One can sometimes only marvel at the willingness of those in Northcliffe House to shamelessly surrender any vestige of journalistic principle as they prostitute themselves before the agenda of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre. And a better example than today’s crude and fact-free hatcheting of Amanda Knox would be hard to find. The crude demonisation starts on the front page.
“Shameless In Seattle” thunders the headline, but Ms Knox is pictured nowhere near Seattle, but in the Times Square district of New York City, where she appeared with co-host Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. Ms Roberts was dismissively referred to as a “fawning interviewer”. “The stunt continues a shameless charm offensive that began in her home city of Seattle” it went on.
And what, pray, happened there? As if you weren’t ready for this one: “soft soap chats with the Guardian and BBC”. Yeah, the deeply subversive Guardian and the hated Beeb are accomplices to a fugitive from justice! Because, as all obedient Daily Mail readers must understand, Ms Knox done it, because, well, she’s not British, and Meredith Kercher, who was murdered, most certainly was.
The drivel continues with an attack on Ms Knox’ former partner Raffaele Sollecito, who was arrested supposedly trying to flee to either Austria or Slovenia. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, Sollecito’s current partner lives close to where he was arrested. And two, Austria and Slovenia are EU member states, so fleeing there would be pointless (European Arrest Warrant, remember?).
Dacre’s assault continued: “Knox has made repeated overtures to the Kercher family, writing in her multi-million pound memoir, Waiting to be Heard, that she hoped one day to meet them to assure them of her innocence”. Money, Mail readers! She’s made money out of it, so that makes her Very Very Bad Indeed (forget that the main reason was to pay off her Italian legal bills).
Then the coup de grace is administered by none other than Jan Moir, that pillar of sheer nastiness, infamous still for her kicking of Stephen Gately, who concludes cattily “If Amanda Knox had ever, just once, shown an ounce of compassion or understanding or empathy about Meredith’s death and her family’s loss, I might be tempted to believe her”. Compassion and empathy from Jan Moir, eh?
But it’s the rest of the Moir copy that will have you sicking up your brekky: “She was on Good Morning America; she was on BBC2’s Newsnight; she was preparing to do the prime-time rounds with the trembling zeal of a wronged fugitive ... She was also to be found in a trendy Seattle coffee shop drinking pint-sized lattes with the man from The Guardian”. Oh just f*** right off, you hideous Glenda.
Innocent until Paul Dacre passes judgment. Boom! Award winning journalism!