News & Politics

Journos Hate the Taste of Their Own Medicine

(Promotional poster for "Richard Jewell")

Today sees the release of Richard Jewell, Clint Eastwood’s biopic of the eponymous Atlanta security guard who was falsely accused of setting off a bomb at the 1996 Olympic Games. And the movie has given our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters a perfect opportunity to remind us who was the real victim in that story: the press!

Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer:

At a screening Tuesday night, I saw Richard Jewell so you won’t have to, when it opens nationally Friday. Rarely have I seen a film that was so “of the moment” — but in the worst possible way. In the time of a reality-TV president, Eastwood seamlessly blends facts with outright fiction to create a narrative that transcends truth. To get viewers riled up about “fake news,” it fabricates a story. Yet, in the end, in making this movie intended to crush any remaining public faith in the news media, Eastwood has unintentionally reminded us of why democracy requires a functioning free press.

Oh no! Bunch then complained about that one time Eastwood talked to an empty chair at the 2012 RNC, at which point I stopped reading. Republicans Bad, we get it.

And what exactly is upsetting Bunch and the rest of that sullen, um, bunch? Apparently the movie implies that one of the reporters who went after Jewell, portrayed by actress Olivia Wilde, slept with a source to get information about the story.

If you’re upset about that, Wilde feels your pain:

Okay. Good to know.

So there you have it. Richard Jewell is a story about an innocent man whose life was ruined by the press, and also, the real victim is the press. Because, possibly, some artistic license was taken in a movie “based on a true story.” Journos, and journo sympathizers, are behaving as if this has never happened before in the history of the world. As if this is the first time a real-life person depicted in a fictional film has ever been misrepresented in any way. It’s different this time, because now it’s happening to them. This sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen to them.

That’s also why they hate James O’Keefe. Back in October O’Keefe sent his hidden camera into CNN to reveal things they would rather he didn’t, and once again he’s getting results. Lindsey Ellefson, The Wrap:

Steve Brusk, most recently the supervising producer of CNN Politics, left the company two weeks ago, TheWrap has learned. Brusk’s resignation came about a month after he was the subject of a Project Veritas video released as part of its #ExposeCNN campaign…

Brusk did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on whether the “stress of the last several weeks” referred to the Project Veritas video, which featured two CNN employees who did not work with Brusk and were recorded without their knowledge as they shared second-hand accusations of misconduct against him.

“Recorded without their knowledge.” Yeah, uh, that’s why it’s called a hidden-camera exposé. Journos have no problem with that technique when mainstream news outlets use it. It was fine when 60 Minutes or Deadline NBC did it. Hell, hidden-camera footage arguably derailed Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. Journos only pretend it’s something unusual when it’s employed against them. Now they know what it feels like to be duped like that, and they hate it, and they don’t see the irony.

For all my criticisms of the Trump era, I’m glad journalists are finally getting a taste of their own medicine. And the less they enjoy the flavor, the higher we should set the dosage.