It was only a year ago that Sandmann was all over the news, branded as a hateful racist in a MAGA hat. The media got it wrong. Sandmann was in the news again the other day, after
Jewell and Sandmann were each publicly stripped of their honor through no fault of their own. Yes, "honor" is a terribly old-fashioned word, a bizarre medieval concept to some, but others can't live without it.
Jewell was a security guard at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He spotted a bomb in
But Jewell wasn't the bomber. The real bomber,
I've been a reporter most of my life, and "Richard Jewell" was unsettling. I've been in media packs staking out a story on some front lawn, the people frightened and unprepared and hiding inside.
Still, I'm glad I watched it. All of us need to be reminded.
"Richard Jewell" has been criticized for hinting that an
It wasn't proved, and was a terrible accusation against a now-dead reporter, and Eastwood should not have included it in the movie.
And still, for all that, "Richard Jewell" is an important film because it illustrates the herd mentality of journalism on a breaking, emotional story and how that can go horribly wrong.
And what of Sandmann? What was his true crime?
He was in the March for Life.
And he wore a red Make America Great Again Hat in support of President
Sandmann, Jewell and the destruction of reputation is old news now for some. Don't worry. There's always something new to grab at your eyeballs.
Trump is the only story for some. Look at any newspaper or TV network news show, and you'll see a few who can only write and talk about Trump. And when they're not talking Trump, they're insulting his supporters and vowing revenge -- perhaps hoping for another French Reign of Terror? -- against any American who doesn't hate Trump as much as they do.
Trump impeachment is a story.
But I'd rather think about
Sandmann, then 16, was branded as a racist over a video confrontation with an old man, Native American activist
Leftist mobs in the Twittersphere, that oily sea of anonymous partisan hate, clicked on anything that poured more hate on Sandmann. And journalism, desperate for clicks, served him up.
But Sandmann wasn't a hater. The haters were a group of angry Black Hebrew Israelites screaming horrible racist and homophobic taunts at the Covington kids and at
Sandmann wasn't doing any of that. He was just a white kid in a MAGA cap, confronted by the old man with the drum, and he smiled, nervously.
And for that, he was flayed by the media. All of it could have been avoided by the application of another terribly old-fashioned word: reporting.
But there was a mad media rush, and later, when passions cooled and it was established that the attacks on Sandmann were unfair, the subject came up on
I must confess that I don't watch "
But after the Sandmann story was straightened out,
"Because we're desperate to get Trump out of office," said co-host
And the studio audience laughed.
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