My dislike of the Daily Mail is well documented (especially here). I have an inherent intolerance of their complete dishonesty. There was, for me, a beautiful moment this week where they demonstrated for the world how they compose their ‘news’ stories.
Amanda Knox has become a media figure over the last four years. The terrible murder of her flatmate Meredith Kercher has almost been lost in the whole circus that has surrounded Knox’s conviction and subsequent exoneration. It seems clear that Rudy Guede committed this awful crime and the involvement of Knox and Raffaele Sollecito was always less clear. In my view, Knox was convicted on a mixture of prejudicial rhetoric by the prosecutor and junk-science. As such, her successful appeal is a good thing but I can understand Meredith Kercher‘s family’s disappointment and sense of loss.
So, the appeal found Knox not guilty. They did find her guilty of a charge of slander. It seems that what happened was, the Daily Mail had a pre-written story, expecting her appeal of the murder charge to fail (or perhaps they had two?) and when they heard the word ‘guilty’ they immediately uploaded the pre-written guilty story to their website. Obviously it was rapidly taken down but thanks to the vigilance of various bloggers, the original is maintained for posterity.
It can be read in full here.
I would like to comment on a couple of aspects;
Firstly, the wonderful description of various key-player's reactions:
Amanda Knox looked stunned this evening after she dramatically lost her prison appeal against her murder conviction. ...And then the made-up quote:
As Knox realized the enormity of what judge Hellman was saying she sank into her chair sobbing uncontrollably while her family and friends hugged each other in tears.
A few feet away Meredith's mother Arline, her sister Stephanie and brother Lyle, who had flown in especially for the verdict remained expressionless, staring straight ahead, glancing over just once at the distraught Knox family.
Prosecutors were delighted with the verdict.
"Justice has been done" - the prosecutionIt is a wonderful window into the Daily Mail's methods. It demonstrates something many of us has been saying for years - Never, never, never believe what you read in the Daily Mail, where good reading always shows...