Questions For Sollecito: Katie Couric, Push Back Against Sollecito’s Bluster And False Facts #1
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Last Monday at 3:00 pm in the ABC TV1 studio on West 66th in New York city, Katie Couric launched a one-hour talk-show which will run five days a week. Next tuesday she will interview Raffaele Sollecito.
Who is Katie Couric?
In the fifteen years leading up to 2006, Katie Couric was a lively, bright and often very funny morning-show compere on NBC’s Today show . In 2006, she switched to CBS, to become the first woman to anchor the evening news. She also did a number of interviews for CBS’s 60 Minutes airing on Sunday nights.
In those years, she cultivated the broadest range of interview styles of anyone in American TV. Many of her interview questions are sympathetic puffballs. Her own husband died of cancer in 1998 when he was 42 and she 41, with two daughters not yet in their teens, so she relates unusually well to guests who have had tragedies in their own lives.
At other times, though, she can be as tenacious as a tiger. In 2008 she did a series of interviews with Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, in which Palin looked far from ready for prime time. Palin and John McCain, the presidential candidate, lost the election to Barack Obama and Joe Biden by a substantial margin.
Some still blame Couric for asking Palin the few “gotcha” questions which stumped her, though in general it is accepted that Couric helped to show up somebody too misinformed, strident and shoot-from-the-hip to be a president-in-waiting. A recent movie version confirmed this.
So which Couric will viewers see weekdays on ABC? The puffball thrower, or the tiger? Almost certainly a bit of both, for ABC hope it is this danger and uncertainty in Couric’s interviews that will drag millions of viewers in daily.
The Sollecito interview next tuesday
For Katie Couric, this represents a good opportunity - she could really make news here - and maybe something of a risk. The risk comes only if she is briefed only by the Knox-Sollecito PR people and the book agents and book publishers that handle Sollecito.
She may leave her millions of viewers only dimly aware of Sollecito’s true legal status, and presuming that both Sollecito and Knox are off the hook, and that there is “no evidence”, and that those meanie Italians have done something really nefarious.
All of the media reports on Sollecito and Knox this past week that said “they were acquitted” have it seriously wrong.
This is merely the interval between the second act (the first appeal of 2011) and the third (the Supreme Court appeal 0f 2013) which will start playing out on 23 March. There could be several more acts to come, maybe including a complete repeat of the first appeal, which the Supreme Court has not hesitated to insist on before.
Meanwhile, Sollecito’s correct legal status under Italian law (along with that of Amanda Knox) is that he still stands accused of murdering Meredith, until the Supreme Court signs off on a verdict.
The risk for Couric is that if she does only a puffball interview, and allows herself to be snowed by the dishonest PR and in effect turned into yet another shill, she could come down on what could soon emerge as the losing side, and helped build sympathy for a killer.
We just saw the perfect example of this. A senior psychology professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, less than 10 minutes walk from ABC’s west-side studios, swallowed the PR line on Knox and Sollecito without the slightest checking. You can read his sorry story here and here.
Since then, only an embarrassed silence.
This is a 20 point road-map of the Perugia case for the Couric people and any new readers that her show sends to TJMK and PMF. Post (2) will have some really tough questions, which Sollecito can be expected to flunk. With luck, these posts will turn Couric & company into tigers. Enjoy the hot seat, Sollecito.
1. Sollecito is not the real victim in this case
While Couric’s predecessor Oprah was snowed by the PR 18 months ago, she did to her credit remember Meredith, and closed with a huge photo of her that lingered. This is the real Meredith as an in-memoriam post described her.
Meredith really hit the ground running in Perugia. She had dreamed of it for a long time.
She bonded immediately with her two nice Italian flatmates, who were both working in town, and soon with the neighbors downstairs. Within days she had an “instant crowd’ of the girls from Leeds and other UK universities.
She liked the house, liked the clubs, liked walking Perugia, liked the culture and the fun festivals in Perugia. Her first encounters with her new boyfriend downstairs, an Italian musician, were said to be shy and sweet.
And she was focused and already working her tail off. She had won a well-funded Erasmus grant and although she wanted to work a little, she had no worries about money.
She arrived with an excellent command of Italian after two years of hard study at the European Studies school in Leeds, and at the Università per Stranieri she was clearly going to excel.
She was also studying politics and economics at the main university, which was very close, and she seemed set to go very far. her eyes were already on the powerful international bodies in Brussels.
2. Italy’s excellent justice system is very pro defendant
Prosecutors have to jump through more hoops than any other system in the world. Major errors and framings of innocent parties never make it through to a final guilty verdict. Please read here and here.
Proportionally Italy has only one-seventh the murder rate of the US and proportionally less than one-twentieth of the prison population of the US. Hardly a justice system out of control. .
3. Meredith’s murder was a cruel and depraved act
Although a key trial session on the barbaric 15-minute struggle with Meredith was closed to the public Italians know how cruel and depraved it was and how it HAD to have involved three attackers.
4. The case was well investigated and well prosecuted
The investigation and crime-scene analysis resulted in a very powerful case at trial as that long series of Powerpoints brilliantly summarises
The judges’ reasoning was brilliant and precise and showed NO media influence, NO satanic theory, NO desperate prosecutor, NO rush to judgment, and NO hint that it had all been inspired by Knox’s and Sollecito’s quirky callous behavior after Meredith died - that behavior by the way suggested they enjoyed toying with the police until they were finally arrested.
They were convicted based on clashing alibis, autopsy evidence, blood evidence, footprint evidence, cellphone evidence, computer-use evidence, eye-witness evidence, and so on and on. Quirky callous behavior (which did happen) was barely on the radar at trial.
5. Knox and Sollecito were never cross examined at trial
Had they been, they would almost certainly have collapsed almost instantly - as Couric hopefully will find out.
Instead, the defendants made repeated unchallenged statements to the court, as the Italian system allows, many highly self-serving, and when Knox took the stand only to explain why she fingered Patrick Lumumba, prosecution questions were highly hedged by prior agreement.
These are among the many dozens of open questions (more for Sollecito in our next post) which the defendants have still never confronted.
- Here is Kermit’s list of 150 questions which so far have never been answered by either of the formerly convicted perps.
- Here is Kermit on Sollecito’s footprint on the mat which Judge Micheli and Judge Massei accepted and Judge Hellman only weakly and possibly illegally rebutted.
- Here again is the Machine on RS’s various alibis the strange arc of which two years later is still unexplained.
- Here is lawyer SomeAlibi’s list of evidence points of a year ago which Hellman weakly rebutted or ignored and which still call for convincing explanations.
6. This was no lone wolf crime by Rudy Guede alone
After a fatuous failed attempt by a defense attorney to have a tall athletic staff member climb through Filomena’s bedroom window the defenses NEVER EVER argued that Guede acting alone could have done it.
They simply ignored the evidence of a rearranged crime scene in that bedroom and at appeal introduced TWO conflicting witnesses Mario Alessi and Luciano Aviello to try to show other people were involved. Both collapsed under examination.
7. Investigative and prosecution staff performed just fine
Curt Knox’s campaign and American media have carried out what looks to us like the real frame here, that of claiming (only in English) that the police and investigators and prosecution were corrupt or incompetent or driven by Satan.
NONE of this conspircacy theory is believed by anyone in Italy who knows about it. Police and investigators and prosecution had every chance to explain themselves (in Italian) in the court and newspapers and on TV. Read here and here and here and here.
8. The “guilty” trial outcomes convinced more than Italians
With few exceptions Italians continue to regard Sollecito and Knox as guilty. No wonder he is so desperate to get out of the place. He was never ever very popular there, and prior to Meredith’s murder he came across like a perverted loner with a drug habit who needed constant supervision by his father.
In 2008 when Sollecito was being transported to Verona University for an entrance exam in virtual reality (which he failed) he was yelled at by an angry crowd when the police van stopped at an autostrada service area for a restroom break. He was bundled back in and the police van took off in a hurry.
The entire officialdom of Perugia holds a pro-guilt view. Umbria’s chief prosecutor Dr Galati holds this view. Relevant officials in Rome all hold this view. Probably 95 percent of the interested Italian population hold this view. The vast majority of Italian journalists hold this view. The Rome-based foreign reporters all hold this view. A large if unknown fraction in the UK and US populations hold this view.
Behind the scenes in the NYC media a majority seem to hold this view. Some of the publishers who were offered the books hold this view. Hillary Clinton and the ambassador in Rome seem to hold this view. Many lawyers and even judges who read here hold this view. Even Knox’s and Sollecitos lawyers at trial in 2009 seemed less than firm believers in them.
Even some who knew Knox and Sollecito from way back in childhood in their home towns were unsurprised when they were first arrested and locked up in November 2007.
9. Both families face trials for attempted subversion of justice
While suggestive of a belief in their offsprings’ guilt rather than probative, both families are charged with attempts to subvert justice. Knox’s parents are being sued by the police interrogators who they claimed without evidence had abused her. (Mignini is not one of them, as he was not there.)
The highly qualified senior criminal judge in Perugia Judge Chiari was slated to preside over the appeal. He was mysteriously yanked at the last moment and reported angry, and instead two ill-qualified civil judges with questionable impartiality (they each had something to gain from a not-guilty verdict) presided over the appeal.
Our Italian lawyers say this is the most amateurish sentencing report in a murder case they have even seen. Please read here.
12. The independent DNA report’s quality is appalling
There a strong internal hint that the grandstanding American academic Hampikian might have been involved in its creation. Please read here.
13. The prosecution has lodged a very strong Supreme Court appeal
The chief prosecutor of the province of Umbria, Dr Galati, was himself until last year a deputy chief prosecutor at the Supreme Court in Rome. His expertise and credibility at this level outclasses that of all the other lawyers on the case combined. Please read here.
14. More trouble ahead for the families and defenses in other cases
Please read here. The key cases from the point of view of an outcome for Sollecito and Knox are the investigations into Alessi and especially Luciano Aviello who claimed that bribes were offered in his prison for testimony favorable to Sollecito.
That Judge Hellmann chose not to pursue that stunning claim, which could have thrown the appeal trial, is one of the points of Dr Galati’s appeal to the Supreme Court which if accepted could result in a new appeal trial.
It could also result in Sollecito’s lead lawyer Giulia Bongiorno (who is reputed to dislike him) having to take herself off the case.
15. Sollecito did a much derided interview in Italy
This was late last year after the appeal verdict. That much-watched one-hour interview with Sollecito seems to have totally bombed. Sollecito gave little away, and sounded smug, narcissistic, whiny, and sophomoric.
He probably convinced nobody of his innocence and reinforced the suspicions of those who are pro-guilt. He is said to come across 5 to 10 years below his real age, and that certainly is what happened here. After that one interview, other Italian networks were not exactly lining up for more of the same.
There are of course many excellent pro-guilt commentators in Italy, including Garofano, Sarzanini, Benedettelli, Giuttiari, and Castellini, Dont hold your breath hoping the little coward is ever put face to face with them.
16. No lawyers or media lawyers now publicly support RS
The probable problem is that they have actually got to grips with the translated court documents. Even Knox legal advisors Ted Simon and Robert Barnettt have long been silent. Please read here and here and here.
17. Several who did speak out for him looked like PR shills
Geraldo Rivera of Fox cable TV was one who bizarrely spoke out, and Jane Velez Mitchell of CNN Headline News was another. So was Joe Tacopina of ABC News, who also soon disappeared. So was Lis Wiehl. So was John Q Kelly.
18. Several good media lawyers speak out against him
In the USA Nancy Grace, Wendy Murphy, Jeanine Pirro, and Ann Coulter have all stated that they perceive guilt. Please read here and here and here and here.
19. Public relations hoaxes in attempt to help defendants
While suggestive of a belief in their offsprings’ guilt rather than probative, campaigns for both defendants have run under the Italian radar what amounted to hoaxes to mislead the American and British publics. Please read here and here.
Agents and ghost writers and publishers for the pro-Sollecito and pro Knox books also seem to fall into this category. Please read here and here and here and here.
20. Bigotry and xenophobia should be no part of any campaign
Huge strains of bigotry against Italians and black people and xenophobia against Italy have always been kept on the boil by Curt Knox’s defense campaign. Oprah Winfrey didnt realise, and she ended up in the absurd position of supporting probable white killers while pointing only to Rudy Guede, a black man, and smearing Italy.
Curt Knox’s hatchet men have made a considerable industry out of ridiculing the Italian police and the prosecution - but only in English. As explained here the police for the most part are the Italian equivalent of the FBI and considered among the finest in the world.
There were always several prosecutors at least on the case throughout the entire process, and they all followed the letter of the law. The impugning of Italian officials by falsely accusing them of crimes as Curt Knox’s campaign often does is itself a crime under Italian law.
Italians and Italian-Americans and Italian officials and black people everywhere deserve very much better than this. Katie Couric seems ideally suited to finally assert a balance and a return to decency, legality, and justice for the true victim, Meredith, and her loving family.
She should use this interview to nail Sollecito and hammer a stake through the PR campaign’s heart.
Next post: questions we recommend that Katie Couric put to Raffaele Sollecito.
This is a great all-encompassing view of Sollecito. You’ve done Couric’s work for her. It’s like a GPS guide to his weak points. I hope Couric uses it and nets this rabies victim.
Even though I live in the UK I’ve always been a big supporter of Ms Couric. She’s intelligent, capable and has proved herself time and time again.
So I’m hopeful she will do herself and her show proud and get to the heart of his lies - she’s certainly capable of it.
If she succeeds I’ll be a fan for life.
Hi Hopeful and Spencer.
Here is another insight into who she is.
Katie Couric’s husband Jay Monahan was a TV lawyer who one could see on national and cable TV almost every day. Perhaps the flagship legal commentator then in the US. He was brilliant and extremely factual and persuasive, and when he died all of TV legal commentary seemed to drop a notch. Court TV folded.
I happened to pass him on the street at Rockefeller Center a few weeks before he died. He was so emaciated that it took 30 seconds for me to figure out who he was. Katie Couric started a cancer foundation in his name and she puts a lot of money and effort in there.
I dont think life has ever been so much fun for her since though she she has her boyfriends. The new talk show may or may not play to her needs. I think she wants respect for her serious side. She is very bright and informed but has always had to live with her lightweight early image.
I have no doubt that Jay would have been on Meredith’s side.
Not only does Sollecito appear immature and whiny but native Italian speakers have related that he is barely literate in his own language. Coupled with Knox, whose puerile antics are legendary in the US, their continued public preening displays an entirely different image than their handlers intended.
Couric could start by asking Sollecito whether it is right for him to be trying to profit from Meredith’s death. That question won’t be asked, of course, but increasingly it’s being asked in comments sections in media articles on-line and from all over the globe.
Massei asked AK one question: that was brilliant!
“What kind of heating you have in the house?”
Couric can also ask RS a similar question. Perhaps a couple of similar questions. She is smart and she knows that we all are waiting!
Let us see!
As expected, he seems to be throwing AK under the bus yet again:
I love Katie Couric!!! I hope she gives Sollecito “what for”!!!!