Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell” is officially a newcomer to the end-of-the-year crowded Oscar race. It tells the story of Richard Jewell’s experience as a security guard during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia where he discovered a backpack filled with three pipe bombs on the park grounds during the worldwide event.
Jewell helped evacuate the area before the bomb exploded, saving countless lives from injury and death. The media and public initially hailed him as a hero but things took a dramatic turn when he was suddenly considered a suspect and ultimately demonized by the media.
And Clint Eastwood’s upcoming dramatic retelling of Richard Jewell’s story will absolutely slaughter the U.S. media and FBI investigators on the case.
The American public has never before seen the kind of slanderous accusations quite like how the liberal mainstream media portrays President Donald Trump.
Still fuming about his defeat over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in late 2016, no president has faced as much ridicule from the liberal media quite like President Trump, and that includes former President Richard Nixon.
We are officially seeing the power of the media in real time and how they can sway public opinion to fit individual journalist’s political agenda.
That’s exactly what happened with Richard Jewell, a former police officer who turned security guard, during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
You may have seen the trailer for Clint Eastwood’s upcoming Oscar contender about the story behind what happened to Jewell, but if you haven’t, you can watch it here.
At one point, Watson Bryant (Sam Rockwell), says “His accusers are two of the most powerful forces in the world… the United States government and the media.”
At another point, Bryant says to Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser), “They want to fry you.” Olivia Wilde plays a journalist, Kathy Scruggs, who says at one point, “Jewell fits the profile of the lone bomber, a frustrated white man who is a police wannabe who seeks to become a hero.”
And the public bought in to the new narrative the media was pedaling on Jewell.
That’s the overall theme/message Eastwood wants to get across and it couldn’t be any more poignant than what’s happening right now.
Some critics have already seen the film and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution took issue with the way the news institution was portrayed in the film. An AJC reporter who attended a private screening of the film recently told the AJC’s editor, Kevin Riley, that they took issue with several storylines including one where Wilde’s character traded sex for information.
Riley told Fox News, “There is no evidence that this ever happened, and if the film portrays this, it’s offensive and deeply troubling in the #MeToo era. Kathy Scruggs was the AJC reporter who got the initial information that law enforcement was pursuing Jewell. Scruggs was known as an aggressive reporter and committed journalist who sought always to beat her competition.”
Riley also added, “This is essential because the underlying theme of the movie is that the FBI and press are not to be trusted. As more and more filmmaking has come to Atlanta and Georgia, we’ve gotten a taste of just how difficult it can be to cover this industry.”
But maybe that’s the point the writers and Eastwood are making in this era of incredulous unaccountable era of journalism.
So many journalists don’t hold themselves to high editorial standards so why can’t a dramatization of Richard Jewell’s story do the same thing?
That’s the message Eastwood is trying to convey to journalists: be better, people’s lives are on the line.