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4. Trial by media for hero in Atlanta bombing
On July 27, 1996, a week into the Summer Olympics, a security guard found a suspicious package at Centennial Olympic Park and alerted state law enforcement. This being before the days of “see something, say something,” the media jumped on the security guard, Richard Jewell, as the likely suspect—based on word that the FBI was treating him as a “person of interest.” The media frenzy led to lawsuits by victims of the bombing (it killed one and injured 11) against Richard Jewell. Domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph was eventually charged with and sentenced for the crime, after bombing two abortion clinics in the Atlanta area in 1997, and Jewell sued both the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and NBC News, the network which happens to have held exclusive U.S. broadcast rights for the Olympics since 1988.
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