Friday, September 02, 2011

Nina Burleigh: View From A Broad Who Doesn’t Seem To Like Broads Or Being Abroad

Posted by Peggy Ganong





In Burleigh’s shoddy book on the murder of Meredith Kercher, she gets the victim’s birthday wrong. But that’s not all she gets wrong. From what I can tell, Burleigh simply skips over much of the key evidence in favor of gossiping about and criticizing other journalists who have covered the case.

She is particularly hard on female journalists, which is odd given that she prides herself on being a modern feminist. I find it very telling, for example, that she indicates what Barbie Nadeau and Andrea Vogt’s husbands do for a living (one works for the UN and one is a university professor), but does not see fit to provide us with any information on what the wives of any of the male journalists do.

The implication is clear: these two “females” took up writing as a sort of hobby after trailing behind their menfolk to Europe. Worse, Burleigh notes that though they are both American born, they are more European in “style” and “craft” which, aside from being absolute nonsense, remains unsubstantiated by any analysis whatsoever. It amounts to saying “they’re sooooo European”. What does that mean?

Well, once you know that Burleigh is a relentless and mindless cheerleader for the superiority of all things American, it becomes clear that what she means is that they are inferior journalists because all things European are inferior to all things American. Burleigh also claims that what she calls Nadeau’s “cosmopolitan speech affect” is an attempt to hide her Middle American roots (in Burleigh’s words, her “rural South Dakota accent”). She says the “statuesque redhead” Vogt looks like she could play the role of Brenda Starr.

In other words, Burleigh is trying to suggest that these two are imposters, merely playing at journalism by dressing up like a cartoon journalist or putting on airs and trying to talk like a big city slicker instead of a sharecropper.

In fact, Vogt has been a working reporter for fifteen years, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in journalism, is trilingual and has published in English, German and Italian. I don’t know much about Nadeau’s academic training, but she currently writes on a variety of topics for both Newsweek and the Daily Beast. And the excellent Christopher Dickey thinks quite highly of her.

Meanwhile, back to Burleigh and her seemingly endless supply of sour grapes. At one point in her book, she mentions an Italian female reporter, but only to comment on her boots! One starts to wonder what she has against women, especially her professional peers.

Her male peers do not get a free pass, either, at least those who work in that dreadful country Italy where, according to Burleigh, freedom of speech does not exist. She criticizes foreign journalists based in Italy, basically calling them a bunch of cowards, so fearful of the Mafia that they confine themselves to writing about la dolce vita—food, wine and bunga bunga. This is absolute bollocks, of course.

John Follain, who has covered the case for the Times, has written two books about Italy in the fifteen or so years he has lived there: one is about the Mafia, while the other takes on the Vatican. Vogt investigated the White Supremacy movement in Idaho and has written an excellent book about it, not without exposing herself to danger. As for Nadeau, she has covered Italy’s garbage crisis, and in one gritty, unforgettable article for Newsweek describes walking through some of the most dangerous Mafia neighborhoods.

All three have been viciously attacked by Knox supporters. Meanwhile, Nina Burleigh is happy to fixate on what her fellow journalists are wearing and eating and drinking. Come to think of it, when she was a correspondent in France, she was obsessed with complaining about and criticizing French women, probably for not instantly recognizing her innate superiority.

It is too bad Burleigh opted to focus on this kind of crap instead of actually discussing much of the real evidence against Knox and Sollecito. Frankly, hers is the most disappointing and surely the nastiest book on the tragic murder of Meredith Kercher that has been published to date. After reading what Burleigh wrote about Nadeau and Vogt, I was left wondering why she has such an ax to grind with them.

Is it because they are at least a decade younger than she is? Is it because they live in Europe and she doesn’t? Is it because they are fluent in foreign languages and she isn’t? I really don’t know, but the book sure has a bitter stench to it.

The good news is I didn’t even have to buy it. In fact, I don’t want to be seen reading it in public. Thanks to Google books, I was able to find many of the offending passages on line. In addition, I can discreetly skim at my local bookseller’s. All in all, I have found it a pretty dull exercise. The book is glib, superficial and gossipy. One walks away feeling dirty and sad, wondering where one would be placed within Burleigh’s social and class hierarchy. Hopefully at least a hair above middle class.

I almost forgot to mention the pièce de résistance in Burleigh’s sliming of the two female journalists who did not roll over for the Knox family PR supertanker. Burleigh also asserts that these two small-town American imposters, after acquiring their polished “style” and “craft” by living in Europe, were “appalled” by the way AK and her family “flouted” Italian mores, implying that this snobbery tainted their reporting.

While I recall both journalists providing good analysis of how and why some of the antics of AK and her family were not good strategy under the circumstances – for example, AK’s decision to turn up in court one day wearing an over-sized “all you need is love” t-shirt or her sister Deanna’s choice of courtroom attire on July 4 (red-white-and-blue hotpants outfit) – I have never read anything suggesting they personally disapproved of or were appalled by the American and her family.

Since this snide and non-sourced aside appears on the same page as Burleigh’s claim that Nadeau tried to hide her “rural” accent with a “cosmopolitan speech affect”, it is fair to say that Burleigh’s real goal is to discredit them as objective reporters. It is almost as if she - Burleigh - were taking dictation from Doug Preston! And if Burleigh finds this to be a sexist remark, then I suggest she take a long, hard look in the mirror.

In the same section of the book, Burleigh describes John Kercher as a tabloid reporter and notes that neither he nor his family even “attempted” to learn Italian, relying instead on their lawyer to tell them what was going on.

Yes, you read that right: Burleigh thinks that the grieving Kercher family should have set aside their grief and contacted Berlitz straight away! And she implies that it is a mistake to rely on their legal counsel for information or advice. (At least Italy gives the victim’s family a legal voice.) I guess Burleigh would prefer that the Kercher family turn to people like Amanda’s stepfather Chris Mellas, or the various profiteers riding the PR supertanker: David Marriott and Doug Preston to name just two. This is apparently what Burleigh did.

It is clear from what I have read that Burleigh is not concerned with the victim Meredith Kercher or her family. She seems more interested in passing judgement on those she considers inferior in station to herself (just about everyone),complaining about life in Italy and taking pot shots at other journalists. My guess is that deep down she likes Italy about as much as she liked France, which is to say not much, maybe not at all. Burleigh is that quintessential Ugly American. I saw early signs of it in her reporting on this case for Time.

Incidentally, she did not begin until June of 2009, when the trial was well under way and almost two years after the murder itself. I had never heard of Burleigh, so I decided to have a look at her earlier work, especially that on life in France. I truly was flabbergasted by her utter inability to cope in a strange land.

She took an instant dislike to the French in general and was unable to understand the culture, in part because she was unable or unwilling to learn the language. I find it ironic – and appalling – that she faults the Kerchers, of all people, for not learning the language of the country where their daughter/sister was murdered when she herself could or would not learn the language of the country she was residing in under happy circumstances.

Is it class or gender or nationality that Burleigh most has a problem with?

Hard to say, since she seems to have a sense of superiority that encompasses all three. Speaking of disapproval, Burleigh treats the Knox women and Meredith’s British friends in the same haughty, catty manner as she treats her professional peers. In fact, she refers to the Knox clan collectively as “a hair on the low side of middle class”. I guess from the throne upon which she has placed herself, Burleigh is able to make these fine distinctions and, in addition, finds it necessary.

And how about this fine value judgement on page 33? “Amanda was the sole member of the gaggle of menstruating, jealous, bitchy, angry, loving, needy females around Curt who could keep her emotions in check”. I’m not making this up; Burleigh actually wrote those words. One pictures hapless Curt surrounded by the seven dwarves (Jealous, Bitchy, Angry, Loving, Needy, Bloody and Amanda).

While I believe that Amanda Knox was rightly convicted for her role in Meredith Kercher’s death, and though I have been critical of her family’s decision to hire a PR firm that has attempted to manipulate public opinion, I certainly think they are entitled to a little more respect and empathy than this. Speaking of entitled, that is how Burleigh herself comes off throughout this book.

Moving on to Meredith’s British friends, Burleigh dismisses them en masse with this tightly packed bundle of sexism and stereotyping: “tweedy peaches-and-cream complected sylphs who moved as a pack”. How Burleigh would even know how they moved is beyond me, since she was not covering the case in the days or even months that followed this brutal murder. Perhaps, if they did stick together, it was for mutual comfort. That’s what the little people do, Nina.

Italian women are not spared either. In addition to her fixation on a local reporter’s boots (perhaps because she could not read her work?), Burleigh describes Police Chief Monica Napoleoni’s style as “part dominatrix, part donatella Versace with a badge” and another Italian policewoman as a “thick-bodied woman”. Nina’s motto: When in Rome and unable to follow what’s going on, focus instead on making disparaging comments about the way other women look.

Burleigh pretentiously dedicates her book to the victims of sexual violence, an odd choice since she does little more here than perpetuate the sexist and sexual stereotypes that underlie this phenomenon. I am all for supporting the victims of sexual violence and will do so by not buying Burleigh’s nasty piece of work, which adds nothing to our knowledge of the case anyway.

Anyone who really wants to read a good book on the murder of Meredith Kercher should try Darkness Descending and/or Angel Face, both out for some time now. In addition to these works, John Follain, who has lived in Italy since the mid-90’s and covered the case from the outset, has a book coming out soon. I seriously doubt he will be focusing on women’s boots.




Comments

Hi Skep,

Thanks for writing this excellent review of Nina Burleigh’s book. It was clear from her factually inaccurate and biased articles about the case that Nina Burleigh’s book would be just as terrible.

However, her malicious comment about Meredith’s friends is just appalling and speaks volumes about her poisonous character. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was expressing a commonly-held view of the people Nina Burleigh surrounded herself with such as Amanda Knox’s family.

It should be noted that her interpreter Giulia Alagna is nothing more than a personal assistant for Curt Knox and Chris and Edda Mellas.

I have never rated Nina Burleigh as a journalist. She’s a naive and unworldly academic who has allowed herself to be manipulated and misinformed by people who have repeatedly proven themselves to be dishonest.

Posted by The Machine on 09/02/11 at 09:56 AM | #

Thanks Skep for a great book review. So good, I know I don’t want to get any closer to the book in question.

I’m impressed with Burleigh’s linguistic accumen. There aren’t too many persons out there who are able to distinguish a “rural South Dakota accent”, from, say, a rural Nebraska accent. There must be a demand somewhere for people like her. While she doesn’t excel in the Romance languages, she sure scores high in rural American dialects.

I admit that I had to look up the term “sylph” as a description for Meredith’s English friends. I see that thefreedictionary-dot-com offers two definitions:

“1. a slender graceful girl or young woman
2. (Myth & Legend / Classical Myth & Legend) any of a class of imaginary beings assumed to inhabit the air”

I assume that Burleigh applies the first definition in referring to the friends. Is she envious of them? Did she spy on them looking over the far edge of her quarterpounder hamburger? (Oh, I forgot, Burleigh never even saw them in the days following the murder.)

Finally, I had to laugh at your vision of Burleigh’s emotionless Amanda together with the other Knox women: “One pictures hapless Curt surrounded by the seven dwarves (Jealous, Bitchy, Angry, Loving, Needy, Bloody and Amanda)”

In this case, however, in addition to Burleigh’s lady dwarves, we also have the same old ones, including Dopey, Grumpy, Sleepy/sneezy, Unbashful, Goofy, Shorty, Cookie, Judgey, Wannabe(a paperback writer) grin and so on.

And they’re all singing:
“We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig in our mine the
whole day through
To dig dig dig dig dig dig dig is what we really like to do
It ain’t no trick to get rich quick
If you dig dig dig with a shovel or a pick
In a mine! In a mine! In a mine! In a mine!
Where a million diamonds shine!”

Posted by Kermit on 09/02/11 at 10:15 AM | #

Hi Machine

Nina Burleigh was reported as being inseperable from the Knoxes and Mellas from the time she first hit Perugia and kept a great distance from anyone who was objectively informed on the case. She told me this was merely a cover - but for what?

David Anderson is another in Perugia’s paranoid Knox ghetto who has taken strong cracks at Meredith’s family. Meredith’s sister and one of her brothers are both at least as conversant in Italian as any of that entourage.

Her family do no PR shilling, they accept no donations, they engineer no books, they pay all their heavy costs themselves, and they make few public remarks about the trial or appeal.  So why the repeated very nasty attacks?

Nina Burleigh wondered to me if she was the right person to write the book. She told me it was her agent’s or publisher’s idea. I’d say no, based on a quick read. She seems really at sea on the hard facts. And her vain attitude is a real surprise.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/02/11 at 10:20 AM | #

Burleigh is entitled to her own opinions, but not to her own facts.

Burleigh’s support of Knox, and reputation for inventing her own facts, is the best indication yet that the Itlaian court will uphold the convictions of Knox and Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Thanks for another great article, Skep!

Posted by Fly By Night on 09/02/11 at 10:38 AM | #

Hi Kermit

Yeah “tweedy peaches-and-cream complected sylphs who moved as a pack” is an inaccurate description of Meredith’s friends and the other English girls in Perugia. It reads just like a jealous and increasingly friendless Amanda Knox wrote that.

Some of them hardly knew one another. Only a couple came with Meredith from Leeds. They had not been there very long. Most had boyfriends. Meredith was with only a few of them on her last night. The only times more than a few were together were at the central police station and then when called to testify.

Of course they have been serially demonized for testifying at trial to what they saw so Burleigh’s crack is nothing new.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/02/11 at 10:57 AM | #

Skep I agree with your review of Burleigh’s shoddy book, and with Machine’s characterization of the book as poisonous.

Given its 2009 publication date, “Darkness Descending” is a very good source, especially for Guede’s hand-written serial “confession” notes, but it does have a few errors, such as omission of the Sollecitos’ father/son telephone exchange on Nov.1, 2007 re the kitchen-sink water-spill.

For sheer-naked malicious “reviewer” ignorance go over to:

http://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Descending-Murder-Meredith-Kercher/product-reviews/1847398626/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

and read Michael Taylor’s “review” of “Darkness Descending” [with comments back-and-forth with Cesare Beccaria]:

“7 of 29 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Total Fiction, July 9, 2010
By Michael Taylor “Mic” (West Virginia) - See all my reviews (REAL NAME) 

This review is from: Darkness Descending - The Murder of Meredith Kercher (Paperback)”

“True Crime?
NO absolutely not!
I made the unfortunate choice of believing this was an actual true crime novel.Boy was I wrong.
Please don’t waste your money on this garbage.
The authors are HACKS,have absolutely no clue as to what they are talking about and like Barbie Nadeau in her fictional tale called Angel Face they are completely vexed by prosecutor Mignini and his dribble.
They forget that Mignini was found guilty of prosecutorial misconduct and suspended for six that’s right six months.
They make a big deal over Amanda being concieved out of wedlock<-a blatant lie.
They talk of Americans as if we are all sex crazy serial killers.
They boast tons of evidence which of course is not at all the case.
They talk of the forensic tech like she is the salt of the earth, again bogus.
They claim that everyone wore protective gear so as not to contaminate the scene.
Pure fiction.
There is absolutely nothing to tie Rafaele Sellecito or Amanda Knox to the murder of Meredith Kercher.
Rudy Guede is the only guilty party in the case……………”

That was a quote from some evil ignoramus.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/02/11 at 11:07 AM | #

wow Skep she is one nasty piece of work isn’t she?  “Ugly American” sounds like a perfect fit.  thank you for your great article.
rach in nyc

Posted by rach on 09/02/11 at 11:58 AM | #

I had to leave many examples of Burleigh’s curious sense of entitlement and superiority out due to space considerations.
To elaborate on a couple of points I raised, I wonder how Rachel Donadio of the NYT, John Hooper of the Guardian and Sylvia Paggioli of NPR feel knowing that Burleigh thinks so poorly of them as a group. She describes the group as “middle-class, middle-aged professional journalists enjoying Italy’s many lifestyle charms” but not taking the risk of poking their noses into dark corners. What makes this characterization particularly nasty, besides the reference to class (again!) and the fact that it is totally inaccurate, is that she uses it as a basis for claiming there is no investigative journalism in Italy! Worse, it precedes a long quote from none other than Chris Mellas, which introduces Burleigh’s “portrait” of the two Italian-speaking American journalists who have covered this case from the start. Here it is: “What really hurt us in the media was the fact that not too many [journalists] would sit in court and report on that, but they would gather outside when court was over, and ask the prosecution and civil parties how it went. These people would flat-out lie to the press…”

I thought immediately of the numerous photos taken in the courtroom, showing a full house in the press corner.

I was also amused by her description of Knox’s neighborhood in Seattle, in part because I grew up about a mile from there and now live within five miles. I can assure you that it is not on the low side of middle class (whatever that means!) and in fact is a lovely area, with enviable views of Puget Sound. I think Judge Michael Heavey, who lives in the same neighborhood, would agree. True, it is part of the unincorporated area known as White Center, which boasts a high degree of ethnic and economic diversity. That’s the way we like things. Blended. Burleigh needs to get out a bit more and mingle with the people. I think it would do her a world of good.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 09/02/11 at 12:02 PM | #

Nina Burleigh has asked that I tell readers we met in Seattle (at her request) when she was researching her book. I have disclosed this on PMF, but perhaps readers here are unaware of it. We had a cordial, off the record chat. I found her to be pleasant and engaging in person. In fact, I am surprised and disappointed by the book that has emerged. I think Nina Burleigh could have written something far superior to what she actually wrote. I see it as a missed opportunity.

She also wondered why I signed this piece with my screen name and not my real name. For the record, I wrote this for my personal blog, which features my real name prominently. And everyone following this case knows my real name. There was no attempt to hide behind a screen name, so if the editor of TJMK wishes to insert my real name as the byline, then I am happy with that.

Incidentally, the version currently on my blog is slightly different and contains material that does not appear here. I would appreciate it if the editor would update at his convenience. Readers can check it out directly. I unearthed a couple of nuggets directed at Italian women.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 09/02/11 at 01:51 PM | #

Burleigh is emblematic of any jingoist who travels to a different land and expects everyone and everything to be exactly as it was “back home”.  Her scorn isn’t limited to France and Italy but extends even to parts of her native land she doesn’t like, such as South Dakota.  I’m not sure the remedy is for her to get out more.  I’m pretty sure the people of France, Italy, and South Dakota would be just as pleased if she sealed herself permanently inside her home and never ventured out at all.

Posted by Stilicho on 09/02/11 at 03:29 PM | #

Hello everyone.  Now that Monday is fast approaching and given my suspicious nature particularly where the Knox family Mellas is concerned I was wondering. How difficult is it in Italy to ‘Rig the Jury?’

I ask this because it would not surprise me given Julia Bongiornos propensity to rig anything given the fiasco with Alessi and Aviello. Hopefully it’s very difficult given all the trials where the Mafia were concerned. after all Rigging the Jury was a favorite Mafia passtime.

Thanks everyone sincerely Grahame Rhodes

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/02/11 at 05:38 PM | #

Hi Skep. Confirming we have swapped out the previous version (in fact two) and this at top is the latest full post.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/02/11 at 06:44 PM | #

Hi Grahame. Perhaps you should address your question to Mt Berlusconi?! We’ve had a number of posts including the one immediately below suggesting that it is almost impossible to rig the appeal jury now, especially when the Supreme Court has already called some of the shots.

Judge Hellman, who is junior to Judge Massei and not normally on murder trails, has an almost impossible task if he wants to play a maverick role here. Some 95% of the evidence has not been re-examined in appeal and so almost all of Judge Massei’s conclusions still stand.

There is no parallel here to the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony situations where ticked-off juries went their own ways in the first trials, not the appeals, for distinctly questionable reasons - and faced a lot of wrath for sustained periods after.

Italian courts always look at the totality and dont punish police and prosecutors if one or two items get weighted downward.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/02/11 at 06:54 PM | #

Ordinarily I would not fault someone for having gender issues but this woman *really* has issues.

Posted by brmull on 09/02/11 at 07:27 PM | #

Typical of one who doesn’t really want to do the hard digging of journalism but sidles up to a crowd who will pat her on the back if she reports what they want to hear. Hey Burleigh please apologise to all real journalists who actually spend the hours to find the truth….male and female. And from a male accept this ...very shoddy and extremely superficial reporting….honey!

Posted by friar fudd on 09/02/11 at 09:07 PM | #

I haven’t read Nina Burleigh’s book (nor do I intend to) so I can’t critique it, alas.

But based on the excerpts I read, Ms. Burleigh suffers from the unfortunate tendency of some people in New York or Los Angeles to look down on the Rest Of America. Born in Chicago, but comments on Mid-Western accents? Oh my.

I still think her slam at Meredith’s family and friends so illustrative of her own psychology; the person who has no class, is envious of those who do.

Posted by Ergon on 09/02/11 at 09:23 PM | #

Last trouble for Giulia Bongiorno, but her son seems negative.

http://www.corriere.it/english/11_settembre_01/gemelli_ee27f708-d497-11e0-b70d-4333dfe15096.shtml

Posted by ncountryside on 09/03/11 at 05:52 AM | #

Sthephy’s Kercher letter:

http://www.tgcom.mediaset.it/cronaca/umbria/articoli/1020276/la-sorella-non-dimenticate-la-mia-bella-mez-noi-abbiamo-ancora-fiducia-nelle-istituzioni.shtml

Posted by ncountryside on 09/03/11 at 09:45 AM | #

Thank you, ncountryside, for posting this link.  The letter is very moving and it conveys the pain and dignity of this hurting family in the midst of all this vile madness.

Posted by thundering on 09/03/11 at 11:45 AM | #

I read somewhere that Nina Burleigh had access (by correspondence, I presume) to Knox herself in prison as well as the family and others close to the case.  There are excerpts of this correspondence from Knox in the book it would seem.  I wonder whether she also corresponded with Meredith’s family or, at the very least, their wonderful Italian lawyer.

Posted by thundering on 09/03/11 at 01:07 PM | #

Google Translate of Stephanie Kercher’s letter, from ncountryside’s link:

“13:36 - At 48 hours after resumption of Appeals for the Kercher murder, her sister Stephy takes pen and paper to blow off steam and talk about how she lives these weeks of doubts and anxieties, especially after the doubts about how it was done on the expertise DNA.

She puts on paper the fear that Meredith could be forgotten and this calls for justice, so that they “did not die in vain.” In the last week we were waiting with great anxiety and distress for the rumors on the original DNA test results.

It ‘very difficult to understand how the evidence had been obtained and presented with care in the first trial as valid now may risk becoming irrelevant.

Was it a quantity of DNA testing of little importance when the same experts did not give precise answers on the amount that should be taken into account?

We should also remember that both parties, the prosecution and defense have involved teams of their respective scientific advisors in the first trial, in addition to the forensic consultants in Rome.

Defenses seem to focus and rely heavily on these two DNA tests, but those who want to remember for a moment about this case: my sister, a daughter brutally portataci away almost four years ago and still not a day goes by where we can find a little ’ peace and put an end to everything ‘.

Everyone who reads this paper or follow this event, please remember our beautiful Meredith.  Her shed blood mixed with other tracks to the bathroom down the hall to the room and Filomena, and also many other bloody footprints.

Remember also all the other tests that have been presented to date in this process, 10.000 pages of evidence.

We still have confidence in the police in Perugia and all our trust in all of those people in court and investigations.

We ask that the Court of Appeals considers each piece of evidence, scientific and circumstantial, together with any witnesses heard and to do it apart from any other source of information and the media.

Amid all the media frenzy created, Meredith and ‘forgotten, not’ more ‘with us, well, everything’ should be for her and understand what and ‘really happened that tragic night.

We have not forgotten and we will continue our struggle because ‘justice is done with the continued support of our lawyer Francesco Maresca and his associates, the police, the prosecutor, the accused and all those who participate in Italy and also everyone around the world still think of us and Mez. 

We would like to have the opportunity ‘to work with the Universita’ di Perugia on a project that offers a place of study to a student annually in memory of Meredith.

Meredith loved Italy and its people and wanted to immerse yourself in Italian culture.

We are well aware of the impact this has had on the city ‘and we think it’s an appropriate way to memorialize Meredith in the beautiful place we have left to come and study.

Please do not let Meredith have died in vain, his courage and strength to fight and we will continue to justice so that ‘she can rest in peace.

She never stopped fighting November 1st, and we will not stop now”

Stephy Kercher

It is so sad that the Kercher family have to write to remind people of their loss, and that the FOA attack them for speaking out on behalf of their daughter.

Posted by Ergon on 09/03/11 at 01:26 PM | #

Stephanie, Meredith, we are rooting for you.  RIP.

Posted by thundering on 09/03/11 at 11:03 PM | #

A favorite ploy of the FOA’s is to cherry-pick an actually true statement so as to mislead the reader.

They go like this: 

“Traces of AK’s presence are found ONLY where you would expect to find them.”

True, but what their cherry-picking omits is that they were NOT found in many of the OTHER places where you would expect to find them.

Nina Burleigh uses her own flavor of this ploy:

“The only identifiable prints in Meredith’s room were Rudy’s, although fourteen prints were unmatchable. Investigators tried to match the prints only to the known visitors or inhabitants. .......... Police found Amanda Knox’s prints in one place only, on a water glass in the kitchen.”

Burleigh, Nina (2011-08-02). The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Trials of Amanda Knox (p. 215). Broadway. Kindle Edition.

If “The only identifiable prints in Meredith’s room were Rudy’s…”, and “Police found Amanda Knox’s prints in one place only, on a water glass in the kitchen”, then doesn’t that suggest a selective clean-up attempted on behalf of Amanda Knox?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/04/11 at 12:06 PM | #

I haven’t read the book yet, but I will probably try to get a copy from somewhere before I can comment.  Based on Skep’s preview, it seems biased and amateurish.  The comments about other women, be they journalists, officials, the Knoxes, or Meredith’s friends and family, are uncalled-for and tasteless. At this point, no one is interested in this type of shallow observations, but in a sane and logical narrative encompassing available facts and evidence.

It’s possible that the tone and approach were suggested/directed by a heavy-handed editor.  I don’t know if they imagined the reading public would find a sensationalist, gossipy approach easier to digest, but it’s a serious mistake for both Burleigh and her editors. I imagine that there aren’t too many people who buy the Gogerty-Marriott angle (aside from those on their payroll), so this isn’t bound to be a hit.

Thank you, Skep, for a thorough and engaging preview.

Posted by Vivianna on 09/07/11 at 01:54 AM | #


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