What’s Nina Burleigh Got Against Women? A Bizarre Time Report Suggests Deep Problems In Her Psyche

We depart from our scheduled posting for a few hours to contend with a bizarre attack by Nina Burleigh. 

I get up quite early because my clients have a nine-hour head start on me.

Today I woke up to the usual flurry of work-related emails plus a message directing me to Nina Burleigh’s Time blog post devoted to the “haters” ““ i.e., the many people around the world who have expressed their support for the family of Meredith Kercher and who are convinced that Italy’s first instance court got things right when it convicted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for their role in Meredith’s brutal murder.

Italy’s highest court has just overturned the acquittal and definitively upheld Knox’s conviction for the felony offense of falsely accusing an innocent man of murdering Meredith Kercher. In that false accusation, Knox placed herself at the scene of the crime. 

In her blog post, Burleigh once again misquotes an off-the-record conversation with me, though I set her straight the first time she did it and asked her to cease. She also wrongly asserts that I am a “housewife” and “former” translator.

For those who may have missed them the first time around, the two blog posts I wrote that got Nina Burleigh all riled up can be found at TJMK or at my personal blog (http://skepbystander.blogspot.com/), under 2011 posts.

First, a bit of background: Burleigh spent a lot of time in her book maligning two of the best reporters covering the case, one of whom, like Burleigh, wrote a book about it. Since I wrote my review of Burleigh’s book and then pointed out that the New York Times was critical of her advocacy masquerading as journalism, time has passed.

According to her online news site (thefreelancedesk.com), which focuses on current events in Italy, where she lives, Andrea Vogt has been working as a reporter for 20 years and writes for, among others, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Seattle Times and The BBC.

As for Barbie Latza Nadeau, in addition to her frequent reporting for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, she is also a regular contributor for CNN. Both are excellent journalists whose work speaks for itself.

But what’s up with Nina Burleigh? I honestly don’t know what she was thinking when she decided to belittle their accomplishments in print, not to mention her decision to misrepresent my own rather more modest ones. Is she just angry because she got this case so wrong? Is this a simple case of sour grapes from a sore loser?

It probably doesn’t matter in the larger scheme of things. But I would caution anyone who talks to a reporter off-the-record to beware. I have talked to many reporters off-the-record, and they have all respected this agreement, except for Nina Burleigh. In addition to breaking a promise, she misrepresented what I said.

And now that she has had her public snit, may I suggest that the focus now shift from these petty personality clashes - between Knox’s fan base and anyone who doesn’t share their views - and onto the facts? I think the tone needs to change as well: facts are best discussed rationally, calmly and respectfully.

And for the record, I have nothing at all against women who choose to be homemakers.

In the final analysis, however, Nina Burleigh has done Meredith Kercher and the truth a huge favor by attacking her supporters as “haters” and, in doing so, giving our efforts a plug. It is too bad that she could not resist plugging Knox’s upcoming book as well, and thus proving the point made by the New York Times: that Ms. Burleigh has been treading what she must know - as a seasoned reporter - to be a very dangerous line, that which separates journalists and advocates

She seems to have lost her way and, instead of figuring out how to get back on track, has decided to lash out at those advocating for truth in reporting.

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For info, the reference to here is to my personal blog, where I first posted this reply to Nina Burleigh. I honestly don’t understand how a self-described feminist can be so blatantly misogynistic. What has Nina Burleigh got against women?

I think it is important not to give this latest episode/rant more attention than it deserves, however. Ironically, in the final analysis Nina Burleigh has unwittingly done Meredith Kercher and the truth a huge favor by attacking her supporters as “haters” and, in doing so, giving our efforts a needed plug. It’s too bad that she could not resist plugging Knox’s upcoming book as well, although she only succeeds in proving the point made by the New York Times: that Ms. Burleigh is treading what she must know - as a seasoned reporter - to be a very dangerous line, that which separates journalists and advocates. She seems to have lost her way and, instead of figuring out how to get back on track, has decided to lash out at those advocating for truth in reporting. Where does that put her?

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 03/29/13 at 08:38 PM | #

Hi Skep. The post is an elegant reply. Burleigh’s mean and unprofessional attacks on Andrea Vogt and Barbie Nadeau really are beneath contempt.

Plus she lies. I am astounded at how much she lies about me in such a brief space when at her request I helped her out. The email chain contradicts all she claims. Does she not realise that?

Perhaps with the extreme legal risk to Amanda Knox’s book, the only cash-cow they have, she and the others are concerned about getting paid.

Time Magazine and her book publisher sure didn’t pay for all that time in Perugia (the book is printed very cheaply) and she told me her books didn’t pay her bills.

I looked again at Burleigh’s claims (that site keeps throwing my computers, is it the pop-up ads or just bad programming) and will post some rebuttal points in a post of my own.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/29/13 at 08:55 PM | #

I do think Nina Burleigh is lashing out like a poor loser. Notice how she avoids talking about the facts of the case. The tide is turning; people are interested in the facts and don’t care about the petty positioning and posturing on the part of those who have sought to profit from Meredith Kercher’s tragic death. I’m surprised that Burleigh focuses at all on your “ballerina” incident but then says nothing about Frank SFORZA’s very real string of assaults, with charges pending and everything. She’s a sour cherry-picker and she is soon to find herself eating the dust of the real journalists, who have remained focused on the facts and who have eschewed advocacy.

Posted by Skeptical Bystander on 03/29/13 at 09:03 PM | #

@ Skeptical Bystander and Peter

I think you are right she seems to have some kind of problem, especially with woman that do not measure up to her standards, what ever those may be. I also think she did us all a favor by posting her little rant, she might just have sent more people to these sites to get more info.

I would not worry too much about her, a small person with a small petty mind.  Too bad you guys didn’t keep a paper trail, of the things she wrote you!

Again an excellent post, I reread with great pleasure and quite a few chuckles: View From A Broad Who Doesn’t Seem To Like Broads Or Being Abroad.  Priceless!!!

Keep up the good work, you guys seem to be hitting a nerve.

Posted by Miriam on 03/29/13 at 11:59 PM | #

Barbie Nadeau wrote the following about the mop and bucket:

“A mop and bucket stood propped against the tiny porch stood the front of the house, and Amanda told the police that she was taking these to Raffaele’s apartment to clean up a leak under his kitchen sink” (Angel Face, Kindle edition, page 42).

Posted by The Machine on 03/30/13 at 12:56 AM | #

Yeah the mop and bucket were solidly testified to by credible police witnesses. They had no reason to make this up and would not have known AK’s tale of having brought a mop and bucket back from Sollecito’s place.

So Nina Burleigh really thinks our whole credibility stands or falls on that items?! we never made it a big deal.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/30/13 at 01:33 AM | #

Isn´t she the one who compared Knox to the Madonna ?

Posted by aethelred23 on 03/30/13 at 03:11 AM | #

What the hell is wrong with this woman? How does it matter if the blog is operated by a housewife or a professional athlete or a musician or whatever? How does it matter if Skeptical Bystander is a housewife or not? Even if she is one (which she has already said she isn’t, so I don’t see the reason for this bizzare insistence on Burleigh’s part), so what? How is it even remotely relevant to the case? Is she trying to imply that housewives are somehow inferior to others or something? God, such woman who try to make themselves look superior with their lame attempts at belittling others rile me up so much.

And this repeated insistence that anyone who wants justice for Meredith is a “hater” is really getting too old and lame now. Give it up already. So many people all over the world, including the legal system of Italy “hates” AK?? What for? Are we supposed to be jealous of her awesome achievements in getting arrested or something? Or are we supposed to be jealous of her mentally crippled fan base? I am not even sure what I am supposed to “hate” her for, except for the fact that she is involved in the murder of a beautiful, wonderful girl who had her entire life ahead of her. If that makes me a “hater”, yes I am one. But my hatred is not limited to AK, I hate all murderers, rapists etc. Does Burleigh love all criminals or what?

It is high time she stops inflating her own and AK’s importance. As if people have nothing better to do than sit and hate some random nobody all day.

Posted by Sara on 03/30/13 at 04:47 AM | #

Btw, she says “We don’t know what the Italian judges were thinking”. This, I can understand. To think, you need a brain, which she clearly doesn’t have. It’s far more convenient for her to classify everything her brain cannot process as “fabrication” and everyone who doesn’t agree with her as a “hater”.

Asking someone to talk to you and help you, and then making snide comments about them in her articles speaks volumes about the class, professionalism, honesty and integrity of this woman. She talks about Peter “accusing” her and makes it sound as if he bullied her in some way, and in the next line, talks about how she bullied some lady and mailed her at her work email address. Who on earth goes to the trouble of finding a blog operator’s work email id and mails them there? Why can’t you say whatever you want to say on the contact id given on the person’s blog? This is such a clear case of being nasty for the sake of it. No wonder she loves AK.

Posted by Sara on 03/30/13 at 04:50 AM | #

The PR machine are now slowing trying to pull themselves out of the ashes and regrouping from the shock of the reality check that they have just been subjected to.

Reality is a place they haven’t inhabited since this awful crime was committed by their poster girl so it has really stunned them.

Gosh! I’m such a hater!

One can imagine a Marriot minion calling Burleigh and shouting down the phone “do something! what are we paying you for?” and she quickly responds with the above mentioned juvenile drivel of an article cloaked in the protection of the respected Time magazine.

A good example of the shell shock they are experiencing at the moment is the shot of Knox holding a coat to her face and her ‘good friend’ Madison Paxton shielding her face from the camera lens.
This is certainly at odds with the statement Knox released (in my opinion co authored by Ted “whack a Mole” Simon)in which she stated she will “hold her head up high”

Anyways, onwards and upwards and we should remain resolute for Meredith and her family, they will get some closure I am sure, but whatever happens justice has to be done although it will not bring back their dear daughter and sister.
R.I.P Meredith Kercher.

Posted by DF2K on 03/30/13 at 04:51 AM | #

By the way, I honestly don’t understand the problem with the mop and bucket thing. She says that there is no evidence of this “damning incident”. First of all, like many have said, noone is making a big deal of it, it is hardly even mentioned. Secondly, AK herself stated in her email on nov 4th “I started feeling a little uncomfortable and so I grabbed the mop from out closet and left the house”. So, it is pretty clear that there was a mop involved that AK felt necessary to explain away somehow. AK and RS have mentioned the mop multiple times in various circumstances. If there was nothing suspicious, why were they even trying to explain what it was for? How would anyone even know there was a mop involved? Is it customary to talk about mops during investigations? Why does Burleigh think people are making something up? I am genuinely confused.

Posted by Sara on 03/30/13 at 05:15 AM | #

Burlaigh seems to have after all just one, true problem with the Kercher case, that is the desparing ugliness of her book. I only endured the free sample available on Amazon. But it’s well enough. We can question why a third rate writer makes up this nonsense, but there’s a simple answer in fact: there are no remedies for lack of talent. Utter triviality is a non-repairable quality. She had to do something of it and the book is the result.

She better feel relaxed, cause nobody hates her.
Althoug she lives in a solphurous Goethian world pupulated by Faustian (or Thomas harris’?) charachtners, Gothic inquisitors and witch-hunters.

Posted by Yummi on 03/30/13 at 05:32 AM | #

Note to Skep on the housewife crack.

This may not entirely surprise you: but the real housewife here is Nina Burleigh herself. She has a young family which I met, and she has written a couple of books one of which I have.

And that pretty well is that. She really doesnt have anything else to show.

Her qualifications are weak to non-existant, and even she joked about that herself. She has fewer qualifications than any of the many professionals in Italy and on our sites who she slams (except AK).

Essentially she has a one line resume. I found her very slow when trying to explain the facts of the case. Her couple of books while seemingly successful by her own account didnt pay the bills.

She said she was concerned as to whether with the Perugia book she would come out ahead. She said, with a grim undertone, that they might have to give up the Manhattan flat (which is up the river from where I live, above 125th street, which we joked about).

And her photographer husband works to pay all the major bills. So in decrying low-achieving housewives she is really hitting pretty close to home.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/31/13 at 03:30 AM | #
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