Journalist Nina Burleigh treaded a “dangerous line” in her near-constant television presence last week in defense of Amanda Knox, the U.S. exchange student who was freed last week from a murder charge in Italy, the New York Times says. In an emphatic defense of Knox (criticizing the “appalling” treatment of her by the Italian courts and news media, insisting “the evidence didn't exist,” that the “jury rubber-stamped a conviction”), Burleigh seemed at times to move from journalist to advocate.
Books about the case include two by a pair of authors who seem to represent the great divide between the presumption of innocence and the certainty of guilt. Burleigh, a former reporter for Time, made her appearances as the author of “The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Trials of Amanda Knox.” The title of an earlier book, “Angel Face: The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox,” left little doubt as to the perspective of its author, Barbie Latza Nadeau, a Rome-based writer for The Daily Beast and Newsweek. From Nadeau's perspective, Knox, now 24, fell in with the wrong people at the wrong time and place, then tried to squirm out of the consequences with the help of an American news media machine.