Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Slanted Associated Press Paroting Of Knox PR Campaign Release Achieves Over 800 Google Hits

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for Marta Falconi’s rather slanted AP report.

At time of posting it appears on at least 800 news websites. It opens with these paragraphs sympathetic to Knox’s Christmas plight:

The family of an American student accused of killing her British roommate says she is heading into her second Christmas in jail disappointed at a trial delay but “holding up pretty well under the circumstances”.

Knox is planning to attend an in-jail Christmas Day Mass, the family said in a recent statement emailed to The Associated Press.

Visitors are not allowed to bring in wrapped presents, but Knox’s parents are trying to get her “warm sheets, slippers, cold weather underwear, wool socks and a sweater.”

Trial delay? Of course the trial might have happened very much faster if (1) the defendants had not told several differing stories, (2) the crime scene had not been extensively rearranged to make it look like a sole-perpetrator crime, and (3) more and more witnesses had not kept coming forward.

But the AP story does not mention any of this.

It instead implies that the Italian slowness is unfair. But luckily, our plucky heroine “is holding up pretty well under the circumstances.”

Then we get this single sentence - one suggesting cold indifference - on the Christmas plight of Meredith Kercher’s sad, bereft family.

For their part, Kercher’s family will be spending their second Christmas without Meredith.

Finally, to their slight credit, the Associated Press conclude with the prosecutor’s scenario of the crime.

Prosecutors allege that Kercher was killed during what began as a sex game, with Sollecito holding her by the shoulders from behind while Knox touched her with the point of a knife. They say Guede tried to sexually assault Kercher, and then Knox fatally stabbed her in the throat.

Prosecutors say Knox’s DNA was found on the handle of a knife that might have been used in the slaying, while Kercher’s DNA was found on the blade.

For that slight attempt at corrective balance, we reckon Falconi’s story rates an E grade rather than an F.

The AP is notorious for parroting press releases rather than for doing any real digging. American newspapers are relying on it more and more as they cut back on their own reporting operations..

It is the main source for news and analysis of Meredith’s case for most American newspapers. The case reporting has been spasmodic and indifferent at best. To its credit, the New York Times has not usually published the AP releases.

The Associated Press would welcome your feedback on the story here. So would the 800-plus newspaper sites that carried the story.

They do pay for AP’s reporting, of course.

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HOW MANY GOOGLE HITS??!!!!!! That’s astounding!

The Knox Crusader Camp are a tireless bunch.

By the way, Merry Christmas to all of you & let’s remember to pray for Meredith’s soul to rest in peace, and for justice to be done.

Best wishes,

Posted by Socrates42 on 12/24/08 at 04:45 PM | #

The willing enablers are equally as tireless, but a surprising number of reporters have grown a brain after sites like this have suggested that they have none!

And the AP’s domestic and especially its political reporting, so widely ridiculed on sites like this, has become more balanced in the past year, and even occasionally accurate.

The power of sites like this to hold media-source feet to the fire certainly is growing fast. Happy outcomes may not be instant - but our prediction is that they will happen. Keep googling!

Posted by Fast Pete on 12/24/08 at 04:53 PM | #

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are in prison because a succession of judges all thought there were serious indications of their guilt.

The judges at the Italian Supreme Court noted that Amanda and Raffaele had lied to the authorities and were reluctant to cooperate. Amanda and Raffaele have consciously hindered the investigation by giving multiple alibis and lying repeatedly. They have hidden behind their right to silence for over a year.

Amanda falsely accused Diya Lumumba of rape and murder, and made another false and malicious allegation by accusing the police of brutality.

Raffaele threatened to drive over the head of a female police officer.

They don’t deserve any sympathy.

Posted by The Machine on 12/24/08 at 05:36 PM | #

“Then we get this single sentence - one suggesting cold indifference - on the Christmas plight of Meredith Kercher’s sad, bereft family.

For their part, Kercher’s family will be spending their second Christmas without Meredith.”

One sentence devoted to Meredith and her family, the victims. Unreal.

In 4 days, on December 28th, Meredith would be celebrating her 23rd birthday.  I wonder if any attention from the press will be tuned into that fact? 

On July 9, 2008, the world was keenly updated on the day’s events for Knox’s 21st birthday.

Some things just don’t make sense to me.  My heart goes out to the Kerchers on their 2nd Christmas without Meredith AND the 2nd birthday of their daughter and sister they will acknowledge without her.

Posted by Tara on 12/24/08 at 06:43 PM | #

That’s very moving Tara. Thank you.

Posted by Anne on 12/24/08 at 06:46 PM | #

Google hits peaked at around 840 at 7:00 am New York time. Now they are diminishing! The count at noon here is down to 780.

Some sixty websites have already yanked Falconi’s nasty piece. Thanks a lot, guys. Glad you’re on our wavelength.

Now please pay attention to the Kerchers’ Christmas - and to Meredith’s upcoming birthday anniversary, as Tara reminds us?

And examine who paid for Falconi’s christmas dinner.

Posted by Fast Pete on 12/24/08 at 07:03 PM | #

I wouldn’t be surprised if a certain Steve Marriott in Seattle was picking up the bill for Marta Falconi’s Christmas dinner.

I can’t believe that the Associated Press agreed to publish such a non-story about Amanda’s Christmas wish list.

Posted by The Machine on 12/24/08 at 07:29 PM | #

Thanks, Pete, for keeping them on their toes and on the defensive.

As a reminder - which is necessary yet again because of the relentless PR spin, abetted by an uncurious press - this case is going to trial in speedy fashion, all things considered. All things considered being such things as the complexity of the case, the unwillingness of suspects to cooperate with the investigation, interference from the outside… Not only that, but the time to trial falls well within the norms of both the US system and its Italian counterpart. To suggest otherwise is dishonest.

Let’s just hope that this trial brings closure and peace to the Kercher family.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 12/24/08 at 07:38 PM | #

Ya know, it is Christmas; furthermore, AK47 has not been convicted yet.  We’re not seeing many pro-Guede AP articles.  Let’s try to stay balanced and not be thought to be anti-anyone.  This piece was at least factual, Amanda most likely does wish for a get-out-of-jail-free card for a stocking stuffer.

Posted by Arnold Layne on 12/24/08 at 07:49 PM | #

Arnold said:

“furthermore, AK47 has not been convicted yet”

“AK47”! - Arnold, that’s even better than “Foxy Knoxy” - well done :o)

Posted by Socrates42 on 12/24/08 at 08:11 PM | #

Mr. Layne, I adore the AK47 nickname: a sleek deadly weapon with a loud retort and a banana clip - sounds just like the adventuress.

Posted by greggy on 12/24/08 at 10:56 PM | #

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