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https://www.thewrap.com/atlant...l-ahead-of-premiere/

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editor Questions Accuracy of Clint Eastwood’s ‘Richard Jewell’ Ahead of Premiere

“It’s also ironic that a film purporting to hold the media to account disregards such crucial facts,” newspaper’s editor-in-chief Kevin G. Riley says

Brian Welk | November 18, 2019 @ 9:33 AM
Last Updated: November 18, 2019 @ 12:10 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is questioning the accuracy of Clint Eastwood’s film “Richard Jewell” ahead of its premiere on Wednesday.

In a letter obtained by TheWrap, AJC editor-in-chief Kevin G. Riley challenged the portrayal of the newspaper in the film, according to an unnamed colleague Riley said had seen it. Riley said Eastwood depicted Journal-Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs trading sex with an FBI agent in exchange for a tip on a story, but he stated that there is no evidence this ever happened and that Scruggs herself is deceased.

Riley also defended the paper’s reporting of the Richard Jewell case, challenging the notion in the film that the paper ran its story based on questionable sourcing, that the paper’s decision making was unsound and that the paper failed to challenge law enforcement’s investigation.

“This is essential because the underlying theme of the movie is that the FBI and press are not to be trusted. Yet the way the press is portrayed often differs from reality,” Riley said in the letter to TheWrap on Monday. “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. I share this information in the spirit of a fellow journalist who knows how crucial it remains to have solid information when covering demanding stories. It’s also ironic that a film purporting to hold the media to account disregards such crucial facts.”

Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Richard Jewell” is the story of a security guard at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta who was wrongfully accused of being a terrorist in connection with a bombing attempt at Centennial Olympic Park. Richard Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser) had discovered a backpack filled with explosives and was initially deemed a hero for helping to evacuate attendees and alert law enforcement, but he was later considered a suspect before finally being cleared.

Eastwood directed the film from a screenplay by Billy Ray based on a magazine article by Marie Brenner. It makes its world premiere Wednesday at the AFI Film Festival and opens in theaters Dec. 13.

Riley says he has not personally seen the film, but that the paper’s reporting on the movie is based on a colleague who attended a preview screening.

Riley’s first point of clarification involves reporter Scruggs, who died in 2001 at age 42. Riley says there is no evidence that Scruggs ever exchanged sex with an FBI agent for a tip on a story.

“There is no evidence that this ever happened, and if the film portrays this, it’s offensive and deeply troubling in the #MeToo era,” Riley said. “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 said the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was also the first to report that authorities were questioning Jewell as a suspect in the bombing. He added that the AJC delayed the story to obtain independent confirmation of the story’s key facts beyond the original source and that an AJC reporter read the entire story to an FBI spokesman to confirm its accuracy before publishing. However, Riley said that Eastwood’s film shows the paper publishing the story calling Jewell a suspect despite questionable sourcing.

“The decision to publish was influenced by several factors, including the AJC’s confirmation from law-enforcement sources that they were focusing on Jewell, and highly visible FBI activity at Jewell’s apartment — where agents were preparing to execute a search warrant,” Riley wrote.

He said the film portrays Journal-Constitution reporters and editors as “unthoughtful,” but that the paper’s actions helped get law enforcement’s investigation into the public eye.

“By publishing the story, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was the first to make the public, including Jewell’s own lawyer, aware of the government’s pursuit of Jewell as a suspect,” Riley said. “The AJC’s leaders also recognized that law enforcement’s suspicions of Jewell were about to be made public whether or not the AJC published its story. The story placed law enforcement’s investigation in the public’s view and within its scrutiny.”

Finally, Riley says the film credits Jewell’s legal team with being the first to call out the FBI’s flawed theory in making Jewell a suspect, but that the AJC first challenged the investigation with a front page story. Riley says the film suggests the AJC never questioned law enforcement and stuck to its original story, but that by continuing to pursue the story, the paper helped lead to Jewell’s exoneration.

“Two and a half months before the federal government cleared Jewell, our reporters demonstrated that the FBI’s theory was impossible,” Riley said. “They showed that the 911 call made from a pay phone by the bomber could not have been made by Jewell; they simply paced off the time it took to walk from the phone to Jewell’s position in Centennial Olympic Park when he reported the finding the bomb. The newspaper published that story on its front page, and it changed the course of the investigation. Jewell’s lawyer made a similar walk with TV reporters in tow after the AJC reporters did.”

Riley acknowledges that the film is not a documentary but an entertaining film based on real life events, but stands by the paper’s reporting as undisputed.

“We welcome an accurate review of what happened and our role. And some of our key folks in this story are still around,” Riley said.
 
Posts: 14191 | Location: Eastern Iowa | Registered: May 21, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Come on. They're not fooling anyone who was around back then. Look at the headline in the pic I posted on the previous page. If they were being objective, the headline would have been "Guard Denies Planting Bomb".

Instead, they called Jewell a 'Hero' in quotations. Give me a freaking break. They were sure that Jewell was guilty. The truth hurts, and in this case, it's long overdue. The AJC was biased and arrogant, thinking they had it figured out because of some things they found out about Jewell's past job and they publicly declared the man guilty, but they got it wrong. They can deny it all they want, but it's the truth. They were wrong and they went out of their way to ruin the man's life. Jewell passed away at a young age and now cannot speak for himself, but Clint Eastwood can speak for him, and has, and I'll be in the theater on December 13th to support the truth.
 
Posts: 89439 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Telling cops where to go for over 25 years
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quote:
...Riley said Eastwood depicted Journal-Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs trading sex with an FBI agent in exchange for a tip on a story, but he stated that there is no evidence this ever happened and that Scruggs herself is deceased.



Pot meet kettle....

I am only partially educated on this event, but didn’t the paper accuse Jewel when ”... there is no evidence this ever happened...”






What part of "...Shall not be infringed" don't you understand???



 
Posts: 9023 | Location: Western WA state for just a few more years... | Registered: February 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
PopeDaddy
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quote:
Originally posted by parabellum:
Come on. They're not fooling anyone who was around back then. Look at the headline in the pic I posted on the previous page. If they were being objective, the headline would have been "Guard Denies Planting Bomb".

Instead, they called Jewell a 'Hero' in quotations. Give me a freaking break. They were sure that Jewell was guilty. The truth hurts, and in this case, it's long overdue. The AJC was biased and arrogant, thinking they had it figured out because of some things they found out about Jewell's past job and they publicly declared the man guilty, but they got it wrong. They can deny it all they want, but it's the truth. They were wrong and they went out of their way to ruin the man's life. Jewell passed away at a young age and now cannot speak for himself, but Clint Eastwood can speak for him, and has, and I'll be in the theater on December 13th to support the truth.


Here here !!!

~STANDING OVATION~


0:01
 
Posts: 3458 | Location: ALABAMA | Registered: January 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just saw it today. Excellent movie. Go see it. That is all.


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Posts: 1862 | Location: Northeast Georgia | Registered: November 18, 2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Riley says he has not personally seen the film, but that the paper’s reporting on the movie is based on a colleague who attended a preview screening.


Isn't this the same kind of stuff we've all been watching during the impeachment smearings? "I didn't see it, but someone I know saw it..." Egads.




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Posts: 2193 | Location: Peoples Republic of North Virginia | Registered: December 04, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Went to see the movie yesterday with my grandson. Highest recommendation. I liked it a lot. Go see it!
 
Posts: 307 | Location: New Jersey  | Registered: May 03, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I hope Ma Jewell got $3,000,000.00 for the movie rights





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Posts: 48952 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I saw it last night, not very many people in the theater but it was a Monday night. I honestly didn't realize the extent of how he was treated, I know the movie always has a level of drama and excitement added but it was sad to see how things worked out. I wasn't going to watch it then I started to see all these stories about how Eastwood's latest movie was a total flop I said to myself must be worth watching then. It was a good movie and I enjoyed it very much, Sam Rockwell was good and a good contrast to Paul Hauser.
 
Posts: 2035 | Location: Central TX | Registered: February 02, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting that the reporter Kathy Scruggs, died an early death as well. What's known is she was aggressive in her job as a police reporter, so aggressive that it was her undoing as she published much of what the FBI was forming in their investigation, and Jewell was found guilt by the court of public media and opinion, rather than any legal court.

Sounds like when things were sorted out, Scruggs was the scapegoat for an over-eager newspaper, ostracized by peers and ended up spiraling into drink and possible overdose as the defamation lawsuit piled-up. She played into the hands of an aggressive editor.

I think I'll have to watch this weekend.
 
Posts: 9678 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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CBS seems to think that no one was interested
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/r...wilde-kathy-scruggs/





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Posts: 48952 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Slight thread drift:

The FBI also publicly accused the wrong guy in 2002 after an anthrax scare:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Hatfill
 
Posts: 14191 | Location: Eastern Iowa | Registered: May 21, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good movie. As usual Rockwell was great. Jon Hamm played a good self righteous assbag.


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Posts: 13059 | Location: Charlotte, NC | Registered: May 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sad thing is I remembered Richard Jewell as the bomber, until the Catholic School boys incident.

News reports back then were not commonly thought of as fake news.

Fake news first became evident to me with George Zimmerman and the doctored 911 call.

Here is a video from 7 years ago.
Interesting to note that instead of getting better the media has doubled down and they don’t even care anymore when caught.




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Posts: 3422 | Location: NC | Registered: December 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by bendable:
CBS seems to think that no one was interested
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/r...wilde-kathy-scruggs/


CBS is right. People would rather go watch 2 lezbos kiss in the make believe Star Wars movie than support the Richard Jewell movie.


—————————
Indefatigably succinct.
 
Posts: 1862 | Location: Northeast Georgia | Registered: November 18, 2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 48952 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by PowerSurge:
quote:
Originally posted by bendable:
CBS seems to think that no one was interested
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/r...wilde-kathy-scruggs/


CBS is right. People would rather go watch 2 lezbos kiss in the make believe Star Wars movie than support the Richard Jewell movie.


Sad but true, and you have people defending it on here.

What’s interesting in the link is

quote:
In comparison, "Jumanji: The Next Level," which also premiered this weekend, grossed more than $60 million in the U.S. and $212 million worldwide between December 13 through 15, making it the highest-earning film this weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.


Fucking Jumanji. LMAO. It’s just Idiocracy going on and speeding up. This fake controversy over Clint’s new film Roll Eyes
I’d be happy to go pay some money to see this but I’ll go and there will be people on their phone ruining the experience. I have one final pass left to go to the movies and I’m saving it for Uncut Gems. It will probably be the last time I ever visit a cineplex due to the epidemic phone use. The herd are just dumb as rocks and all the films are going that way to please their bird sized brains.



lex talionis
 
Posts: 9710 | Registered: January 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just do a little research on Kathy Scruggs and you will discover she was nothing more than a bottom feeding nightcrawler.

A real piece of shit. Drunk, druggie trash.

She tampered with evidence at crime scenes, would use a scanner to get there first and totally contaminate it just to get the "story".


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Posts: 31472 | Location: North, GA | Registered: October 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Watched it, enjoyed it. If nothing else it filled in some details beyond what I knew. I wonder how much was left open to look for the ‘real’ bomber early on?

I realize those involved are looked at, but let’s not channel 100% of the effort at them.

As always, ‘artistic license’ may of been at play, but seemed like some trickery & possible entrapment to trip up Jewell. 88 days was a lot of time to be under the microscope.
 
Posts: 3942 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've been meaning to post to this thread. I took the wife to see it a while back.

I liked this film and I am very grateful to Clint Eastwood for making it. I suspect he knew that it would not be a money maker and that makes me all the more grateful he got it done. Eastwood hit the filthy jackals hard, the ones we call the news media. He was not kind to the FBI, not in the slightest. I won't spoil anything for those who've not yet seen it, but he even got in a punch on academia.

I see now why Tom Brokaw spoke up this week about Richard Jewell, because his bias is shown more than once in the film. Feel guilty, Tom? Good, that's called having a conscience, I'm glad you found yours, or that it found you. Better late- very late- than never, I suppose.

I have to say that two performances in this film moved me to tears. Paul Walter Hauser was spot on, near perfect as Richard Jewell, and his gentle and poignant performance of Jewell is IMO Oscar-worthy, but I can't see the slithering leftist shits in Hollywood nominating this film for anything. I just can't see it. The message is all wrong, you see, and they can never admit the truth that an obese white male from the South could be a hero, and although I cringe at the overuse of that word, the late Richard Jewell was without any doubt a hero on that night in 1996. He saved lives. He and he alone saved lives that night. Hauser's performance drives home the obscene tragedy of the treatment Jewell received. I don't want to overstate it, but his performance touched me, and jaded, cynical film buff that I am, that really says a lot.
As an aside, this is the second film featuring Hauser which deals with events surrounding the Olympics. He played bodyguard Shawn Eckardt in the 2017 film I, Tonya, a film about the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan fiasco at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Having seen him in Richard Jewell, I'll now have to seek out this film. I am impressed.

The other performance in this film which moved me was Kathy Bates. I think casting her as Richard Jewell's mother was perfection. I remember the press conference in 1996 when Barbara Jewell spoke of how she and her son had been mistreated, and this press conference appears in the film. I think she did a great job which is worthy of a nomination for Best Supporting Actress, but, again, I just can't see Hollywood acknowledging this film at all.

Sam Rockwell, as Jewell's lawyer, is solid as always. I think Sam Rockwell is one of the best character actors around, a very talented man.

This film brought all of this tragedy back to me. It takes a lot to get me into a movie theater these days. If ayone can do it, Clint Eastwood can. The last film I saw in the theater was Eastwood's American Sniper, yet another film which would not have gotten made had it not been for Clint Eastwood, and the day will come in the not too distant future that there will be no more new Eastwood-directed films, and that, friends, will be a very sad say, indeed.
 
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