Thin-Skinned Media Can’t Abide Being the Bad Guys in ‘Richard Jewell’

 

“Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell — based on a true story — is a well-made, well-acted picture about a clear act of injustice against an innocent man,” Time magazine’s movie critic Stephanie Zacharek begins. “So why does it leave such a sour aftertaste?”

Criticism of the new film stems from the same source: thin-skinned journalists. Our brave firefighters are always eager to trash every group of Americans. Evil CEOs, corrupt politicians (at least those with an R after their name), and the troglodytes in flyover country have been bombarded with weak accusations and bad faith as long as the news media has existed. But when anyone points the finger at their misdeeds, the press cries foul.

In real life, Jewell discovered a bomb at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park in 1996, saving the lives of many innocents. In a few days, he went from hero to public enemy number one due to FBI leaks and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s lousy reporting. Jewell died in 2007 at the age of 44.

In the era of St. Comey and “democracy dies in darkness,” casting these deeply flawed institutions as villains is an unpardonable sin.

Zacharek complains that Eastwood “shows particular vitriol and distaste” for the AJC reporter, Kathy Scruggs. Maybe because she’s a bad reporter who ruined a man’s life? Nah, couldn’t be.

“Scruggs — who died in 2001 — was a real person,” the reviewer says. “It’s telling that Eastwood makes her into the bigger cartoon, when she’s no longer here to defend herself.”

Much like Richard Jewell himself.

There are 11 comments.

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  1. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    Heh, heh. If Eastwood seeks to re-focus the Richard Jewell story into an epic that lets the public see who the real Jewell was, while pillorying the least noble profession out there at the same time, kudos to him.

    I remember all the brouhaha over Jewell as one crazed bomber, but the fact he was innocent after all was not nearly as widely explained.

    I feel very bad for what Jewell and his mom went through. For the reporters whose ineptness is now exposed,  not so much.

     

    • #1
  2. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    They all imagine they’re “Woodward and Bernstein”  when most are closer to Walter Duranty.

    • #2
  3. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

     

    Zacharek complains that Eastwood “shows particular vitriol and distaste” for the AJC reporter, Kathy Scruggs. Maybe because she’s a bad reporter who ruined a man’s life? Nah, couldn’t be.

    Since Woodward & Bernstein the media has been anointed as our special sacred cow. How dare Eastwood suggest otherwise.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #3
  4. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    The Press was evil but the FBI was even worse. Sad to say, but no one should ever cooperate with law enforcement unless you have an attorney with you.

    • #4
  5. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    The AJC taking Eastwood and Warner Bros. to court on this would simply open up their reporting from 20-plus years ago to renewed public scrutiny. In the current era of declining newspaper sales, it would take a lot of hubris to want to do that, and basically extend the publicity on the film out well into 2020 and possibly all the way into 2021. It makes more sense if this is simply the paper’s way to try and stir up some negative publicity for the movie as it comes out, in hopes of depressing viewership, where any threat of a lawsuit would be dropped after the buzz about the picture has passed.

    • #5
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Kozak (View Comment):

    They all imagine they’re “Woodward and Bernstein” when most are closer to Walter Duranty.

    The New Criterion and PJ Media have apparently presented a “Walter Duranty Prize” annually since 2012.

    • #6
  7. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    The press has a sacred duty to report the unbiased news and brave, front-line reporters risk everything to do this every day – I read this in a newspaper, so it must be true. 

    • #7
  8. Vectorman Member
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    TBA (View Comment):

    The press has a sacred duty to report the unbiased news and brave, front-line reporters risk everything to do this every day – I read this in a newspaper, so it must be true.

    • #8
  9. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    God bless Clint Eastwood — the only sane man in Hollywood.

    • #9
  10. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    I look forward to seeing it this weekend.

    God bless Clint Eastwood — the only sane man in Hollywood.

    He is 89 and  we will not see his like again.  We had lots of great movie makers in 1948 but they all died out and left us with hacks.  I read movie history and have a DVD collection but see a new movie about 4 times a year, if that.

    • #10
  11. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I think the MSM should use the same amount of ink and airtime to combat this grave injustice that was used by Richard Jewell to defend himself.

    • #11

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