This was a fun exchange.
I talked about my Newsweek cover story on Hillary Clinton's years as Secretary of State, and what her work style there tells us about how she might handle a bigger federal job. Watch it here.
Watch. Of course, the power of words and images is exactly why the assassins went into the offices of Charlie Hebdo today. Sticks and stones break bones, but words and images change minds-- images like the satirical pictures that the murdered French cartoonists excelled at scratching out on blank sheets of paper.
Those images are what the gunmen wanted to eradicate. But they wanted to destroy something else, too: wit and laughter, a sense of the ridiculous, the freedom to think, to read what one wants, to wear what one wants, to live and work and bear children how and where and when one wants, and the freedom to speak truth to power.
Many men and certainly most women on this planet will never have power. That's why speaking truth to power is so important. And why laughing at power should be a human right.
I tried, in the time allotted, to explain why the latest ruling out of Italy contains no news, and makes even less sense than the original conviction, which was based on poorly conducted CSI and relied on the testimony of a man with, literally, Meredith Kercher's blood on his hands.
For the record, when I talk about this, I am not serving as Amanda Knox's advocate. I am simply explaining what I learned from my research, performed to the best of my abilities as an investigative journalist, and which I present in a book that I hope not only explains the case, but the circus around it, and why the case became such a media phenomenon.
And, I think I'm right, Here's the clip and the New Day blog about it.
I talked to Brooke Gladstone about my book, and the role the media has played in the Amanda Knox case. Listen.
With the re-conviction, apparently the Italians are working on Amanda Knox, the Opera.
Here, for CNN, is my take on the latest re-conviction.
Katja Meier, a Swiss expat living in Tuscany, writes about the region in which she's made her home. She interviewed me about my almost-month residency in Siena, we talked about expeditions, biking, shopping, Italian literature, climate, art and cheese.
Here's the link.
Siena, with its medieval reliquaries, including Saint Catherines skull and index finger, was the perfect setting in which to discuss the Jerusalem relic forgery trial that put archaeology in the dock. Here's an article on it, for you Italophiles.
FEDE, SCIENZA E FALSI ARCHEOLOGICI: NINA BURLEIGH E "UNHOLY BUSINESS"
SIENA. Nel 2002, un collezionista Israeliano rivelò l'esistenza di un ossario con un'iscrizione - "Giacomo, figlio di Giuseppe, fratello di Gesù" - che catalizzò l'attenzione del mondo accademico, scientifico e religioso: poteva trattarsi della prima prova archeologica dell'esistenza di Gesù. Ma dopo due anni, le autorità Israeliane lo dichiararono un falso - "la frode del secolo" - dando il via ad un'indagine che ha rimesso in discussione l'autenticità di centinaia di altri reperti dell'era biblica.
Prende le mosse da questa vicenda e la racconta dal punto di vista di due dei principali protagonisti, un detective e un archeologo, il libro Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land (2008), che l'autrice, la giornalista investigativa e scrittrice statunitense Nina Burleigh, visiting artist del Siena Art Institute per il mese di novembre, presenterà a "StARTers - Assaggi d'arte" martedì 5 novembre alle 18 (via Tommaso Pendola, 37, Siena - ingresso libero).
Fellow writer Deborah Kalb has a books-and-authors blog on which she interviews writers and she honored me with one of her Q and A's. She asked some thoughtful questions about working in the Middle East, and researching Amanda Knox and Mary Pinchot Meyer. Here is the interview. I highly recommend looking at some of her other interviews, with the likes of Jodi Picoult and Nathaniel Philbrick as well.
And the interview, where we talked about Mary Pinchot Meyer, Ben Bradlee, CIA, James Smithson, living in Paris, writing, and researching like Nancy Drew - and having our great little babies, is right here.
Listen to Nina Burleigh talking to Leonard Lopate on WNYC about her book, Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt, and hear about the curious characters in the history of science who helped the West uncover ancient Egypt. Listen here.
I was truly honored to be invited to speak at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago on archaeological forgery, the James Ossuary case and the Syro-Palestinian-Judaica relic trade.
It was a thrill to be there. I wanted to be an archaeologist as a kid and I spent some childhood years playing in the backyard of the OI in Hyde Park.
Click here to watch the talk.
Big props to Susan Zirinsky and producers Doug Longhini and Sara Ely Hulse, and Peter Van Sant, for the work they did bringing to light the problems in the Amanda Knox case early on. More than anyone, these professionals laid the groundwork for really investigating the case.
Bravo to all.
Some of the lessons we can take away from the Amanda Knox story, in the San Francisco Chronicle.