Richard Jewell

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

On Second Thought aired a special broadcast about the story of how Richard Jewell's life changed when The Atlanta-Journal Constitution published his name as the primary suspect in the 1996 bombings at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park.

In that audio documentary, we learn about how Jewell's legal team sued The Atlanta-Journal Constitution — along with other news organizations — for defamation. The AJC fought the suit, and eventually won. Now, the paper is disputing how it is being portrayed in the film Richard Jewell, which hit theaters Friday.


Greg Gibson / AP Photo

On Tuesday, July 30, 1996, Richard Jewell was praised as a hero by Katie Couric on NBC’S TODAY show. The security guard hired for the summer Olympics spoke about spotting a suspicious knapsack amidst some 50,000 revelers in Centennial Olympic Park. Two people died and 111 were injured when a bomb inside the bag exploded.  Jewell’s vigilance and the evacuation that followed likely save hundreds of lives. 

 

Less than 12 hours after chatting with Couric, Jewell was being questioned by the FBI as the primary suspect in the bombing.

 

 


 

 

John Harrell / AP

Clint Eastwood’s film Richard Jewell is out and, as a piece that is critical of journalists, it generated discussion before the first ticket was even sold. 

Like Eastwood’s film, Mistaken: The Real Story of Richard Jewell follows Jewell’s descent from hero to villain in the court of public opinion. And, while Mistaken diverges from Eastwood’s film in a number of ways, it is also an invitation to think critically about the role of journalism and how we, the public, consume it.

 

 

 

 

Claire Folger / AP

Ahead of the release of the film Richard Jewell, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has demanded a public statement from Warner Bros. acknowledging that some events in the film “were imagined for dramatic purposes.”

The movie centers on the titular character who discovered a bomb during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. First heralded for saving lives, Jewell was quickly deemed a suspect by the media before being cleared of any wrongdoing.

Abrams Press

On Tuesday, July 30, 1996, Richard Jewell was praised as a hero on NBC’s Today Show. The security guard hired for the Summer Olympics in Atlanta spotted a suspicious knapsack at Centennial Olympic Park, where tens of thousands of visitors gathered.

Two people died and 111 were injured when the bomb inside the knapsack exploded. Jewell’s vigilance and the evacuation that followed likely saved hundreds of lives. But less than 12 hours after chatting with Katie Couric, Jewell was being questioned by the FBI as the primary suspect in that bombing.