Atlanta Journal Constitution editor Kevin Riley is concerned about the paper’s reputation having been “severely tarnished” ** by Clint Eastwood‘s Richard Jewell (Warner Bros., 1.13). Hence the AJC has hired Los Angeles pitbull attorney Marty Singer to convey objections to Warner Bros., Eastwood and others involved in the film’s production.

The AJC and Singer are “asking” that the producers “issue a statement acknowledging that some events were imagined for dramatic purposes, and that artistic license and dramatization were used in the film’s portrayal of events and characters,” as Riley has explained in a 12.9 email. “In addition, we’re requesting a disclaimer to that effect be added to the film’s credits.”

The AJC beef is basically about an implication in the film that AJC reporter Kathy Scruggs, portrayed in Richard Jewell by Olivia Wilde, used sexual favors to obtain information from law enforcement sources.

Riley’s email includes an attached a copy of Singer’s letter to WB, Eastwood, screenwriter Billy Ray, etc.

Riley: “We welcome the accurate telling of Richard Jewell’s story. In fact, the AJC worked closely with the Atlanta History Center on a recent program that focused on a definitive new book on the subject by a former Wall Street Journal reporter and the former U.S. Attorney who handled the case. We recognize that the AJC, and the news media in general, are not above criticism.

“We can’t be silent when a film that purports to take the media to task engages in the very behavior that it criticizes. I feel compelled to stand up for the dedicated journalists who work for the AJC — otherwise a deceased reporter will be maligned in movie theaters across the country and around the world. This is especially concerning at a time when the nation’s leading news organizations are being attacked.”

Singer letter excerpt:

** per a statement in Singer’s 12.9 letter.