of Richard Jewell

The mainstream media have a sad track record of labeling innocent people as murderers.

Just last month, several news organizations named the wrong man in the Navy Yard shootings. The New York Post identified the wrong Boston Marathon bombers. Many news outlets reported that Adam Lanza’s innocent brother was the Newtown school shooter.

But one name symbolizes the media’s rush to judgment more than any other: Richard Jewell.

Jewell was the Georgia security guard who discovered a backpack filled with explosives at the Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He notified police, who began clearing the area—but the explosives detonated before the area could be cleared, killing one person and injuring more than 100.

Many news organizations named Jewell as a suspect. He was later exonerated. But his life was never the same, and he died at the early age of 44 in 2007.

Retro Report released a terrific look back at his case today, which shows the high personal cost of the media’s too-frequent rush to judgment. It’s worth watching.

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