In a sloppily written tweet as slipshod and slovenly as his so-called “journalism,” left-wing NBC reporter Tom Brokaw kind of expressed remorse Wednesday for the role he had played in smearing and nearly ruining the life of Richard Jewell, who died in 2007 from complications of diabetes.
After the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, the media jumped to conclusions, as usual, and falsely blamed the domestic terror attack on the very security guard, Richard Jewell, responsible for saving lives during the horrific attack.
One of those who participated in Jewell’s smearing was Brokaw, who at the time served as the anchor of “NBC Nightly News.”
In tweets chockablock with spelling and punctuation errors, Brokaw kind of expressed remorse for that smear job on Christmas Day.
re richard jewell. 24 hours after the bombing i talked at length with a sr fbi official – who did not wave me off jewel as a suspect.
i reported that and speculated why. but my last line was for now he’s just a person of interest.
when the truth emerged i apologized.
— Tom Brokaw (@tombrokaw) December 25, 2019
nbc made a substantial $ payment to the family without going through contentious negotiaton.
richard and his mother went through a painful time which i deeply regret. i hope we all learned a lesson, includjng the FBI which was my principal source
— Tom Brokaw (@tombrokaw) December 25, 2019
The horrifyingly poor way in which he penned these tweets seems to speak to how little he cares for accuracy in tweeting … and reporting.
Writing for the Washington Examiner on Thursday, commentator Becket Adams — a former contributor to CNN’s “S.E. Cupp Unfiltered” — argued that even Brokaw’s statement of remorse was riddled with clear-cut errors.
To hear Brokaw tell it, he’d merely “reported” what the FBI had told him and then used that information to later “speculate” that Jewell was a suspect.
But according to Adams, that’s a lie.
“This is an awfully generous characterization of Brokaw’s contributions to the media frenzy that destroyed the life of the heroic security guard. So generous, in fact, that it qualifies as historical revisionism,” he noted.
Members of the left-wing media do admittedly like partaking in historical revisionism .
“The speculation is that the FBI is close to ‘making the case’ in their language,'” is what Brokaw reportedly actually said back in 1996. “They probably have enough to arrest him right now, probably enough to prosecute him. But you always want to have enough to convict him as well. There are still some holes in this case.”
In subsequent broadcasts, Brokaw reportedly added that Jewell was “on the shortlist of suspects” and that he was “still the central focus.”
FYI, it’s now known and has been known for decades that Jewell was always innocent. It’s a damning revelation — one that ultimately cost NBC News half a million dollars in a court settlement with the maligned security guard.
In the settlement, however, NBC refused to accept responsibility, saying only that both sides had “resolved” their differences “after a vigorous and thoughtful exchange of views in which both sides defended the correctness of their positions.”
So there was certainly no apology from NBC. And according to Adams, there was certainly never an apology from Brokaw either, despite what he’d tweeted, which was that, “[W]hen the truth emerged [I] apologized.”
“I find no evidence of Brokaw doing any such thing in 1996 after Jewell was cleared as a potential suspect,” Adams maintained in his piece for the Examiner.
“I checked the LexisNexis archives and found nothing. Searches of NBC News’s online properties also yielded no results. Neither NBCUniversal Archives nor NBC News have responded to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment. If Brokaw ever did say he was sorry, it would have come as a surprise to Jewell, who told a Chicago Tribune columnist in 2003 that ‘nobody had apologized to him.'”
Fact-check: HALF TRUE.
In 2013, a Chicago Tribune columnist ran a piece citing a “60 Minutes” interview from CBS recorded a year earlier in which Jewell had said that nobody had apologized to him.
“Nobody’s ever called me, written me a letter, sent me an Email, called any of my attorneys,” he’d said in the 2002 interview with CBS’s Mike Wallace, the father of Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
The full interview may be seen below:
“NBC News itself certainly never apologized to Jewell, who died in 2007 from heart failure. In fact, contemporaneous reporting at the time of NBC’s settlement with the maligned security guard states specifically that the network went out of its way to avoid an apology,” Adams added.
So to recap, neither NBC nor Brokaw ever apologized for their speculatory reporting. Meanwhile, Brokaw has claimed otherwise, thus telling a bald-faced lie. And he’s done so in such a sloppy manner that even the average 5th grader would likely be disgusted.
“The closest NBC came to admitting error in 1996 was during a brief Dec. 9 news segment in which Brokaw quickly recited the basics of the network’s settlement with Jewell,” Adams’ piece concluded. “The lead anchor then moved on to the next news item without offering an apology to the hero of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing.”
“There are some who may feel compelled this week to give Brokaw an ‘attaboy’ for apologizing to a dead man 23 years after the fact. I am not one of those people.”
Fair enough, especially when you factor in the myriads of additional smear jobs that have emerged over the years?
All of this has come into the limelight as of late because of the release of Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell,” a biographical drama that recounts the hell Jewell experienced because of the media’s accusations.
Watch the film’s trailer below:
Everybody makes mistakes, including even the president. But it’d be nice if those who do make mistakes would be more forthcoming and candid about their errors in judgment. It’d also be nice if they’d learn how to write correctly, for Pete’s sake …
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