Newsweek

The Cautionary Tale of Richard Jewell: How a Hero Became a Media Victim

The 24/7 news cycle was still new when Richard Jewell was wrongly accused of planting a bomb at the Atlanta Summer Olympics.
Hero No Longer Richard Jewell holds up the original Atlanta Journal-Constitution article that first identified him as the target of the FBI investigation.
CUL_RichardJewell_01_Banner Source: Courtesy of Dana Jewell

In 2019 we are used to a 24/7 news cycle driven by social media, cable news, relentless leaks of confidential information and widespread conspiracy theories.

But a lot of that was still novel in 1996, when Richard Jewell was wrongly accused of planting a bomb at the Atlanta Summer Olympics. Spotlighted in a new book The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle (Abrams Press) by Kevin Salwen and Kent Alexander, and in Clint Eastwood's movie Richard Jewell, Jewell's story is a cautionary tale of rush to judgment.

Jewell was the security guard who spotted an unattended bag containing a pipe bomb in Centennial Park in the early

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