Thursday, January 29, 2009

Influential Legal Talking Head Nancy Grace Of CNN Is Now On The Case

Posted by Skeptical Bystander

[Click the arrow above, and then drag the time button to the 5-minute mark.]

Nancy Grace [image at bottom] runs a wildly popular CNN crime talk-show.

It is the companion program to the wildly popular show of Jane Velez-Mitchell that is already on the Perugia case.

A couple of days ago Nancy was on another wildly popular show, ABC’s The View, talking about the Perugia case. The View reaches three and a half million viewers daily, remarkable for a daytime show.

I think we can all agree that Nancy Grace does not mince her words. Nancy proceeds methodically here, presenting these relevant facts:

  • Age of the victim and the American suspect
  • A description of the relationship between the victim and her American roommate
  • Knox’s statement to police that she was present when her roommate was killed
  • Knox’s subsequent claim that she was coerced into making the statement, rather weakened by her assertion that she had smoked pot on the night of the crime and was therefore confused
  • The key physical evidence placing Knox at the scene (the knife and the mixed blood).

Nancy then closes the segment with these observations on the case:

  • She says Knox was “obviously” involved in the murder.
  • She notes that the victim was tortured and sexually assaulted prior to being murdered.
  • She ends by bringing up two other seemingly unlikely murder suspects: Ted Bundy and Scott Peterson.

This came just two days after the antic Paul Ciolino fundraiser which got extensive coverage in Seattle.

Nancy’s compelling intervention on The View could not have exactly pleased the David Marriott PR team or the Friends of Amanda who organized the fundraiser.

Nancy’s appearance also coincided with the release of the much-awaited and very detailed report of Judge Paolo Micheli (post below) on the Guede sentencing. It was Judge Micheli who had decided after a preliminary hearing that there was ample evidence against Knox and Sollecito to send them to trial.

The wheels really seem to be coming off the media effort at this new development.

We already see anew the reflexive barrage of protests from Friends supporters in Seattle. Candace Dempsey, the Seattle blogger who signed a book deal with Penguin to make money out of Meredith’s murder, attended the Saturday night Friends fundraiser for Amanda Knox.

But in her very next post, rather than describe her wonderful night with Mr Ciolino, she weighed in on Judge Micheli’s ruling. The title of her post is quite ludicrous: Why would she [meaning Amanda] let a killer in?

Well, Rudy was not actually a killer at the point when Amanda Knox allegedly let him in. And he was not convicted until months later. Is this really too subtle a point to be grasped?

And there’s more. On the NBC Today show on Wednesday morning, a visibly agitated Anne Bremner claimed to bemused host Matt Lauer that Judge Micheli was guilty of “theorizing” (gasp!)

She then changed tactics in a way frequently observed of the Friends PR effort: Oops! Change the story-line being propagated.

Perhaps a Lone Wolf or a Spiderman didn’t actually enter the cottage through the window? Bremner “theorized” that perhaps it was Meredith who opened the door to Guede?

Do I hear Candace Dempsey shouting “Why would she let a killer in?” Never mind! Remember Jonathan Demme’s terrific Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense?

It looks to me like some people have really heeded that command.


Powerful piece here, Skep, that beautifully captures the fast-growing doubts here in the US that this is a frame, and is amused at the fast-growing discomfort of the “it’s all about me, it’s all about me” crowd which, quite sadly for Amanda Knox, seem to have hijacked her defense.

She has two of the best defense lawyers in Italy, who happen to get along well with Prosecutor Mignini, and who know and respect the Italian system, a good one. Her lawyers are the best thing going for her, and the offputting antics in Seattle and the US generally risk cutting them off at the ankles and losing any remaining support here.

And anyone who thinks that Judge Micheli was “theorizing” clearly hasn’t read his huge report. It is almost a book in itself. New York lawyers following the case are in awe of it. Nothing like this on criminal cases ever gets put together and released here in the US. It is enormously factual, and it compellingly links the hard evidence, the witnesses, and the people seemingly directly involved. There is no theorizing because there does not need to be. It hangs together without.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/29/09 at 03:34 PM | #

I think Nancy Grace is the anti-dote to the CBS piece which ‘convinced’ America of Amanda’s innocence.  If CBS was the defense, Nancy is definitely the prosecution and it’s fair to say that she has done a great job of changing public opinion.  OK calling Rudy an African American was not a fab move but I think she responded to the African part as the American part was spoken by the other host (Sherri? I’m a Brit, ask me about Fern n Phillip!).  Whoopi Goldberg’s “Doesn’t that solve the case” comment in reply to Nancy describing Knox’s fingerprint in Meredith’s blood will have Edda, Curt and friends breathing fire as I’m sure that was not in the PR campaign plan.

Posted by daisysteiner on 01/29/09 at 03:56 PM | #

I’m still fuzzy on the bloody fingerprint.  I thought there was a fingerprint and a separate drop of blood with dna from Meredith and Amanda.  If there is Amanda’s fingerprint with Meredeith’s blood I can’t imagine anyone stating that there is “zero evidence.”

Posted by Arnold_Layne on 01/29/09 at 04:00 PM | #

I love Nancy but she hasn’t done her homework yet on this one.  Watched her show tonight with lovely FOA’s Auntie and Paulie.  Nancy is not yet prepared for this trial and I think her discussing it and with the guests she had, is a result of more pr. 

She asked some leading questions and perhaps didn’t punch back since she’d like to draw the ratings in.  She did ask Paul who paid him to do his investigating and he basically starting throwing up all over himself.  Just a matter of time.

Lou Dobbs is covering this story?  Guess the ratings for illegal aliens are down and his contract is up!

Posted by Jumpy on 01/30/09 at 04:24 AM | #
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Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page

Or to next entry Understanding Micheli #1: Why He Rejected All Rudy Guede’s Explanations As Fiction

Or to previous entry Judge’s Report On Guede Sentence Suggests Roles Of Knox And Sollecito