Another Highly Misleading Associated Press Report Already Appears on 700 Media Websites

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



{Above: the AP headline. At bottom: the AP reporter, Colleen Barry; will she correct the report]


Read here what Colleen Barry of the Associated Press (image below) falsely claims.

How exactly does a second proven DNA trace of Amanda Knox on the knife prove that Meredith’s proven DNA on the knife wasn’t there?  The correct facts on the three DNA samples were posted here.

Nothing - nothing - that was said yesterday in court affected that. Two samples of Knox and one sample of Meredith on the knife are confirmed. All three are there.

In fact, Judge Nencini leaned hard on the bumbling Amanda Knox lawyer Dalla Vedova to make him stop. Dalla Vedova was repeatedly trying to trap the Carabinieri experts Dr Barni and Dr Berti into saying that Dr Stefanoni did something wrong in her test of Meredith’s DNA.  Judge Nencini had not even instructed the Carabinieri labs to look into that.

Dalla Vedova and Colleen Barry of the AP have apparently forgotten that defense observers were there at the Scientific Police labs test and testified that they saw Dr Stefanoni do nothing wrong. Dr. Renato Biondo, Professor Giuesppe Novelli, Professor Francesca Torricelli, Luciano Garofano, Elizabeth Johnson and Greg Hampikian all confirmed that Meredith’s DNA was indeed found on the blade of the knife..

Judge Nencini clearly believes that firm evidence of Meredith’s DNA is there in front of his court, and that Dr Stefanoni and Judge Massei got it right. Meredith’s DNA really was proven to be on the knife. He would not allow a clumsy red-herring argument from Dalla Vedova which lacked the slightest bit of proof.

Unlike Reuters, the Associated Press is not a public company. It issues no stock.

It is instead a co-operative jointly owned by about 1000 media groups, and its reports are carried on up to 1000 sites. It is financially not very well off, and many of its media owners are in the same boat. The AP and many of its owners are increasingly cutting corners to save a buck. Increasingly they are under-researching, failing to check, and so their viewers and their readers are ending up misled.

Does financial strain excuse the AP for hyperbole and seriously wrong claims, for reprinting of false public relations handouts and false lawyer claims as hard fact? As it has too often done before?

Would it not be better when facts are in doubt and justice on the line to not report at all?


{Below: Colleen Barry of AP Germany was the writer of the misleading piece]




Comments

I have no problem with the ex-lover claiming innocence but how about AP? They simply cannot say “we did not know!”

The tests show without doubt that the said knife came in contact with both AK and MK. It is not a mere touch, most likely some violent touch.

Both AP and Reuters have good staff in the payroll and there are people who do understand the basics of science.

Or, this is more likely, they are now outsourcing information and news?

Posted by chami on 11/07/13 at 10:58 AM | #

I think that AP is simply parroting what the defense lawyers said, without asking for a statement from the prosecution lawyers.

Is AP being dishonest?  I’m inclined to say “no”.  Is AP being stupid?  Of course!

Posted by sherrel on 11/07/13 at 12:51 PM | #

Keep in mind that many of the misleading claims about the knife were originally sourced by Frank Sfarzo, and low resolution photos published to reinforce the claim there were “no scratches” on the blade to catch Meredith’s DNA.

It was only when I posted the high definition photos on dot net, and the complete 112 calls by Raffaele Sollecito that these and many other lies were exposed. They are still lying, with the complicity of the media.

Posted by Ergon on 11/07/13 at 12:57 PM | #

@sherrel

Is AP being dishonest? You ask.

Of course they should ask the defense lawyers. And they must ask the prosecution too. Just for the sake of presenting a balanced picture. But most important of all is to do a little homework. No time, you say?

Experimental results can be subject to post-mortem. There are usually enough traces to locate if any or some mistake has been made somewhere. For example, it is believed today that Mendel cooked some of his famous results. But forget about that!

Perhaps AP want to present the result or the news that they believe people want to hear. It is a business, you see. And they thought people want this news.

Nothing more or nothing less. They are really not biased for or against AK. They are just biased for the bottomline.

Posted by chami on 11/07/13 at 01:27 PM | #

The reporter was Colleen Barry who in fact was in the court and has filed misleading reports before.

A version of the report with her byline on it can be seen here. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/knox-co-defendant-address-italian-court

There is a bio of Colleen Barry here. Unclear if she has any Italian.  http://knight.stanford.edu/fellows/class-of-2005/colleen-barry/

Colleen Barry has filed misleading reports full of mistakes before. Here’s one that show legal ignorance and bias:

Italian law allows prosecutors to appeal acquittals. In the United States, the principal of double jeopardy would have prohibited another appeals round after her acquittal.

And another about the C&V consultancy in the ANNULLED appeal she still hasnt reported as having been annulled - totally wiped out: 

The prosecution’s case was blown apart by a court-ordered DNA review that discredited crucial genetic evidence.

And another one about what she wrongly calls “a third Italian murder trial” and not (as it is) a repeat of the first appeal;

Amanda Knox’s third Italian murder trial hears testimony that alleged murder weapon had Knox’s DNA on it — but not the victim’s

The AP has reporters or stringers in Rome; why bring in a Germany based reporter for this? In fact why not send a LEGAL reporter who reads actual documents?

Anyone can contact the AP to complain here:  http://aphelp.ap.org/ContactUs/

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/07/13 at 02:51 PM | #

Hi Sherrel

Dishonest or stupid? I’d suggest a third category: those who do a deal with the devil in exchange for toeing a firm line.

We know very well that this is how the Marriott PR play the game. Reporters can get some access - but only at the price of being “holier than the pope”.

Fail to stick to the deal and brutal messages from Marriott will result.  The apostase will be cast out. Barbie Nadeau actually explained this in her book and several reports.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/more_from_the_daily_beast_book_angel_face_why_most_of_the_media/

If you watch long enough you can spot which reporters did such deals. Nina Burleigh was one, Dempsey another, Linda Byron another, Elizabeth Vargas another, Judy Bachrach another. On and on.

A majority of them are women, maybe because men reporters can sound as if they are slobbering over Knox (as they often are!)

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/07/13 at 04:06 PM | #

This is why the extradition is going to be a nightmare. We have an entire press who is confident that she is innocent

Posted by Admire on 11/07/13 at 05:23 PM | #

Hi Peter,

You’re right.  I knew Elizabeth Vargas very casually as a fellow employee when we both worked for ABC in San Francisco many years ago.  I’ve since become very disappointed in her after seeing her reports on the Kercher case.

It is my firm opinion that she has tailored her reports simply to maintain access to the Knox clan.

Posted by sherrel on 11/07/13 at 05:55 PM | #

Hi Admire

Nah, not (quite) that bad! We have posted at various times that we doubt extradition gets slowed. Nobody in officialdom cares (they never do if drugs are involved; and there are strong reasons Italy needs to be kept a friend).

http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/C738/

And the number of bad apples in the press has actually been dropping, though not fast enough for us. Plus there is a real chance Knox simply goes back and gets it done. Being declared a felon on the lam worldwide (which Italy can arrange) is no fun.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/07/13 at 05:56 PM | #

Hi Sherrel

Oh! Well, the ever-spreading curse of Knox has reached Elizabeth Vargas and shut her up, it seems:

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/rehab-elizabeth-vargas-big-new-story-article-1.1509031

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/07/13 at 06:00 PM | #

I just sent a tweet to Ms. Barry. I don’t hold out a lot of hope but it can’t hurt. I should have linked to this site as well as the wiki. New to twitter. Don’t like the way it sucks my time and makes me think in abbreviated way…

Posted by carlos on 11/07/13 at 06:03 PM | #

Hi Peter,

As I posted over on .ORG, having worked for ABC, I can fully appreciate the pressures Vargas endured in her job.  And I wish her all the best in her recovery.  I left ABC after 20 years with them, and never felt so relieved as when I began a new career in another field.

Posted by sherrel on 11/07/13 at 06:17 PM | #

THIS LATEST COMPREHENSIVE UPDATE ON THE CASE BY JOURNALIST ANDREA VOGT:

http://thefreelancedesk.com/front_featured/amanda-knox-appeal-2/

Posted by True North on 11/07/13 at 06:18 PM | #

Thanks True North. Always so refreshing to read Andrea Vogt’s clear honest prose. In yesterday’s post about the court we began by quoting a short version of this. We should include much or most of this before it scrolls away in that same post. Will do.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/07/13 at 06:45 PM | #

Which charge is the italian blogger copping to? The domestic issue, when he bit an officer, or the more recent charges brought by Mignini?

It must be more than we thought..  if said blogger is admitting defeat..  much more, I would guess.

Remember when he wrote how he was going to Florence to fight Mignini, and then he missed the Perugia court in Nov/12, because he was clearing his good name in Hawaii where he was arrested for harassing a woman?

I guess that was shortly after being escorted from a home in Canada by the RCMP. But then he skipped court in Seattle for violence against a disabled man.

I’m thinking reality show…“OUTLAW BLOGGER”.

Posted by Bettina on 11/07/13 at 07:06 PM | #

Thank You, Peter, for this info.

The mainstream media NEVER focuses on the ONE and ONLY VICTIM :  Meredith Kercher ! 

I refuse to read anything from a mainstream media outlet because of their overwhelmingly biased, pro-Knox “spin.”

I only read here at TJMK and PMF for any and all news !

Posted by MissMarple on 11/07/13 at 07:10 PM | #

I’m sure many of those who report she’s innocent know she’s guilty - they can’t ALL be that stupid, or ignorant of the facts of the case, or in the pay of the family…

I’m not normally one for conspiracy theories, but I’m left feeling that all this misinformation might be a deliberate and cynical move by the owners of the various outlets designed to mislead the public into thinking she is innocent, so that when the inevitable happens and she is found guilty, there will be a massive public outcry.

There’s nothing like a public outcry to sell newspapers, get people watching the news, or regularly visiting sympathetic news sites.

Posted by Spencer on 11/07/13 at 08:03 PM | #

Hi Bettina

Yeah, all of the above! A one-man crime-wave, that is for sure. Sforza is still wanted both in Seattle (abuse) and Perugia (abuse), a fact well-known in Italy. But this one (contempt of court) focuses on a huge list of false claims about the Perugia evidence and false accusations against officials of crimes.

Ergon is the real expert here, as he looked into this when in Rome (and set eyes on Frank), and he will soon post. As I understand it, Frank’s chances of staying out of jail had been reduced to zero, by the endless string of charges and the fact of those other pending trials. His lawyer must have said: cop a plea right now.

Those same false accusations of Frank’s have been inflated and waved around for years by the Prestons, Moores, Heaveys, Bremners, and Fischers of the world, and as Frank has already admitted he has no proof thus they too are all as liable for any false claims still out there (and between them there are thousands). They could even more easily go down.

Many of those same false charges were just repeated by some of the above at the Congressional panel organized by Sharlene Martin. Steve Moore has been babbling false accusations on TV almost non-stop.

Technically Mignini didnt bring these charges, he was one of those (there are others) who had to lay a complaint (as he is required to do under the ant-mafia rules) and he might testify on 6 December (though I think it is already a slam dunk). If charges are brought against Fischer etc there should be no need for surprise. It will again be under the anti-mafia rules;

http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/C700/

In other words this is not about personal defamation (libel or slander) at all. As Sforza will possibly be hit with huge fines as well as (or instead of) time in prison, part of Frank’s assets and future earnings (ha ha) would go to any named official Frank has tried to take down.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/07/13 at 08:03 PM | #

Elizabeth Vargas, is she the woman who interviewed Mignini while he was sitting at a street café, asking him whethr he still believed in a Satanic scenario?

Or am I mistaking her with another journalist?

Posted by Yummi on 11/07/13 at 08:47 PM | #

Re asking the Prosecution for statements, she mentioned in her article that they were not going to do so. (Just for the record).

@ Pete,  Saw your comment on the Thai Wai LOL!

A question: I assume that we have to wait for Cassation final verdict before the extradition process begins?

Posted by thundering on 11/08/13 at 02:36 AM | #

It’s dangerous and unhealthy for the collective to decide in one voice they are right, and that is it, no question. It is mob mentality, however dressed up it is.

Note how on here we politely disagree over points, and pick them up and clarify them, or find out further.  That is healthy.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/08/13 at 04:51 AM | #

I’m sure many of those who report she’s innocent know she’s guilty - they can’t ALL be that stupid, or ignorant of the facts of the case, or in the pay of the family…

I’m not normally one for conspiracy theories, but Spencer said:  “I’m left feeling that all this misinformation might be a deliberate and cynical move by the owners of the various outlets designed to mislead the public into thinking she is innocent, so that when the inevitable happens and she is found guilty, there will be a massive public outcry.  There’s nothing like a public outcry to sell newspapers, get people watching the news, or regularly visiting sympathetic news sites.”

Spencer, I’ve thought the same thing.  No way so many in the media can be this ignorant, this lazy.

So what’s the only logical deduction left?  Just what you said… stick w/ the ‘innocent Knox’ story until the original conviction is upheld and a request for extradition is made—then the media can ‘explode’ w/ stories about… To extradite, or not to extradite; that is the question. 

All of my thoughts and prayers w/ the Kerchers.  We WILL make justice happen.

Posted by Hellinahandcart on 11/08/13 at 07:13 AM | #

Yes, I’m sure some media are using the situation to their own advantage - I.e. Publicity and sales are far more likely to go up with a melodramatic turn-around.

I’ve thought so for a while, because even ‘intelligent’ newspapers are repeating, at times, misinformation as fact….even when these ‘facts’ have been corrected (in comments).

Thoughts and prayers for the Kerchers.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/08/13 at 07:21 AM | #

Hi Thundering

On Colleen Barry asking the prosecution for a statement. Good point. She does use that as a sort of cover. It is pretty lame, though.

First, AP has or had good English-speaking Italian reporters (two colorful women) in Rome who would have known the Italian system and known that “statements” are never made except in the very few formal press conferences.

John Follain, Ann Wise (now with the US embassy), Barbie Nadeau and the tireless Andrea Vogt verify facts with the prosecution all the time. They are always very open for that. I cant think of an instance in five years where any of the Rome group except Popham got a significant detail wrong. The bias usually creeps in across the ocean.

No other reporter who was present in court (including the many Italian) came up with anything like the slant Colleen Barry did. And she doesnt just get her reporting published in one newspaper or TV website, she gets it published in up to 1000, so any damage can be considerable.

Second, it was quite clear both from the Carabinieri report (which we posted and read) and from the testimony in court that there were three valid evidence samples on the knife. There is even a diagram of them.  Judge Nencini made it obvious that he considered Dalla Vedova was getting it wrong. Smarter reporters would not have simply channeled Dalla Vedova.

Colleen Barry hasnt done much reporting of this case but she did report on the Hellmann outcome (rather triumphally in my view) and cannot seem to get it out of her head. She reported almost nothing of the almost unique Cassation annulment last march, and in her several reports this year (including this one) seems to think Hellmann and C&V are somehow still relevant.

***

On extradition, if it comes down to that (if RS heads for prison but not Knox) Cassation’s final word would have to come first. Its not inconceivable that AK is allowed to serve time near Seattle; the downsides are US prisons aint pretty and she would maybe feel that is too close to her family who she still seems to keep at arms length.

***

AP have emailed twice in a professional manner which impressed me that they are looking into what was reported and said they are open to corrective action.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/08/13 at 07:36 AM | #

Hi Yummi

I believe you are right, Elizabeth Vargas was one of the very few who Dr Mignini gave time to who proved very confrontational. Several others (Drew Griffen, Nina Burleigh) seem to have interviewed him evenly, but later loaded up their reports with their strident opinions.

Vargas has proclaimed several times, as if it was a real gotcha, that she found that the store where AK bought underwear was not just an underwear store and that the owner did not speak English. Actually in the CCTV video it is obvious the store sells other things, and AK did look gleeful. The owner did not give testimony.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/08/13 at 08:12 AM | #

@SeekingUnderstanding

“It is mob mentality, however dressed up it is…”

This is an interesting topic and in all systems, physics, biology, sociology, economics… the collective properties are (mostly) always different from the individual properties. Sometimes it takes just a couple of people to get into the mob psychology- into doing things that they will never think of doing individually.

The mob has the benefit of short term social interactions that is only there during that space-time. The problem of fixing responsibility, for example. And, too often, we look too kindly on mob crimes. If the same is done by an individual…

I presume that individually the partners in this crime may be acceptable when taken alone but together they make a toxic mix…

And there are of course pathological criminals who act alone and they too most likely have a split personality and when finally exposed, their neighbours will be the first to express the most surprise…

Most of us, the common man, have often faltered in bad company. But we have finally got up and moved on… And we do not like to think about those who could not…

Posted by chami on 11/08/13 at 02:52 PM | #

Knox of course had some grounding in manipulating mob mentality when she was the identified and penalised ring-leader of the street riot in Seattle.

Then she left to wreak greater havoc overseas by leading other lost souls looking to throw off all restraint, culminating this time in foul murder.

As the ring-leader of FOA she seems yet again to be at the head of a quite crazy and moronic mob.

It seems that those with personal responsibility issue gravitate to her like moths to a flame (but that’s unfair on moths who are seeking light not darkness).

All in all, taking this nasty piece of work out of circulation for a long time will likely turn out to be a very cost-effective public health measure.

Posted by Odysseus on 11/08/13 at 03:51 PM | #

Stanley Milgram, Yale psychologist, did some experiments with group obedience :

“A subject who has neither ability nor expertise to make decisions, especially in a crisis, will leave decision making to the group and its hierarchy.”

“The essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view himself as the instrument for carrying out another person’s wishes, and he therefore no longer sees himself as responsible for his actions. Once this critical shift in viewpoint has occurred in the person, all of the essential features of obedience follow.”

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/08/13 at 04:08 PM | #

A certain aspect of AK and RS’s behavior has been bothering me for some time, I guess it has to do with each individual’s personality, but had it been me accused of a crime I did not commit, I would be absolutely furious, and frankly I would not be inclined to visit the victim’s grave (see RS’s claim, I don’t mean to be cruel).

Moreover, I would not implore the court to give me a “life” (like RS did), I would yell at them (figuratively, perhaps) to leave the life I have alone once and for all. I guess it’s hard for them to act furiously innocent after all this time, facing a mountain of evidence and after all the lies they told. If the jury looking transfixed during his statement that may have come from a sense of disbelief.

Posted by Bjorn on 11/08/13 at 04:50 PM | #

@Bjorn,

Yes. As I understand it, innocent persons wrongly accused will come straight out and say so directly and strongly.

They also answer straight away without hesitation, and answer with the ‘I ’ pronoun….  owning their actions…in converse to ‘distancing’ talk, where the person talks about themselves objectively, at arm’s length, and with descriptions perhaps unnatural in some way.

(There’s a post on here with analysis of this distancing talk of false testimony….  perhaps Pete will give the link?)

There is a sense of feeling outraged when we are falsely maligned and/or our good intent and actions are repeatedly misconstrued - it is probably both healthy and natural to want to fight back - it would be just anger.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/08/13 at 05:06 PM | #

so Barbie Nadeau’s movie is filming now?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/10436612/Kate-Beckinsale-dismisses-controversy-over-Amanda-Knox-case.html

Posted by mojo on 11/08/13 at 05:38 PM | #

Interesting sub heading on Sforza’s post, allbeit a complete lie:  “As the Main and Only Piece of Evidence Against Him and Amanda Knox Collapses in Court”

So, first there’s “no evidence” and now there’s the “Only Piece Of Evidence” (which we all know, hasn’t collapsed anywhere).

I see Dr.Tesla attempted to put his point across, to no avail, you know the saying, “no matter how many times you try, you can’t teach a dog religion”.

Posted by Urbanist on 11/08/13 at 06:05 PM | #

Re: the telegraph article on Barbie Nadeau’s movie:

“The film will be shot as the case continues to drag through Italy’s painfully slow court system”.

“A verdict is expected in January”.

Not sure what they mean by ‘painfully slow’ but they will need a re-write in 8 weeks so might want to put this movie on hold for a while.

Posted by Urbanist on 11/08/13 at 06:18 PM | #

Kate Beckinsale, who I guess must be playing the role of AK, was quoted as saying saying recently that she doesn’t have problem with the role as she’s “played her share of nutters in her time”.

Thought that was an encouraging sign.

Ditto hellinahandcart and seekingunderstanding… thoughts and prayers with the Kerchers.

Posted by Spencer on 11/08/13 at 06:56 PM | #

Many newspapers for financial and “harmony” reasons have eliminated their ombudsmen or refashioned their function so it is a little harder to dialogue with them.

However the Associated Press does seem to have a valid process for handling complaints and feedback, and while the cat may be out of the bag on Colleen Barry’s current reporting, she or AP as a whole might make some amends the next time.

Several readers have told us that they wrote to the AP in protest via the contact link above.

This letter to the AP was sent by a reader in the UK who uses the screen name Hijacked Nickname - it wondered why though it amused me, the reason was that her friends call her Mandy.

I was very disappointed to read reports from the AP on this trial. You have consistently, and therefor it has became deliberate mis-reporting and obfuscation of facts, repeated misinformation on the trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher, in Perugia on 01/11/2007.

For 6 years you have defamed the Italian Justice process while being the spokesperson for a convicted murderer and murderess. Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede are also convicted sex offenders.

You have denied the substantial weight of evidence against the accused while upholding the validity of the same evidence against Rudy Guede, who’s final sentencing included the court’s acknowledgement that there were 3(three) people involved in the crime. This finding is based on the blood evidence indicating that there were 2 large feet , corresponding to the accused males, and a small footprint corresponding to the accused female. Hand prints upon the victim’s body fully support this ruling.

The appeal in Florence on 06/11/2013 DID NOT find that there was no trace of the victim on the knife, this fact is already entered into evidence in the first trial to establish a conviction (there is an initial trial to establish whether there is substantive quality and quantity of evidence to proceed to trial) and was not part of the remit of the current appeal. The current appeal is to replace the appeal which released the accused. The current appeal’s parameters have also been extended to weigh the evidence in its entirety; as opposed to examining individual pieces of evidence or witness statements. The ruling which released Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito has been annulled and numerous people and organisations linked to these accused have been charged with crimes which can loosely be equated with criminal defamation in the UK and the US.

That verdict was annulled as its findings broke several points of Italian law. On Wednesday the court found that the murder weapon held traces of the victim on the blade and traces of the female accused on the blade and on the handle. This is not what I have read from your journalists, most notably in ignorance of the facts is Colleen Barry; I find myself wanting to say “learn your craft” every time I read about this case, how must Meredith’s family feel? Her father is one of your peers! Again, you should be ashamed.

I find it very disappointing that a member of the public, sitting at her laptop in her own home in Edinburgh has a far greater understanding of the Italian legal system(which may I add is far superior in structure and accountability than those in the UK or US), the processes used , the facts and evidence accepted by the court and the terrible injustice that is being done to the victim and her family in this case, than the reporters who are supposedly giving a fair and balanced reports of events in Italy. It is shameful that you consider yourself a professional body.

History will recognise this case as the starting point in the unraveling of the way the media operate. At 44 years old, I have never witnessed people accused of crimes spend more on a global public relations campaign than on their defense. A professional body does not distribute the fruit of that tree, it reports that the tree was planted. Your complacency made you complicit, let’s all hope that Karma is New Age hippy rhetoric.

I feel obliged to direct you to sources of information which will enlighten you to the findings of the Italian courts. The evidence is overwhelming. A conduit to factual resources:
http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php

Mandy, thank you!

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/08/13 at 08:46 PM | #

@SeekingUnderstanding on 11/08/13 at 04:08 PM

You are very likely to be a professional psychologist (which I am not; I write, or try to write, like a layman but in real life I am more like a regular teacher) and I agree when you say.

“The essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view himself as the instrument for carrying out another person’s wishes, and he therefore no longer sees himself as responsible for his actions. Once this critical shift in viewpoint has occurred in the person, all of the essential features of obedience follow.”

We have a name for this: I call it intellectual slavery. They are educated in terms of an academic degree but are not educated enough to be independent in thought and decision.

And it is a widespread intellectual disease.

It may not be possible to banish intellectual slavery. Because when you wake up to the real awareness, you are no more the former self.

The Jeckyll and Hyde show - in real life! I know you have a name for that too.

Posted by chami on 11/09/13 at 12:49 AM | #

Hello chami,

Yes, I do have a qualification in psychology and counselling, but I am retired - hence I have time - and have never been involved in an academic world. I have friends in multi-disciplines, and very wide interests.

Just to be clear, the quote on obedience was from Milgram, after his experiments, which were some time ago, (and, obviously, only one set of experiments). I just felt it was relevant to thinking about how ‘mob’ thinking can take over a collective - indeed, any collective, as you say.

This ‘Lord of the Flies’ phenonomen is described in the following presentation, which might be of interest (it’s quite short):

http://prezi.com/-bqpp9pky7sr/lord-of-the-flies-human-psychology-presentation/

Alas, history is peppered with the struggles of original thinkers!

How often have they and their good ideas been rejected - sometimes for a long time - by their peers?  The (perceived) need to preserve status, power and money in a balance with integrity, intellectual honesty, and seeking truth.

There is hope for humanity when enough people can combine the two, and not make it into ‘either/or’... (e.g. Either power or OR honesty).

Thinking deeply for oneself has ever been a lonely business, and, as you note, education does not always lean this way. I know people who have left the academic world in order to pursue their true study. It takes courage, much.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/09/13 at 04:06 AM | #

Great letter, Mandy!

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/09/13 at 04:11 AM | #

Beckinsale is playing Barbie Nadeau

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/nov/08/film-not-amanda-knox-kate-beckinsale

Posted by mojo on 11/09/13 at 06:21 AM | #

Hi Chami and SeekingUnderstanding

Interesting exchange. Just on how hard it can be to be different, swim against the tide: we often discuss how at individual and national levels lack of a tide which lifts all boats is resulting worldwide in angry frustration which emerges in unexpected ways.

Average growth in the Middle East is the lowest of any region in the world (1%) creating endemic joblessness and extremist attacks. Apart from oil messing with their value equation, they have some very rich people - who essentially dont invest there and when they do invest, they invest very cautiously indeed.

In the US we see this same thing; 300 billionaires have more wealth than the “bottom” 150 million - that might be okay if they bet on the exceptions, the little guy, the strange one who jst might have the next big idea, but with few exceptions they invest very cautiously indeed.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/09/13 at 07:25 AM | #

Thanks mojo

To me this looks like good news. Barbie Nadeau was always fearlessly out front and Chris Mellas organized a lot of nasty heat.

Barbie is trusted by Meredith’s family, see these posts:

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/barbie_nadeau_interviews_merediths_mother_on_her_continuing_hope_for_t/

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/good_review_of_meredith_by_barbie_nadeau_in_tina_browns_influential_da/

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/barbie_nadeaus_interview_with_merediths_family_in_the_daily_beast/

Like the Lifetime movie, which worked out okay, this movie initially didnt seem to show too much promise:

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/the_firth-winterbottom_movie_now_seems_headed_for_a_bizarre_and_irrele/

But Kate Beckinsale playing Barbie seems to be a right move.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/09/13 at 07:38 AM | #

@SeekingUnderstanding

Thanks for the link. It is beautiful in presentation but terrible in effect.

I am not a great debater: when people refuse to see logic, I stop. But recently in a meeting, I spoke and protested.

And the other members (not all but several) followed with their support. I had a strange feeling.

Posted by chami on 11/09/13 at 09:52 AM | #

@chami

I have to agree with you : it was the best I could find (surprisingly).

I also have a tendency to withdraw if people are not following logic, and resorting to competitive arguing. But, I have surprised myself as I’ve become older, and now sometimes passion makes me stand up for my logic.

As you say, some people do respond.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/09/13 at 10:39 AM | #

Eulonda Skyles has written an absolutely brilliant article about the alleged role of trade secret forensic evidence in the case:

http://blogs.orrick.com/trade-secrets-watch/2013/11/08/the-role-of-alleged-trade-secret-forensic-evidence-in-the-amanda-knox-murder-case/

********

Added by Pete.  Great catch Machine. We have often posted caustically on both C&V and Greg Hampikian’s triumphal role and will soon have another post on this. 

The extraordinary reporting - from Italy - by Andrea Vogt which the Machine refers to and Eulonda Skyles builds on is fairly far down on The Freelance Desk, the website of Andrea Vogt.

It does not have its own link and I fear it might scroll just when we need it most so with immense gratitude to Andrea Vogt here it is here.

http://thefreelancedesk.com/front_featured/amanda-knox-appeal-2/

UPDATE OCT. 28, 2013:
Is Amanda Knox’s defense really an economic trade secret?

Two Washington State congressional Democrats (Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Adam Smith) are reportedly hosting a congressional briefing on the Amanda Knox case this week on the eve of the 6-year anniversary of Meredith Kercher’s murder.

The congressional “expert panel” consists of consultants and volunteers who have been campaigning on Knox’s behalf. Those interested in an unfiltered perspective should spend some time reading the most complete collection of translated court documents at the wiki-type document drop site here: http://themurderofmeredithkercher.com/Primary_Sources

But if Northwest lawmakers are really serious about digging into the details of the Knox case, they should also be asking hard questions about the use of U.S. public taxpayer resources for her defense. My own Freedom Of Information Act requests –going back to 2010 – continue to be delayed or denied with regard to the use of state and federal resources for the international defense of Ms. Knox.

A team of Italian lawyers have represented the Seattle woman in Italian court since 2007. But there is also an American team of consultants and lawyers working behind the scenes in the U.S. to buoy her defense. At least one American university’s laboratories and resources were used to aid in Knox’s acquittal, which was later annulled by Italy’s Supreme Court due to judicial irregularities.

Yet Boise State University lawyers refuse to reveal the full nature of the correspondence and research carried out by BSU forensic biologist and nationally-known DNA expert Greg Hampikian, whose research is cited in Wikipedia and elsewhere as the main reason Knox was set free.

Shouldn’t a state and federally funded university be required to release records related to such a high-profile international case? Not according to them.  Boise State University General Counsel Kevin D. Satterlee cited this as one of the reasons to deny my public records request to review the case:

“The product of Dr. Hampikian’s work on Ms. Knox’s defense constitutes unpublished information that is not readily ascertainable and has been the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its private nature. Such information is of potential economic value and is thus recognized as a trade secret under Idaho Code 9-340(D)1.”

Click Here to read the full BSU FOIA Denial (and click here for page 2) and to view the complete details of my request.

Yet despite BSU’s claims that the details of the research should be cloaked because it is an economic trade secret (BSU also argued it was covered by attorney-client privilege), Professor Hampikian has continued to discuss the case on the public speaking circuit in the U.S. in the two years since Knox was freed.  He often tells his audiences “I know what happened,” while arguing Rudy Guede acted alone, though multiple Italian courts have consistently ruled there were others present.

Since the high court in Rome annulled Knox’s acquittal and another trial is going forward in Florence, any congressional briefing on the case should include close scrutiny of Hampikian’s research and the true extent of American legal and academic involvement in the trial since deemed flawed by Italy’s Supreme Court. It is no secret that Hampikian has been feverishly working on the Knox’s defense. 

It was his own public declaration of “I know what happened” that triggered my initial curiousity about BSU’s exact role in the case, and led to my filing of the FOIA to see for myself. Having reported for years on higher education in Idaho in the ‘90s, I knew the state’s sunshine laws were broad enough that much of Hampikian’s correspondence on the matter should be available for open record review.

I did not expect university lawyers to deem the Knox defense an economic trade secret. But nothing galvanizes a reporter like being denied information, so I dug a little further on my own.  Here’s what I found:

BACKGROUND

Hampikian, who is director of the Idaho Innocence Project, began working quietly on Knox’s behalf in 2010, shortly after her initial conviction in an Italian court. He met several times with Knox’s family members, circulated a petition among the international forensic scientist community, and traveled with Knox’s family to Perugia as a new U.S. team was crafted to work on Knox’s appeal and aid her two Italian lawyers. Renowned Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Theodore Simon came on board, but it was Hampikian who led on forensics.

In podcasts and presentations, Mr. Hampikian recounts a series of experiments he and his research team conducted in his Boise lab: Researchers collected Coca Cola cans that had been used by employees who worked in the BSU Dean’s Office. They also bought a cheap set of knives, still in the package from a dollar store. They then collected and tagged the cans and knives only changing gloves between every other piece of evidence. The result? One of the dean’s office employees’ DNA was unknowingly transferred from a can to a knife that she had never seen or touched.  “That’s what happened with the evidence in the Knox case,” he was quoted as saying in one article.  In conferences and events, he gives a power point presentation that is a mix of Forensics 101, police video of Italian forensic cops mishandling the bra clasp on the crime scene in Perugia, clips of himself on CNN and pictures of he and Amanda in Seattle and in Idaho, on a river rafting trip earlier this summer.

But even as Hampikian continues to speak publicly on the matter throughout the country, the request to review the paperwork associated with Hampikian’s actual involvement was denied. Under U.S. public records laws, and specifically Idaho open records laws, Hampikian’s public university email address should normally be subject to review as should correspondence related to experiments in which public laboratories and resources were used. The BSU records denial letter is a questionable interpretation of the law, sunshine law experts say.

“It is well-established law in Idaho that the work-related emails of public employees are public records, and it is surprising that the university would claim a professor’s emails constitute trade secrets or anything of the sort,” said Betsy Russell, president of the Idaho Press Club and Idahoans for Open Government.

Russell cited another “clear and recent example” of release of such records elsewhere in the state, citing the University of Idaho’s release of emails from its late professor Ernesto Bustamante, in response to public records requests regarding the Benoit-Bustamante murder suicide.

THE RHOADES ERROR: IDAHO

Hampikian is a prestigious professor with an unquestionably impressive CV, but a review of the cases he’s worked on also reveals a few high-profile mistakes. In Rhoades v. Arave, Hampikian was bought in in 2005 as a consultant for Paul Ezra Rhoades, convicted for the shooting death of Stacy Baldwin, Susan Michelbacher and Nolan Haddon in eastern Idaho in 1987. In 2005, Rhoades’ defense hired Hampikian to review an 18-year-old FBI report, in hopes of casting doubt on its reliability. Hampikian concluded that the old FBI report excluded Rhoades as the murderer. But a U.S. District Court later found that in his affidavit to the court Hampikian had misread one of the swab results, referring to the DNA subtyping as “sub 1-” instead of “sub 1+.” The court asked Hampikian to explain, and Hampikian submitted a new affidavit admitting the mistake, calling it a typographical error. The court pointed out that even if the state’s DNA evidence were eliminated,  the other incriminating evidence still remained strong.  In a 34 page ruling, the petition for writ of Habeas Corpus was denied. Rhoades was executed in Idaho by lethal injection in Nov. 2011. Ref: Rhoades v. Arave (CV 93-0156-S-EJL), March 28, 2007.

THE CHILD RAPE CASE: OHIO

In an Ohio case (State vs. Roberts) Hampikian conducted a DNA test on behalf of Bradley Roberts, who was appealing the conviction of 1993 kidnapping and rape of a 10-year-old girl in Sylvania, Ohio.  The case was unsolved for many years, although evidence was collected. In early 2010, Sylvania detectives sent the rape kit evidence for analysis, citing advances in technology. A match came back to Roberts, whose DNA had been collected and entered into a statewide database because of previous convictions. Roberts was convicted. In 2011 his defense hired Hampikian, who argued that the DNA tests were insufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant had committed the crimes against the victim. The state brought in Casey Agosti, a forensic scientist considered an expert in DNA analysis. Agosti determined the likelihood or someone other than Roberts matching that same DNA profile was one in 1 billion 197 million. The court then wrote: “Hampikian’s opinion letter referencing his interpretation of DNA tests performed by the state is framed with speculative conditions and conjecture. The conclusory opinion letter simply was not exculpatory. As such maintaining that the introduction of the equivocal Hampikian opinion letter would have altered the outcome of the case is likewise conclusory and not persuasive.” Roberts is currently serving a life sentence. Ref: State of Ohio v. Bradley W. Roberts (No. L-11-1159) March 22, 2013.

THE STOCKING STRANGLER CASE: GEORGIA

Hampikian was also hired by the defense of the Stocking Strangler Carlton Gary, who some believe is unjustly on death row in Georgia.  Gary was convicted in three of seven rapes and stranglings of Columbus Georgia women in the late 1970s.  Though Hampikian consulted for some time for free, in 2010, Gary’s defense team filed a motion asking the court to authorize paying Hampkian $200 an hour for his services (not to exceed $7,500).

Most American universities encourage their professors – especially attention-attracting ones like Hampikian – to do outside consulting, however academic institutions also have specific conflict of interest policies that prohibit institutional resources and labs being used for personal gain. I believe BSU needs to answer a few more questions about its role in this case. If the research was public and not-for-profit, then emails and written correspondence should be made available. If it was private, then how does it mesh with BSU’s conflict of interest and ethics guidelines?

This point has little to do with the guilt or innocence of Amanda Knox – there is an appeal trial underway and even once there is a decision, Italy’s highest court will still have to review it. The courts may or may not agree with Mr. Hampikian’s specific assertions about the forensics in the case.

However the fact that BSU lawyers interpreted Idaho law in a way to avoid revealing Hampikian’s correspondence on the Knox case strikes me as significant.

It raises the following questions: Do U.S. citizens have the right to know if public university resources, labs and funds were used (and how) to aid the defense of a private citizen accused abroad of murder, justly or unjustly?  What are the parameters for this kind of advocacy?  When should public universities be allowed to come to the aid of those imprisoned at home or abroad, who decides who gets help and who doesn’t, and how transparent should those university efforts be?

Perugia Trial © A.

Posted by The Machine on 11/09/13 at 11:57 AM | #

Eulonda Skyles totally skewers Hampikian and Boise State. She shows how illogical it is for them to hide behind a trade secrets act to shield them from disclosing results of Hampikian’s Coca-cola can project in which he attempted to prove tertiary transfer of DNA, when he wanted to establish contamination in the Knox case.

Skyles shines a spotlight on the shady claims that Hampikian doesn’t have to reveal anything about his dabbling in Italian justice and a murder case. No, all of his influencing the Knox case should remain a secret, because his coke can research might one day prove lucrative.

Yet all Andrea Vogt was asking for was what Hampikian had said publicly, like his emails to Italians for the official record or anything Hampikian had already disseminated publicly. When it was to his advantage he was by no means trying to veil his lab research in secrecy, not when he was trumpeting his finds as explosive info that would exonerate Knox. Further, he was doing all this under the aegis of a nationally known and very public Innocence Project. Hardly Top Secret.

But now after Andrea’s request she made under the Freedom of Info act, he and Boise balk. Suddenly he has bottled up all his info and strategems and hides them behind the shield of “no, it’s a trade secret, me and BSU can’t disclose.”

They’re buying time by putting up the wall of this legality. They know it will force someone into expensive time and effort to litigate it to find the truth.

The only comfort in this deadend or brick wall that Vogt hit trying to find out Hampikian’s involvement in Knox’s freakish acquittal is that Hamp is probably just a giant red herring to this case, and letting the matter drop might be the wisest course.

After the Supreme Court rules on this appeal, Hampikian’s info will have no further value, at least not to this case, and not to anybody else either until he does a heap more experiments and makes verifiable conclusions.

Go for it, because if he would like to add to the body of forensic knowledge and truth, that would be wonderful. The spirit of Meredith Kercher would bravely assent to that. TJMK is all about truth, not lies.

Nobody wants Knox or Raffaele or any human convicted on faulty evidence, but Hampikian is considering just one narrow corner of the entire tablecloth of evidence that covers this case, and he doesn’t appear too forthcoming even about that small bit. Who put the Innocence in Innocence Project? or just the no in no sense.

@The Machine, thanks for the Skyles link. Skyles did a great job of clearly explaining what’s going on with the Hampikian business.

Posted by Hopeful on 11/09/13 at 01:41 PM | #

Following up on the Perugian Blogger, I just challenged his representative Bruce Fischer to provide proof Franceso Sforza tried to return to Seattle King County Superior Court to answer assault charges but was turned away at the border, leaving his guarantor out $2500+ posted as surety.

http://groundreport.com/anti-amanda-knox-blogger-edward-mccall-turns-down-offer-to-defend-his-deceptive-website-on-live-radio-program/#comment-1115582839

Since “Frank Sfarzo” has resurfaced on Bruce’s site, it should be a simple matter to post a copy of his passport page with the stamp showing he was denied entry? Seeing as how Bruce knows how to get in contact with him?

Posted by Ergon on 11/09/13 at 02:28 PM | #

I understand the Hampikian story. It is nothing new.

What I do not understand is Boise State. How did the university get going into this mess? Certainly they have got some decent counsel?

I do not believe his coca-cola research and I do not think he can publish it in any respectable journal - I do not think he can pass the review stage.

Is Hampikian the Boise State?  Or is the long hand of Mariott in action?  Something is stinking here.

Posted by chami on 11/09/13 at 02:41 PM | #

The Idaho Innocence Project has lost its primary source of funding:

http://www.ktvb.com/news/local/Idaho-Innocence-Project-loses-funding-230863251.html

It seems Greg Hampikian will have to raise funds if he wants to help exonerate people like Amanda Knox and Bradley Roberts.

Posted by The Machine on 11/09/13 at 03:57 PM | #

@chami @seekingunderstanding

Men, generally, at least in my field, don’t listen. Rather they try to impose their solutions without listening to all the evidence. Women listen.

A good thing about this site is that, mostly, gender is not obvious.

I apologise to all the men on this site who do listen, for my generality. But there seem to be a lot of “Knox folk men” who don’t.

Posted by Miles on 11/09/13 at 05:22 PM | #

The men thing is obvious. Men don’t ask for directions either.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 11/09/13 at 05:42 PM | #

Yes…  we have some good, listening men (more thoughtful) on this site.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/09/13 at 05:51 PM | #

Thank you SeekingUnderstanding, we also have men who have no problem asking for directions on this site too, smile

Posted by Spencer on 11/09/13 at 06:17 PM | #

(But is Beckinsale calling Nadeau a nutter?!)

Mob mentality: NPR today aired a lengthy segment on the anniversary of Kristallnacht.

This was government sponsored pillaging and arson, but the participants had to have been destructively inclined to begin with.

Not to mention generational perpetuation of scapegoating myths against the targets of their hatred. How was it handled in the world press?

Posted by mimi on 11/09/13 at 09:02 PM | #

@Miles

I do not know what is your field, but I beg to differ anyway. I deal with young men and women, about the same number, as part of my job. Therefore I have an opinion.

Both men and women pay attention to the task on hand and hear well. I make a distinction between hearing and listening. Almost the perfect normal distribution. I guess young women assimilate better.

Men, I agree, appear to be somewhat more orthodox in their beliefs. They listen at work and both do well when they are given a detailed worked out instruction.

Without supervision, both do equally bad. Perhaps men think a bit more logically and they feel more responsible but the difference is small.

There is a difference between a mob and army.

Mob is disorganised and can cause havoc but has broad focus (no specific goals) and is basically leaderless (ill-defined leadership). Destruction is the only visible result.

Army has a specific target, highly organized and has strong visible leadership.

Mob thinks but it is different at a collective and individual levels. Army does not think at an individual level; somebody has already done their job for them.

But all these apply for regular folks!

Posted by chami on 11/10/13 at 02:11 AM | #

There is a great deal written on mob behaviour. It is often called crowd psychology, or crowd dynamics.

Psychology derived from Jung talks about ‘the individuation’ of a person, which is to do with inner growth and development. Crowd psychology often refers to ‘de-individuation’, which is the opposite, downward spiral.

I would question whether a mob ‘thinks’? They may ‘believe’ (cliche, sound bites etc), but a feature of sound thinking is that it cannot be rushed.

A very simple, common characteristic of a mob or crowd is when a good portion of them begin to move in the same direction….a flow is created (which may end in disaster). People are, quite literally, ‘swept along’.

If we chose a direction for ourselves, we are making a decision, a choice. This will take time, however brilliantly fast we might be at making good choices!

When or if we go in a direction already pre-chosen, by others, it would give a (survival) advantage of saving time.

A good leader, then, whom we can trust, is not only important, but vital. Leadership truly matters.

If there are different levels of anti-social tendencies, there will be those at the worst end, say, ‘0’, and then those at the top end, say ‘7’, and these latter would be highly organized, and skilled in co-operation and collaboration.

Suppose those in the middle, say at 2, 3, or even 4 ...who may have anti-social traits which are normally passive, restrained and over-ruled (perhaps by the necessity of behaving well in order to earn a living)...

If a seriously dangerous anti-social personality becomes the ‘leader’, these normally harmless but mediocre persons can be caught up and led in the wrong direction, with their anti-social traits coming to the fore. Maybe they even surprise themselves in this.

Then there is the crowd momentum that is difficult to halt, or even pause, and so ‘takes over’.

It seems that crowd dynamics are now at work in a new form over the Internet, without physically being a ‘mob’, but with the same potential for negative consequences.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/10/13 at 08:06 AM | #

Since this male-female issue was brought up, in today’s society it seems more men are falling through the cracks but that is because of the culture devaluing men and giving women a sense of superiority and the people usually telling women this by the way of course are men.

In fact not listening to others is more an attitude issue then a gender issue of feeling superior to others. A woman I work with doesn’t listen to me and it affects my own view of her and listening to her of course.

In fact where I currently work some women have this attitude that they think know better even though as someone who just turn 40 and putting gender aside have more life experience as well but they have this idea of men being inferior.

As I said society and women themselves are send the message to men that at best they are ATM machines but I don’t see a man by nature being any less social creatures then women and men who lack social connections have issues. Just from a religious perspective, being Jewish, God chose men who were socially concerned and rewards men of this type; in today’s society in some areas we reward the wrong type of men.

This is my first comment here.

Posted by adamk on 11/10/13 at 08:48 PM | #

And in regard to Amanda I do think her own dysfunctional family plays a large role in what she became and her mother being attracted to a man that had issues which it is pretty obvious from what I have read. Amanda herself is attracted to anti-social men. I think a healthy balance between the genders played a part in her pathologies.

In terms of defending Amanda Knox it does seem to me from going on amazon and seeing comments that defend her simply for identity purposes it is much more women then men who defend her (although there are certainly some vocal men) as sort of a woman who was taken advantage of and her being a victim of a corrupt male judicial process.

If she was a man in her 20’s with 2 others murdering a guy I don’t think there would be this PR that there is for Knox.  I really don’t.

Posted by adamk on 11/10/13 at 08:54 PM | #

@adamk

It is hurtful, and also very foolish, if one of the genders asserts superiority. I’m sorry if this has been your experience.

Of course, men and women - indeed people - have different strengths and different weaknesses. It is quite common for some people to act out superiority because they feel actually inferior in some way.

With Knox, it is fair to say that clear and precise logic is not her forte ( “I had a vision that this might have been how it was”...) If she has gathered around herself an entourage of females with similarly weak logical processes, this is indeed an example of a collective weakness made worse by numbers.

if logic had been applied to the allegation of ‘corrupt male judicial process’ this would soon be seen to be what it is : a myth, an illusion .

The case is all the more shocking because of the gender of both the victim and the defendant. We cannot help but have an expectation of some empathy in women…  if only because the majority do have a degree of empathy which will override the more anti-social and aggressive impulses.

It is not at all uncommon for a perpetrator to wail that they are the victim. However, I have faith in the good judgement and experience of the judges.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/11/13 at 05:48 AM | #

For those confused about what Kate Beckinsale actually said, there are about four relevant quotes.

1. This is a little hard to understand, since the context is provided by the writer.  I’m quoting the entire passage so you can judge for yourselves:

But that is unlikely to stop headline writers linking Beckinsale with Knox, the Seattle-born student whose every court appearance in her trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007 was treated like a Hollywood red carpet moment, and whose guilt or innocence still provokes furious and sometimes fanatical debate in online forums as the case grinds through the Italian courts six years later.

Beckinsale, 40, said she was ready for the attention. “I’ve done three films dressed head to toe in latex, so don’t think I haven’t had my share of nutters.”

From this, I gather that “nutters” refers to people who engage in “fanatical debate” over this case, rather than Knox, Nadeau, or anyone directly involved in the case or in reporting about the case.

For one, I have serious issues with the journalist’s condescending tone in the preceding paragraph.  It sounds like Tom Kington had some trouble understanding why people felt so strongly about this case and may have asked Beckinsale if she was worried about scathing reviews or responses.  In addition, I found it rather offensive that he said Knox’s appearances were treated like red-carpet events.  There was absolutely nothing glamorous about Knox’s appearances in court and I think that if Meredith had been Kington’s sister, he would have considered that the trial was first and foremost about Meredith’s murder, and not about Amanda’s innocence. 

Secondly, I think neither of them realizes that debate is a very good thing when reporting about this case has mostly relied on scripts dutifully provided by a multimillion PR campaign (at least in the US).  TJMK and PMF have served not only as discussion fora, but also as repositories of case documents which clearly contradict some of the misconceptions promoted by the PR campaign.  Our tone has never been “furious” or “fanatical,” but rather logical and composed. 

Maybe Beckinsale is referring to the FOA, which have displayed what I would consider fanaticism, so I don’t think we should judge this one comment too harshly.  It’s quite difficult to tell what exactly she was talking about since we don’t have the unmediated context.

2.

The actor was careful to reserve judgment on whether she thought Knox, with her then boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, fatally stabbed Kercher in her student digs in Perugia, a crime for which they were jailed, then acquitted on appeal, only to be sent back to trial this year by Italy’s supreme court. “I have read lots of books, watched a lot of YouTube,” she said. “I had an opinion before I started researching, but then it became opaque.”

No idea what her opinion actually is, but I have an inkling based on another statement she made.

3. 

But she said she was still trying to fathom the appeal of the one character who will not be appearing in the film: Amanda Knox. “Is the bottom line that she is not what a murderer looks like?”

The bottom line is far more complex than that, but if she’s having trouble understanding Knox’s appeal, she’s on the right track.

4.  Finally, this is what she said about Barbie Nadeau:

Playing a bright woman is a relief. There aren’t so many [of those roles] flying around.

Posted by Vivianna on 11/11/13 at 11:23 AM | #

Hi, Vivianna. I too noted what I thought was Kate Beckinsale’s response to a leading question from Tom Kington. Having met and spoken with Kington in Rome, I think the phrase is how he sees us.

Too bad. What does it say about media that can’t be bothered to do its job? Six years later, and they still haven’t done their research? I still am hopeful that some reporters, at least, will check us out and report honestly.

Posted by Ergon on 11/11/13 at 06:21 PM | #


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