Our View: Too much of a bad thing

DKS Editors

Monday afternoon brought the announcement that Amanda Knox, the woman who spent the past four years in an Italian prison for allegedly murdering her roommate, was acquitted. She could finally come home.

Breaking news alerts were sent out and plastered across news websites. Headlines today read of Knox’s arrival back in the states. The Seattle Times even blogged about “Free Amanda Knox” t-shirts for sale (at http://freeamanda.spreadshirt.com, in case you were wondering).

The media frenzy was much like that surrounding the Casey Anthony trial, leaving many people asking, “Why?”

What makes the Knox and Anthony cases any different from other murder cases? And why did the media insist on devoting so much space, both in papers and on air, to covering these trials? It doesn’t quite make sense.

Many are saying it’s simply due to appearance. These are two, very pretty American women tied up in very serious murder trials — it’s unusual at best.

“Our obsession with female evil, our fascination with the possibility of a depraved criminal hiding behind a pretty face, drove the coverage of this case, eliciting innuendo as fact, and excluding at least half of the narrative,” Nina Burleigh wrote for CNN.

Obviously, what happened to Anthony’s little girl and to Knox’s roommate was horrific and unjust. Hopefully, for both of the families’ sakes, the truth about these cases will be revealed soon.

But the line for appropriate level of coverage for these cases was absolutely crossed. Tons of other trials with tragedies have occurred and are occurring — they just don’t all include young and beautiful American women.

Take the Anthony Sowell case, for example. Sowell was convicted this year of murdering 11 women and storing their bodies in and around his home in Cleveland. The case received minimal coverage.

Deciding just how much coverage to give a certain issue, case or event isn’t always easy, but in both Anthony and Knox’s trials, it seems quite apparent that the media overdid it.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.