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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Had just started on Reliable Sources a couple of months before this occurred. Saddest thing I’ve ever seen to that point and, perhaps, for all-time because of who he was. Even during the Monica Mess, the personal destruction that was taking place involved people who knew it was part of the bargain, part of the deal with the Devil for the lives they chose to lead. Jewell was a humble, quiet, nice man and he never knew what was about to hit him – and stick to him – forever.
I remember the complete lack of respect for another human being, both on the part of the FBI leaker and the news organizations which immediately convicted him. And Rudolph got away to kill again. Did we learn anything? You know the answer to that, even though we helped put him into an early grave.