Time for a Medal for Richard Jewell

Watching the news coverage of the capture of Eric Rudolph, I had exactly the same thoughts that Mike Downey noted in the Chicago Tribune — can we now finally give Richard Jewell a medal or something?

After all, Jewell’s heads up attention to detail and quick action in beginning the evacuation of the Olympic Park back in 1996 certainly saved many lives. And in return for this, Jewell’s life was basically ruined by the FBI and the media who effortlessly switched from a “Jewell as hero” script to a “Jewell as pathetic loner because he lives with his mother” script (and some of these folks complain that weblogs can’t be trusted because there’s no editor or organization ensuring people don’t go off on wild speculation.)

Jewell did receive $500,000 from NBC and still has a lawsuit pending against the bastards at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who actually compared him to convicted child serial killer Wayne Williams (who also lived with his mother). If you want to see an example of “journalism” at its very worst, Jewell’s complaint against the Journal-Constitution is a great place to start — the paper even claimed that Jewell had contacted them for interviews and additional publicity which was completely untrue. Jayson Blair would have fit in well there.

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