When media makes a villain out of a hero.
The year was 1996. The Olympics were taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. Some time after midnight on July 27th, a security guard found a pipe bomb under a bench in the Centennial Olympic Park. The security guard, notified the police, and then, with the help of other security guards, began evacuating people. When the bomb exploded, minutes later, one was killed, and over a hundred others injured. Nevertheless, that security guard saved hundreds.
That security guard was Richard Jewell, who enjoyed a couple of days of feeling like a hero. Until the FBI leaked to the media that they were looking at Richard Jewell as a suspect in the case. Media went into overdrive. NBC, CNN, and even Jay Leno among others went about making Richard Jewell a household name as the bomber, even though he was never formally charged.
In the end, Jewell was exonerated and the real bomber found. But not before Jewell’s life was ruined in a trial by media.
Clint Eastwood has directed the new movie Richard Jewell telling the store of this real life hero who was treated as a villain by media. The film stars Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, and Paul Walter Hauser as Richard Jewell. See the first trailer below.