BOB GARFIELD: This is On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield.
Richard Jewell died this week. Here's Katie Couric. KATIE COURIC: Back in 1996, the FBI investigated Richard Jewell, an Atlanta security guard, in connection with the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta. Richard Jewell died today of complications from diabetes. He was 44. Jewell was never charged with any crime. There is much more CBS… [FADE-OUT] BOB GARFIELD: For Richard Jewell, even death didn't end the nightmare. A hero of the Olympic bombing incident, he noticed the bomb-laden backpack placed there by anti-abortion terrorist Eric Rudolph and helped clear the area. Jewell became the focus of the federal bombing investigation. Portrayed as a chubby and pathetic cop wannabe, Jewell was suspected of planting the bomb himself in order to swoop in and save the day. The supposition of FBI profilers was embraced by the media, which barely considered any other scenario.
With Rudolph's conviction, Jewell was eventually vindicated, but that word appears not to have reached CBS News. Katie Couric did the unthinkable, writes OTM listener Richard Huffman, who noticed that Rudolph was never mentioned in the CBS story about Jewell's death, and, quote, "basically seemed to imply that Jewell was the bomber."
Also, from our inbox, we heard in droves from both believers and nonbelievers about our segment "God, No," which charted the rise of the new atheist movement. Peter Syler - count him among the nonbelievers - agreed with our guest that the expression "there are no atheists in foxholes" is offensive to atheists. However, quote, "I think it is even more demeaning to soldiers. The expression says that once you get on a battlefield, the only hope you have is to pray. I believe our soldiers depend more on their equipment, their training, their fellow soldiers and their leadership than on a mythical supreme being."
About our Word Watch last week on the pejorative use of the term "sanctuary city" to describe those places with a don't ask/don't tell policy toward illegal immigrants, Andrew S. from Sunnyvale, California, wrote in with a beef.
Quote, "Mr. Garfield wonders how it is that a generally positive word, ‘sanctuary,’ acquired such negative connotations. Just a wild guess here, but maybe it had something to do with the fact that an activist movement used the word ‘sanctuary’ for an activity that was highly unpopular with the population at large."
Maybe so, Andrew, but David Radcliff of Elgin, Illinois, finds his sanctuary in the Bible. He writes, quote, "Ironic that the conservatives are using "sanctuary cities" as a negative term. Its Biblical roots are of cities set aside to harbor people unjustly accused or on the run from vigilante justice."
Radcliff then cites Leviticus Chapter 19 Verse 34, which reads, "The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you."
Keep those letters coming. Write to us at onthemedia.org or click on the comments link under individual segments on our website. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]