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The Knox and Farrow Stories

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Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, children Dylan and Ronan, circa late 80's.
(image by (photo: David Mcgough/DMI/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images))
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The decision to run the Amanda Knox and Dylan Farrow stories drew a fair amount of readership and a little controversy. The controversy typically began with the question, "Why did RSN chose to run this?"

On my piece, "Amanda Knox and the Wages of American Imperialism," while admittedly this not our usual focus, it's a story I've been sitting on almost since the case began. It was not intended as a point-by-point deconstruction of the evidence. So much has already been written on the evidence, that I felt rehashing that was unnecessary. I think a good supporting perspective on the evidence would be Andrew Gumbel's piece in the Guardian, "Knox and Sollecito Case Delivers Harsh Verdict on Italian Justice."

I chose instead to focus on the political climate that existed at the time the case began and how that climate could explain an otherwise inexplicable pursuit of a case with no apparent factual merit whatsoever.

Dating back to day one I had been following the Bush administration's Black Operations in countries otherwise considered to be U.S. allies, and the backlash in those countries. Italy in particular went full bore in its opposition to the kidnapping of Abu Omar and took the extraordinary step of indicting, trying in absentia, and convicting 23 CIA agents. However it was the Bush administration's work in the background to suppress any potential extradition requests by Italy that was the most telling. Italy by all accounts was literally compelled to forego requesting extradition under U.S. pressure.

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The matter was little reported in the U.S. commercial press, but in Italy there was significant resentment, and still is today. So yes, I always thought the Knox-Sollecito prosecution was part of that backlash.

On the Dylan Farrow statement, a story incidentally widely commented on by a number of progressive sites including Mother Jones and The Nation, our decision was largely derivative of the original decision by Nicholas Kristof and the New York Times editors to run the piece. Once it was out there, it was out there.

My personal decision to point our readers to Dylan Farrow's statement came down to a question of credibility. The rallying cry for the deniers has been Robert Weide's piece in the Daily Beast, "The Woody Allen Allegations: Not So Fast." Weide's defense of Woody Allen is energetic, thorough, and compelling, but it must be weighed against Dylan Farrow's forthrightness. If Weide is right, then Dylan Farrow is either lying or crazy.

It's a question I asked and answered the moment I read Dylan's statement, was she lying, crazy or credible? In my view she did not come across as either lying or crazy. My immediate impression was that she was telling the truth. It was on that basis that I decided to highlight her statement.

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News: http://www.readersupportednews.org

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