vendredi 30 septembre 2011
Meredith Kercher as a child
Media circus, media circus, did someone say media circus?
With the PR-fueled media circus in full swing and hysteria in Perugia as the appeals court ruling nears, the Kercher family is finally getting a smidgen of attention in Knox's hometown.
In spite of what some members of the local media apparently believe, not all of Seattle has drunk the "innocent abroad" koolaid or been lulled by the "railroad job from hell" narrative.
The Kerchers are expected to be on-hand Monday when Knox and Sollecito give it their all, just before the jury retires to complete final deliberations. The system is different in Italy. The jury of six "lay judges" is assisted by two professional judges, including the judge who has presided over the trial. Jury selection is not done with the participation of the prosecution and the defense, and the criteria for serving are much more stringent. The jury is not sequestered and deliberations are ongoing as the trial advances. Accordingly, presiding judge Hellmann expects the verdict to be announced on Monday. The Kerchers will be in court to hear it read.
They are very private, very discreet and very respectful people, the Kerchers. If the jury and judges had seen their faces in the courtroom day in and day out for ten months -- as would be the case in America -- and not just the faces of the "revamped" Knox and Sollecito and their families, who knows what impact this might have had? We will never know.
But what we do know is that the unprecedented and costly PR-driven media circus they are being thrust into Monday was not of their making. The current atmosphere in Perugia has been described as gaudy and decadent; US media bigwigs have pretty much taken over the town, following the Knox/Mellas entourage everywhere. It is all tightly scripted, just one interview after another. Friendly journalists get to hang with the Fam and Friends at the Brufani, Perugia's swankiest hotel.
Here's what I think about all this: Amanda's family and supporters have apparently not thought about the repurcussions of their actions for other people. I am thinking in particular about the Kercher family. They have tried very hard to keep the media out of it and let justice function without all these distractions. Without consulting them or even thinking of them, the Marriott driven Knox/Mellas show has come to town in a really big way, forcing everyone in its wake to be part of the spectacle. I suppose the Knox/Mellas show will blame their producer, Marriott, who needs to be paid for all the work he has done to manipulate the media, obscure the truth and blow to smithereens any hope of dignity for any of the parties involved.
Meanwhile, the Knox/Mellas show has become enamored of itself and its capacity to capture the spotlight.
The Kerchers did not ask for this and are not benefiting from it. They do not deserve to be subjected to this kind of spectacle. I wish them courage and strength and want them to know that they have many friends in Seattle.