Now I’m physically incapable of seeing Richard Jewell, because of all the projectile vomiting


Never forget.

Richard Jewell was a security guard at the 1996 Summer Olympics, who discovered pipe bombs that had been planted on the grounds. They were disarmed, he was hailed as a hero, and then people became suspicious and wondered if he had put them there, to win attention. He was later cleared of the accusation.

He is now the subject of a Clint Eastwood movie, with the tagline, “A hero’s life is shattered by one massive, misplaced rush to judgement when the man who thwarted the 1996 Atlanta bombing was wrongly accused as the main suspect.” It’s a pretty good summary. I have no interest in seeing the movie, however, given Eastwood’s political bias.

Do you have a bucket nearby? You might want to be prepared.

American Patriot has put up a review of the movie. Given AmPat’s reputation, you might expect it to be jingoistic and stupid, and you’d be right.

Don’t rush to click on the link, though. There’s one more detail that you need to brace yourself for.

The review is written by…George Zimmerman. You know, the guy who murdered Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black kid who went to the store to buy candy and was then tracked and shot by vigilante Zimmerman.

You will not be surprised to learn that Zimmerman loved Richard Jewell, because he identifies with Jewell.

This movie hit home. I absolutely identified. Richard and I were both cop wannabes — or so the media told us. We were both gullible. We both believed law enforcement had our best interests at heart. We both believed reporters wanted the truth. We both believed everyone was basically good and then we both realized what fools we had been to believe all that.

As I sat there in the dark, my stomach in knots, I found myself wishing Richard was still alive so I could reach out and hug him and tell him, “Yes, Richard, you are a hero.”

Aww, poor George. He identifies with a guy who was falsely accused, because he thinks he was falsely accused. Unfortunately, the facts are that Jewell didn’t kill anyone, and in fact saved lives, while Zimmerman literally and accurately shot a young black boy (this is not in dispute) for being in his neighborhood; he was acquitted, thanks to Florida’s unjust “stand your ground” law. He has since sued the Martin family for $100 million, been arrested multiple times for domestic violence and disorderly conduct, and has tried to raise money by auctioning off the murder weapon.

He is no Richard Jewell.

I’d say shame on American Patriot for publishing that self-serving drivel, but AmPat has no shame.

Comments

  1. wzrd1 says

    Georgie, the professional victim, didn’t track anyone.
    Stalked is the word you were looking for.
    He stalked the kid, then against 911 operator instructions, confronted him, rightfully had his ass handed to him by the kid, then being utterly defenseless and harmless, shot the murderous minor child in self-defense of his aggression upon a minor child.

    Yeah, it’s worse than it sounds. I don’t think we need go into his activities since, felony charges of domestic abuse involving a firearm, road rage involving firearms, yeah.

  2. Gaebolga says

    “We both believed everyone was basically good…”

    So he assumed that Trayvon Martin was basically good, which is why he had to stalk him.
    What a piece of shit.

  3. microraptor says

    Every movie Clint has been involved in in the last 20 years has been a self-serving right wing wankfest.

  4. Eric Ressner says

    I think George Zimmerman is a piece of subhuman trash, too. But IIRC the Stand Your Ground law wasn’t raised in his trial. His plea was self-defense, after Trayvon shoved him for getting up in his face.

  5. microraptor says

    Eric Ressner @4: The police refused to arrest him at the scene and did not carry out an investigation of the shooting for a month because of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

  6. mnb0 says

    I seem to remember that PZ initially was biased towards American Sniper in exactly the same way, then saw it and praised it as an anti-war movie (which it wasn’t). But it’s no right-wing wankfest either (even if Eastwood always has been a right-wing wanker) and I don’t see how Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino are either.
    Ah well, not only right-wing wankers revel in stupid simplifications.

  7. Gaebolga says

    microraptor @6: And of course when Marissa Alexander, a black woman, tried claim a Stand Your Ground defense — against her ex who had sent texts threatening to kill her and admitted in court that he probably would have killed her if she hadn’t fired a warning shot — she got sent to prison.

    Good thing the law is colorblind….

  8. kome says

    This reminds me of all the crank conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience wackaloons who resonate so much with how the Catholic Church persecuted Galileo.

  9. microraptor says

    @7: Gran Torino was blatant about how other cultures need an old white guy to step in in order to solve their problems. And portrayed Clint Eastwood as Jesus. And you don’t think it was a wankfest?

  10. jeanletigre says

    Too bad Trayvon was a troubled and aggressive young man with a taste for violence and history of burglary, who crossed paths with a wannabe NAVY SEAL and low rent vigilante moron. Getting shot while high on that “fire ass lean” (oh sorry, I meant Skittles and ice tea”) while caseing a joint to burglarize isn’t exactly a modern lynching, but sure let’s call him the new Emmett Till and be done with it. How can so many people let the media play them like this? Why do you feel the need to pick a side between those two pieces of shit? Oh, right, I think I know….

  11. rrutis1 says

    #12 jeanletigre, the punishment for burglary and casing a joint to burglarize is not death, nor should it be. One of them might be a piece of shit, but the other one is a murderer.

  12. chigau (違う) says

    … troubled and aggressive young man with a taste for violence and history of burglary …
    [citation needed]
    … while high on that “fire ass lean” …
    [citation needed]
    … while caseing a joint to burglarize …
    [citation needed]

  13. jeanletigre says

    @14

    He was involved in MMA after his parent’s divorce and his school found a burglary tool and some stolen jewelry in his locker.

    There are text and message board posts of him talking about drinking lean. Also two-thirds of the ingredients to make lean are Skittles and watermelon iced tea. Both of which were found with him the day of the murder. (Just an innocent boy buying lolipops!).

    I love how we can speculate in favor of Trayvon and against Zimmerman all day long and nobody cares.

    Pop Quiz: What was the name of the black man who got shot in the back by a police officer on camera as he was RUNNING AWAY? You don’t remember. I’ll leave it to you to do the soul-searching and figure out why.

  14. jeanletigre says

    @13

    I wish they had BOTH been murderers. Taken each other out. Don’t think I’m letting Zimmerman off the hook. We’re just lucky that shit-for-brains happened to find another piece of human debris to be the object of his hero fantasy and not an innocent person.

  15. Jackson says

    @jeanletigre

    I also did some recreational drugs in my youth. Do you think that I also deserve to be murdered in the street?

  16. jeanletigre says

    @19

    Interesting. Did you burglarize homes as well? Why didn’t the media report on that? And no I don’t think that he deserved to die, but at the same time I can’t say it’s some huge tragedy that he’s gone.

    @20

    We get it. You’re from the south. I guess that makes you interesting.

  17. kome says

    Someone hasn’t taken their medication today, it seems. Unhinged rants, random capitalization, use of conspiracy theory language, connecting irrelevant data as though it means something, glorification of violence, repudiation of the media as a single entity. We’re probably only a few posts away from the Jews somehow being invoked.

  18. Jackson says

    “Did you burglarize homes as well?”

    No, but I did some trespassing. I also shoplifted a few times. Now am I someone who you wouldn’t really care if I was gunned down?

    “Why didn’t the media report on that?”

    Can’t say for certain, but probably because he was a minor who was never charged with, let alone convicted of home burglary.

    But lets say he was some kid who was having a tough time with his parents divorce, and stole a few things. Shooting him to death is still a tragedy that should never happen. Even if he was wearing a hoodie.

  19. jeanletigre says

    @23

    You leave the Jews out of this.

    ZIMMERMAN = woodman in German. i.e. CARPENTER.

    JESUS WAS A CARPENTER.

    Am I making sense yet? Don’t comment before think.

  20. jeanletigre says

    @24
    If some creep was following you around at night does he deserve to get savagely beaten? Yes.

    When I first heard the story I was a cheerleader for Trayvon. But then I heard details the media dismissed. I hate dishonesty in reporting.

    Again: Trayvon didn’t deserve to die, but with his violent, drug addled lifestyle it was only a matter of time. Nothing of value was lost. Think how you would feel if he broke into your home and took your shit. You would feel violated, angry and unsafe. It’s easy to downplay serious crime when you’ve not been the victim of it.

    I wants had to fend off a man who burglarized my home while I was still in it at 1 a.m. in the morning. I had a gun but I was so scared of being prosecuted for using it that I grab my paintball gun instead. I lit him up pretty good with that thing and he ran off thankfully. It was one of the scariest moments of my life and I can imagine if I were in Zimmerman’s place with my head being slammed against the concrete, that gun would certainly be an option.

  21. says

    The person opening with rhetorical sorrow at 12 doesn’t actually get around to explaining why one shouldn’t pick sides. Rather than changing my political opinions or behavior for literally no reason, I’ll suggest that this rude individual fuck off until they have the basic respect of having actual reasons to see things differently. They clearly won’t do any work to engage with the material so no respect is warranted.

  22. jeanletigre says

    @26

    Those little purple ghosts from Ocarina of Time?

    You still don’t understand so I will help you out. Look at my name.

    Je suis Francais. Jeanletigre=John the Tiger. Who is John? What is a tiger?

  23. Gaebolga says

    Poe (noun)
    A person who writes a parody of an extremist that is mistaken for the real thing. Due to Poe’s Law, it is almost impossible to tell if a person is a Poe unless they admit to it.

  24. Jackson says

    “If some creep was following you around at night does he deserve to get savagely beaten? Yes.”

    No, not really.

    “Trayvon didn’t deserve to die, but with his violent, drug addled lifestyle it was only a matter of time. Nothing of value was lost.”

    You have avoided answering, but I also did some recreational drugs with a little petty crime in my youth, do you think my life has no value, and it would be no loss for me to be shot to death?

    “Think how you would feel if he broke into your home and took your shit. You would feel violated, angry and unsafe. It’s easy to downplay serious crime when you’ve not been the victim of it.”

    Yes, my home has been burglarized, and also at night while I was home. And yes, it did make me angry. However, I didn’t then seek out some black kid who I didn’t know to murder, because that is monstrous and a tragedy. An obvious tragedy that one would need to shed their own humanity to deny.

  25. zenlike says

    Note the dastardly drug the “drug addled” “miscreant was supposedly using that night (no evidence provided, but ok) is… cough syrup. Well, cough syrup mixed with iced tea and skittles. Quelle horreur!

  26. yangbrother says

    What Jeanletigre doesn’t seem to realize is that he is picking sides. Or he does realize that but he’s just trying to cover up. He obviously has some sort of unconscious bias towards black people that he needs to deal with.

    The fact is only two people know what happened in that alley that night, and one of them is dead. Without details it’s hard to make any real judgment.

    The question is if Andrew yang’s $1,000 a month had been instated in 2012, would Trayvon had to have given himself over to a life of crime and robbery? If Trayvon had gotten that bag he may have been in medical school by now. All problems are systemic. Small minds talk about people and events. We need to talk ideas and solutions.

    Yang 2020

  27. says

    Jeanletigre is banned. Not going to tolerate racists.

    Drinking tea+skittles+cough syrup, all legal, doesn’t make you drug-addled. It’s what a kid with a sweet tooth might like.

    Getting involved in MMA is not a criminal activity, either. I know a few scientists who do that martial arts stuff on the side.

    ZIMMERMAN = woodman in German. i.e. CARPENTER.
    JESUS WAS A CARPENTER.
    Am I making sense yet?

    No. You’re a raving loony as well as a bigot.

  28. Gaebolga says

    @36

    While I like the concept of universal basic income in theory, Yang’s specific proposal has me a bit puzzled. As I understand it — and I freely admit I may be wrong here — he wants to give every American $1000 a month. Per the US Census Bureau, the estimated population of US as of January 1, 2020 is 329,135,084; to make the math easier, I’m going to round up to 330,000,000. This means that Yang’s proposal for a universal basic income in the US will cost $3.96 trillion per year. In 2019, the US government spent $4.45 trillion on all government services.

    My question is: how can Andrew Yang realistically propose to almost double US government spending?

  29. yangbrother says

    @38

    I admit that will be a big problem. I doubt his UBI as stated will get instated, but maybe a modified version.

    The general answer to your question is that he wants tax the richest companies via of value-added tax.

    Also, what’s the point of banning people when they can just make a new account / use VPNs to get around the ban? Seriously asking, here. Is it symbolic?

  30. says

    The question is if Andrew yang’s $1,000 a month had been instated in 2012, would Trayvon had to have given himself over to a life of crime and robbery?

    sigh

    Fuck you.

  31. yangbrother says

    @40

    We must stick together. We cannot divide the leftover these Petty disagreements. I believe violent crime is usually the result of impoverished conditions, not a defect in the character of the individuals who commit such crimes. If you had a good job that paid well would you even think about risking throwing it all the way by stealing somebody’s television?

    If Martin was involved with violent crime, fine it’s in the past. How do we deal with the systemic issues they created the problem and put him in that position?

    There’s no need to be so hostile.

    Yang 2020

  32. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    “burglary tools” == pig speak for “any damn thing we want if it means we can slander someone as a criminal”

    My sister once locker herself out of the house and got back in by prying the screen window out with her fingers. I locked myself out via the non-deadbolt doorlock to the garage and got back in with a piece of plastic sheet in the garage. The dipshits that stole my two lawnmowers – and the steel wastebin full of concrete they were chained to – broke the lopers in the garage trying to cut through the chain (and, of course, the responding pigs’ first target was the black guy then living next door who ran a lawn-care business so absolutely did not need more crap lawnmowers).

  33. Gaebolga says

    Hmm…I wonder if yangbrother will just make a new account / use VPNs to get around the ban, or will he accept it as symbolic?

  34. hemidactylus says

    Probably won’t want the Jewell movie since the incident and aftermath creeped me out from my recollection. I wouldn’t judge it by the fact Zimmerman reviewed it though.

    Looking back on Eastwood’s oeuvre, my faves as a kid were the orangutang movies and not because Clint was the sidekick. I have most of the spaghetti westerns on DVD. Haven’t watched for a while. High Plains Drifter was ok overall, though had some off-putting cringy misogyny. Dirty Harry vigilante stuff is passé and too interconnected with America’s “law and order” embrace of Reagan conservatism. Didn’t Reagan use Dirty Harry’s tagline?

    Of most recent Unforgiven was IMO his best, warts and all. Some of the lines were classic (quotes from IMDB):
    “The Schofield Kid: [after killing a man for the first time] It don’t seem real… how he ain’t gonna never breathe again, ever… how he’s dead. And the other one too. All on account of pulling a trigger.
    Will Munny: It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have.
    The Schofield Kid: Yeah, well, I guess they had it coming.
    Will Munny: We all got it coming, kid.”

    “ Little Bill Daggett: Well, sir, you are a cowardly son of a bitch! You just shot an unarmed man!
    Will Munny: Well, he should have armed himself if he’s going to decorate his saloon with my friend.”

    “ Little Bill Daggett: I don’t deserve this… to die like this. I was building a house.
    Will Munny: Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.
    [aims gun]
    Little Bill Daggett: I’ll see you in hell, William Munny.
    Will Munny: Yeah.
    [fires] ”

    Gran Torino had issues but the upshot was that a bigoted old man with family issues and at the end of his life saw value in a Hmong kid and when everything went south didn’t do the gun toting Dirty Harry or Man with No Name thing but sacrificed himself for the sake of the kid and his family.

    I had seen both Iwo Jima movies, but so long ago. They seemed pretty good, but surely people have ripped them to pieces just because.

    I saw J Edgar and it seemed ok with DiCaprio. Didn’t see Invictus with Di Caprio’s clone.

    As for Clint himself, the empty chair thing at the Republican Convention was surreal.

  35. hemidactylus says

    Probably won’t want the Jewell movie since the incident and aftermath creeped me out from my recollection. I wouldn’t judge it by the fact Zimmerman reviewed it though.

    Looking back on Eastwood’s oeuvre, my faves as a kid were the orangutang movies and not because Clint was the sidekick. I have most of the spaghetti westerns on DVD. Haven’t watched for a while. High Plains Drifter was ok overall, though had some off-putting cringy misogyny. Dirty Harry vigilante stuff is passé and too interconnected with America’s “law and order” embrace of Reagan conservatism. Didn’t Reagan use Dirty Harry’s tagline?

    Of most recent Unforgiven was IMO his best, warts and all. Some of the lines were classic (quotes from IMDB):
    “The Schofield Kid: [after killing a man for the first time] It don’t seem real… how he ain’t gonna never breathe again, ever… how he’s dead. And the other one too. All on account of pulling a trigger.
    Will Munny: It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have.
    The Schofield Kid: Yeah, well, I guess they had it coming.
    Will Munny: We all got it coming, kid.”

    “ Little Bill Daggett: Well, sir, you are a cowardly son of a bitch! You just shot an unarmed man!
    Will Munny: Well, he should have armed himself if he’s going to decorate his saloon with my friend.”

    “ Little Bill Daggett: I don’t deserve this… to die like this. I was building a house.
    Will Munny: Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.
    [aims gun]
    Little Bill Daggett: I’ll see you in hell, William Munny.
    Will Munny: Yeah.
    [fires] ”

    Gran Torino had issues but the upshot was that a bigoted old man with family issues and at the end of his life saw value in a Hmong kid and when everything went south didn’t do the gun toting Dirty Harry or Man with No Name thing but sacrificed himself for the sake of the kid and his family.

    I had seen both Iwo Jima movies, but so long ago. They seemed pretty good, but surely people have ripped them to pieces just because.

    I saw J Edgar and it seemed ok with DiCaprio. Didn’t see Invictus with Di Caprio’s clone.

    As for Clint himself, the empty chair thing at the Republican Convention was surreal.

  36. unclefrogy says

    I know I am late and that “guy” has been banned but really when he wrote

    Nothing of value was lost.

    he really said it all. he could judge someones live as worth nothing.
    very sad and pathetic. what goes around comes around
    uncle frogy

  37. says

    Eric Ressner @4:
    If George Zimmerman’s “plea was self-defense” how on earth did he manage to avoid raising the “Stand Your Ground law”? The two are one and the same thing. The so-called “Stand Your Ground law” is simply the elimination of the “duty to retreat” from the right of self-defense. In places that still retain the old duty to retreat requirement you have to show that retreat was not an option in order to claim self-defense; in places that have eliminated it like Florida you don’t. Did Zimmerman show that he couldn’t retreat anyway even though it was legally unnecessary? I mean, seriously, if he claimed self-defense then he was invoking the “Stand Your Ground law” whether he mentioned it explicitly or not. (IANAL)

  38. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    When I saw 48 comments, I winced. Knew a racist would come in.

    Jean said something that is relevant with my original comment. He said nothing of value was lost. This is actually a sentiment that runs maybe deeper in America than even the racism. Tim Wise has talked about it, a culture that views people as disposable in utilitarian terms.

    Zimmerman seems to contradict that when he says he thought people were good and cops were trustworthy.

    But wait, Georgie. If you thought cops were trustworthy, why did you ignore them? If you thought people were good, why did you kill a child?

    Oh, and also, now that you ARE aware that officers DON’T always have your best interests at heart, are you going to think that maybe the system failed countless people like Martin?

    Nope. The system can only fail for white people, for the affluent, for men.

    On some level, George knows that the system targeting people of color is it working as intended.

  39. says

    Aw, PZ, did you have to ban Jean? I mean, I wanted to tell him what “bless your heart” really meant! (It’s actually Southern for “go eff yourself”.)

    As for the movie, it’s a hard pass for me. Clint Eastwood seems to have taken a hard turn right and that doesn’t appeal to me. So yeah, I’ll just wait for Birds of Prey and spend my money on a ticket for that.

  40. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    @48: Yep. That “It wasn’t Stand Your Ground” was a right-wing PRATT almost immediately. It’s true that the defense didn’t say the words “Stand Your Ground”. They didn’t have to. It was part of the jury instructions (see The Atlantic article on the topic).

  41. Meeker Morgan says

    “Stand your ground” properly refers to a home invasion situation. In Zimmerman’s case was an indirection

  42. Richard Smith says

    I’d meant to post yesterday evening that “Jonny Cat” is a brand of kitty litter, which often winds up full of the same stuff as jeanletigre. Sadly, no terse rebuff for me now.

  43. Rhett Rothberg says

    You know that’s Tamir Rice, right?

    No one knew that? You guys need to turn in your SJW cards…

  44. Anton Mates says

    Drinking tea+skittles+cough syrup, all legal, doesn’t make you drug-addled. It’s what a kid with a sweet tooth might like.

    But cough syrup is intoxicating, PZ! It contains codeine, which is a Drug, unlike alcohol and nicotine, which are good clean American fun! And it turns you into a mindless engine of destruction whose only goal is to sit around being calm and sleepy and happy for a couple of hours!

    Remember, only old white people deserve sympathy and help when they abuse opiates. For black teenagers it just makes them eviller.

  45. Anton Mates says

    Oh yeah, and on the burglary thing, not only did Jackson already point out that Trayvon was never charged with that (or anything else–he had no criminal record at all), but the police never found any evidence that the jewelry was stolen in the first place. People like jeanletigre are dreaming up an entire unevidenced crime in order to blame a child for getting murdered.

  46. unclefrogy says

    in the U.S. over the counter cough meds do not contain codeine only prescription meds contain codeine, many also contain some alcohol
    uncle frogy

  47. Anton Mates says

    Actually, you can still get cough syrup with codeine over the counter in quite a few states. It’s just that you can only buy a small quantity at one time and you often have to sign for it. But yeah, to my limited knowledge most of the codeine that ends up in lean comes from prescribed medication.

    There’s also a lot of lean/purple drank made that doesn’t contain codeine at all, either because the consumers can’t tell the difference or because they don’t care; they’re drinking it for the taste and the cool factor. Teenagers taking “drugs” that don’t actually do anything is a fine old American tradition.

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