For years now I've been preaching fire and brimstone when it comes to the dangers of trusting the press to do the job of law enforcement or allowing it to do the job of the courts. While I admit to not always being successful, I generally try very hard to take a deep breath and think twice before buying wholesale into the immediate media narrative whenever a story breaks or even as it develops. The reason for this is simple: In the middle of a feeding frenzy blood gets everywhere, nobody can tell what's what, important details get lost, and the animal mentality can completely block out rational thought. What you then get is, well, Richard Jewell.
Remember him? You should. You should remember him solely as a hero who saved lives in the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta back in 1996, but thanks to the media's rush to judgment and the public that let them get away with it for far too long without asking questions, you probably know him as a guy who was falsely accused of causing the Olympic Park bombing. Or worse, you don't even know about the correction the press was forced to choke on or the bullshit hand-wringing and soul-searching that followed it and you still think Richard Jewell was the man who killed one person and injured more than a hundred others in an act of homegrown terrorism. Jewell went to his grave in 2007 still dealing with the effects of being wrongly tried and convicted in the shameful court of public opinion that sprung entirely from the fevered mind of the media.
The worldwide press should've learned from that and so many other of its sins. Unfortunately, as the Boston Marathon bombing coverage proved, it hasn't learned a damn thing.
Cracked, which regularly traffics in brilliantly addictive listicles, catalogs the media's failures and counts them down for you.