The Atlanta Journal-Constitution chose to put the obit for Richard Jewell, the maligned Olympic Park bombing hero, on the front page — of the metro section. Questionable stories that were deemed more important than Jewell included an article about British attitudes toward royals following Princess Diana’s death.
Apparently, the AJC’s long libel battle with Jewel affected their news judgment. In the end, Jewell was a hero. As a security guard at Olympic Park, he first spotted Eric Rudolph’s suspicious bag. His alertness saved countless lives, a fact that Gov. Perdue noted last year:
“The bottom line is this: His actions saved lives that day,” said Perdue. “Mr. Jewell, on behalf of Georgia, we want to thank you for keeping Georgians safe and doing your job during the course of those Games.”
It’s a shame that the AJC couldn’t overlook the libel lawsuit and put Jewell’s death in its proper place — on the front page.