Monday, 26 September 2011

hello john hooper

I hope you Google yourself.

In case you are not John Hooper, John Hooper keeps writing about the Amanda Knox trial. He's not the only person to repeat and repeat the salacious quotes given them by rotten Italian policemen - 'She is an enchanting witch' and so on. I mean, some irresponsible idiot at the BBC has used the headline 'Knox is diabolical, lawyer says' as if they are not repeating this and giving it spurious validity.

But it's John Hooper who is getting both barrels because he writes about it a lot for The Guardian. Sorry, the guardian. And the guardian are the sort of people who think they know better.

He (and the BBC, and the rest) can mealy-mouthedly say that they are just reporting the news by repeating the stuff the Italian prosecution is saying. And they can say that Knox was found guilty. Of course they can. I am not accusing them of doing anything illegal. All I am saying is that my opinion is that they are incompetent, rabble-rousing hacks.

To repeat (and sorry, loyal readers who have heard this at various points before), I am confident in the innocence of Amanda Knox.* So is everyone, without exception, who I know has read The Monster of Florence, a book by New Yorker journalist Douglas Preston describing a previous case monumentally mishandled by the same prosecution team - a simple case which they built into a conspiracy theory edifice of preposterous proportions.

If you have read the book and disagree, I would be extremely interested to hear from you. If you haven't read the book, then I am not that interested in your opinion, given that it will be based on things written by the likes of Hooper, which tend to come down to 'No smoke without fire'. I mean, if you can read The Monster of Florence (and if you are making your living reporting on Amanda Knox you should do this) and report the things Prosecutor Magnini says with a straight face, then I'd be surprised if you can tie your laces without sticking out your tongue.

Ok. Calmer now. Maybe it's Hooper's editor's fault. Maybe. God knows there are a lot of ropey editors who say 'We have to give both sides of the story' even when the story is about something like astrology. But if I were Hooper, I'd have my name removed from anything which did not quote, in detail, some things which make it clear what kind of a guy Magnini is.

* The third guy, the one who was not one of the two middle-class kids that the prosecution later decided were part of a diabolical orgy cult, has said in private that they weren't involved. He said this to a not very reliable witness. On the other hand, his original defence was along the lines of: he had sex with Kercher, then he went to the loo, and while he was there someone else came in and killed her.


Salvador said...

I haven't read the book although my views aren't based on the diabolical sex-devil reports either. I don't know enough about the case to make a definite statement about it but my hunch from what I have read is they're not guilty. Even so, I'm a little puzzled as to why a book about the prosecution being horrendous in another case entirely means they are definitely innocent. Or have I misunderstood you?

Robert Hudson said...

The way the prosecution was conducted is the way the same prosecutor conducted the Monster of Florence case. For a start.

For a finish, seriously, read the book and come back to me if you disagree. I really don't mean to be, you know, but I have had this conversation too often, and never with anyone who has read the book.

Salvador said...

No I kind of understand that and you seem very...ahem.. exercised by the book. You also seem to be saying that anybody who hasn't read the book cannot understand the Amanda Knox case. But as I've said I haven't read the book and still think she's probably innocent. And I don't really see how a book about another case establishes beyond doubt that she is - other than circumstantially - and we wouldn't really want anybody convicted on such grounds. So I'm not entirely sure what "come back to me if you disagree" really means. I'm sure I'll agree what I already know - that the prosecution's "she-devil" stuff is a disgrace. But I'm not sure it will add anything to their innocence or otherwise.

Salvador said...

Sorry part of that is expressed poorly (I blame the wine I have just drunk to celebrate a solo driving expedition after years of cowardice). What I meant was that the Monster of Florence only appears to offer evidence that the prosecution has a horrendous track record. But you seem to be making a much stronger claim - namely that you cannot read the book and come away with any other conclusion but that Knox is innocent. And I don't see how this can follow - since it is circumstantial evidence. (I certainly strongly believe that she is not guilty beyond reasonable doubt and should therefore be released although there are still some puzzling aspects to the case like her naming of Lumumba). This is probably even more incoherent!

Robert Hudson said...

The reason is... Look, seriously, read the book and you'll know what I mean. About fifteen people I know have done so, and they all do.

What I say is that I don't have time to go into it with people who haven't read the book. I mean that. Believe me or don't believe me, that's your prerogative, but I am not getting into another debate about this with someone who hasn't read it.

(To repeat, I would be genuinely interested in speaking with someone who had read it and did not agree. I am not a particularly dogmatic person. It is the fact that EVERYONE I know has had the same reaction to the book that is so interesting. A dissenting view, with sensible reasons, would be interesting.)

Salvador said...

Oh my previous reply doesn't seem to have appeared. My puzzlement is really caused by your apparent belief that anybody who hasn't read a single book about another case must ipso facto be a dupe who swallows all the she-devil guff. As I'm not. I just don't know what you mean by "if you disagree" or "believe me or don't believe me". If I disagree with what? Believe what? I believe they're probably innocent and certainly not guilty beyond reasonable doubt and I agree the prosecution has been a disgrace. But I can't see how a book about another case demonstrates that they're definitely innocent beyond all doubt either - as you appear to be claiming. For me the flawed DNA evidence would appear compelling enough for their release so I just don't really understand why you rely so heavily on the prosecution behaviour in an unrelated case I'm sure it was equally appalling) or indeed one book on that topic - you just come across as a little finger-wagging as a result.

Robert Hudson said...

Sorry, sorry - I didn't want to imply you had swallowed all the guff.

But, to repeat, I know fifteen people who have read TMOF, and they are all sure Amanda Knox is innocent, and my feelings of outrage are not an outlier. You are perfectly at liberty not to understand how this could be. However, since I think these fifteen people are mostly serious-minded, sceptical sorts of people, Occam's Razor says that until someone reads the book and has a different view, I'm happy with my opinion.

I would, again to repeat, be fascinated to find someone sensible who disagreed, having read the book.