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Amanda Knox on CNN

Amanda Knox on CNN

Earlier this week, Chris Cuomo interviewed Amanda Knox for a CNN hour-long special. It is indicative of the feeding frenzy in today’s mass media that this highly promoted interview was run a half-hour late so that Anderson Cooper could report the latest lack of news about the salacious case du jour, the forced confinement for a decade of three women in a Cleveland house, allegedly by a 52-year-old monster named Ariel Castro. The fact that there were no breaking developments seemed to matter little.

When the scheduled interview finally got underway, it became clear early on that Ms. Knox and Mr. Cuomo each had wildly different agendas. Certainly, Knox wanted to promote her just released book, Waiting to be Heard. But she also wanted to talk about the truth of her situation and what happened to her in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007. Mr. Cuomo, on the other hand, just wanted drama, and truth seemed to be of little consideration one way or the other.

Instead of dealing with facts and her own terrified mindset at the time, Cuomo kept assaulting Knox with questions like, “Were you into deviant sex? Insensitive question, but hey, we gotta get to what it is.”

When she kept trying to pull it back to a factual level with statements such as, “There’s no evidence,” he came back with, “That’s the theory: Knox is into some freaky sexual things.” She finally had to go so far as to proclaim that she didn’t dress in leather and carry a whip, and that she’d never participated in an orgy – not even once.

He challenged her on her momentary hesitations when responding to his baiting questions and visually demonstrated  skepticism when she explained that not only was she shy and uncomfortable with public speaking, but preferred expressing herself in writing than in speech, a fact that has long been established in her biographic profile.

He also showed either a profound insensitivity to, or ignorance of, the various ways individuals react in times of extreme crisis, castigating her for her apparent outward show of emotion. This is the same charge that was leveled against John Ramsey upon the death of JonBenet, and even Charles Lindbergh when his baby son was kidnapped in 1932.

Then he showed the famous out of context image of her kissing her new boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito while the murder scene was being investigated. Come on, Chris. Have you ever wanted a little tenderness and reassurance while your world was coming apart around you?

It has become fashionable to analyze people through facial expressions and body language and there are all sorts of “expert” practitioners out there purporting to get at the truth through this means. Well, we happen to think we’re pretty good at it and have some real and meaningful experience. And it was clear to us through expression and body language that what Cuomo was after was merely to play on Knox’s vulnerabilities and break her down. He could have been one of the 12 tag-teamed Italian interrogators who did just that to her during days of interrogation and threats that finally led to an exhausted, fear and haze-induced false confession.

Mr. Cuomo, you kept asking Amanda why so many people thought she was guilty, as if she should have to explain and answer for all those who got it wrong. Well, we’ll answer for her. It was first the vicious, incompetent police and prosecutors who were so wedded to their own confirmation bias that nothing else mattered. And then it was the media: lazy, non-investigative journalists who relied on tabloid reporting and quickly realized that a “good” story was much better than a “true” story.

But you know something? We expected more and better of you and CNN.

Regrettably, in your bald grab for sensationalism and ratings, instead of seriously going for the truth, you abused a young woman who has been victimized more than enough for things she never did and characterized as a person she never was. As a result, the entire interview revealed less about Amanda herself and more about the methods and techniques that have been used to villainize her.

Back in the 1960’s when we grew up, we used to have a slogan: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

24 Responses to Amanda Knox: Still Being Victimized

  1. hbomb says:

    This article is very biased and ignores a ton of very incriminating evidence. You are insulting an entire country’s. Justice system, the prosecutors and all the judges that had access to the facts that found her guilty. Remember the knox’s hired a PR firm to represent their daughter. Much of the evidence has been hidden from the American public. There is TONS of it and I suggest you try and do some objective research yourself instead of condemning a justice system, multiple judges, witnesses, CNN, and the victims family. There is no reason that knoxs blood should be comingled with the victim. There is no logical reason sollecitos dna should be on knox’s bra strap. The defense says contamination but the dna match was 15/15. If it was contaminated how was such a high level and perfect dna match to raffaele to get on the bra strap? The bloody foot print on the bath mat is not a match to rudy but an almost exact match to raffaele. The break in was agreed by several professionals to be staged yet nothing was taken. If rudy broke in why is his DNA nowhere in that room? I mean he supposedly climbed up and through that window. Knox is a convicted slanderer and still 7 yrs later her and raf can’t corroborate their alibi. He just came out and said she wasn’t with him that whole night and we know that is fact bc cell phone records corroborate it. There is no way rudy could have pinned meredith down, sexually assaulted her, removed her clothes and stabbed her over 40 times with two different knives from different angles while restraining her by her neck arms and feet. Hed have to be an octopus. There’s evidence and a lot of it. Do not just get your info from biased FOA sites. Actually read the translations of the court documents. People have been convicted in this country with far less evidence. If she did this in the U.S. she’d be potentially facing life or the death penalty. I really think Chris asked many of the hard hitting questions that other journalists avoided. This was a case of sexual assault. Those questions are necessary and any journalist that glosses over it is being negligent. I believe she is guilty based on the evidence and the fact that she still can’t give a good explanation of where or what she was doing that night. This article is seriously biased and factually incorrect. She will go back to prison and hopefully the Kerchers, the REAL victims of this incident can have some peace.

  2. geebee2 says:

    From everything I have heard the interview from Chris Cuomo was despicable.

    There are some big problems with serious cases involving women accused of serious crime that are treated in a sexist way with jokes.

    It cannot be acceptable.

    I’m supporting many victims of injustice. I started out with Damian Green ( now MP for Ashford. UK Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice ) and moved on through Amanda Knox, Debra Milke, David Camm and Jodi Arias. Not necessarily in that order.

    See for example
    https://twitter.com/jodiarias_gb
    http://trial-by-media.wikispaces.com/

    There comes a point where an intelligent student of (in-)justice knows that everything makes perfect sense, and someone is innocent beyond any reasonable doubt. It sometimes takes a long time for the justice system to catch up.

  3. whosear says:

    I watched the interview before I knew that Mr Douglas had been involved or about your new book. I came away unconvinced that Ms. Knox had committed a crime, perhaps because of the ambush interview.

    But my opinion towards Coach Knight, which was hateful, began to change when I saw that Connie Chung had bushwacked him with the rape, relax edit. Years later when I read, “Bobby Knight: His own Man” and read the context, it was irony, it was not to relax but to fight.

  4. DoUKnowTheLord says:

    I want to believe in my first analysis of her being run into prison as an innocent woman but reading the book gives only two possibilities.

    She has done some things that make her innocence questionable. I still feel the retrial is not how the law works and she should be glad she got away with murder and published a book. DO NOT GO BACK!

    • We have to push back against this comment from one of our regular and valued readers. We are devoted to evidence-based analysis and the evidence is absolutely clear that Knox and Sollecito are innocent and that for too long, an incompetent and malevolent prosecution got away with an unwarranted murder accusation, victimizing not only these two, but the grieving Kercher family at the same time.

      Please read LAW & DISORDER for our full analysis. If, after that, you still feel there are any questions, get back to us.

  5. DaveKind says:

    If you want to talk about facial expressions, pay specific attention to Ficarra and Zugarini in Amanda’s arrest photo. Their hostility says it all!

  6. Douglas Preston is a first-rate novelist and nonfiction author (The Monster of Florence) who has been heroically outspoken on this case. Here is his reaction:

    Douglas Preston: This is an excellent article. Chris Cuomo, in trying to be a “tough” interviewer, but without command of the facts, ended up promoting the prosecutor’s now discredited theories. Cuomo never would have asked a man sexual questions like this. An example of the double standard against women that still exists, even in the upper ranks of the mass media.

  7. Noel says:

    Amanda Knox: Still Being Victimized – http://t.co/qsChXmodCr #AmandaKnox

  8. Mindhunters | Amanda Knox: Still Being Victimized #amandaknox http://t.co/a2HkZkvqV4

  9. Amanda Knox: Still Being Victimized – By John Douglas and Mark Olshaker http://t.co/2BEh8xGyn7

  10. DoUKnowTheLord says:

    I remember the Ramsey case and they also tried to proclaim the same slander against the sweet and wonderful, actress Sharon Marie Tate. Despite the fact that the media seems to be against you Ms. Amanda Know, those who support you are far more in numbers than it may appear.

    The saying we have in 2013 Chemistry SSA has become “If your not part of the solution your part of the precipitate.” I hope Ms. Knox reads this SSA because it would please her to know we are for the majority all on her side. Furthermore you have been from the beginning and to me that would mean a great deal!

    Tragic we have some delusion women are to be treated as throw-aways, objects or in this case promiscuity which has grown into ridiculous excuses for the failure of Italian courts. They failed this investigation from the outset and imprisoned one of our own four four years. When it was overturned that became the single smartest thing for the Italians, by destroying our image of Ms. Knox they slow their own citizens ridicule; they deserve to be put in the stocks for this, Amanda God Bless you and pay it little attention. I enjoy your book and I believe the words you wrote and there is few better at finding falsity in words than I.

    Stay Strong,
    CMM

  11. Noel says:

    Amanda Knox: still being victimized. http://t.co/qsChXmodCr #amandaknox

  12. Parsons210 says:

    Not sure what your agenda is Douglas but you know the evidence is strong against the woman and yet you argue about her body language? The only bad part of the interview is he never asked her about the strong evidence against her.

    • Tom Mininger says:

      And what strong evidence might that be?

      The evidence against the burglar Rudy Guede is:
      Bloody shoeprints in the murder room and hallway.
      Bloody palm print on the wall and on the pillow under Meredith.
      DNA all over the murder room, inside of her, her blood and his DNA on her purse.
      Cut on his knife hand like OJ had.
      The rock through the window is the same MO he used during his recent break-ins.
      He fled the country.

      Assuming that no one in the world can levitate above a bloody floor while Guede remains grounded, and that no one can clean up their invisible DNA while leaving Guede’s invisible DNA behind, everyone else is exonerated.

      All that is left is CSI Stefanoni’s multiple counts of perjury for which she should be charged. The only thing left for TV interviewers are tabloid grade questions.

    • I think Tom gives a good answer. If you are truly interested in evidence-based investigations rather than confirmation bias-based ones, please read the chapters on the Kercher murder in our book, LAW & DISORDER. After that, if you still feel “the evidence is strong,” come back to us and we’ll discuss it.

  13. Former FBI profile analyzes Chris Cuomo’s strange interview w/Amanda Knox #Meredith #AmandaKnox… http://t.co/gVDr2Rwt4W

  14. Awesome piece

    “@MindhuntersInc: Amanda Knox: Still Being Victimized – http://t.co/1rOlrBULDI http://t.co/G8xUDHsRsI”

  15. Tom Mininger says:

    Amanda is a child in some ways, but relative to the “grown-ups” she has to deal with, she always comes across as the most mature and responsible person in the room.

  16. bdcolen says:

    Excellent piece, Mark and John – Of course why would one expect anything better from the performers who fill up the 24 hour news cycle with salacious stories about the Dead Blond of the Week, and wall-to-wall coverage of local crimes of no real interest to anyone not related to either the victim or perpetrator?

  17. Julie Clark says:

    @ChrisCuomo Former FBI criminal profiler John Douglas has posted this, re your interview with Amanda Knox:
    http://t.co/9892mKP0zM

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