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Did Amanda Knox Help or Hurt Her Case on ABC?

Did Amanda Knox Help or Hurt Her Case on ABC?

Amanda Knox agreed to be interviewed by ABC’s Diane Sawyer for two reasons, I reckon: 

a) She wanted to plug her new memoir

b) She wanted to stress her innocence in the murder of her young roommate six years ago in Italy

I’m not an expert in forensics or body language — and, probably, neither are you. We laymen will never really know for sure what Knox did or didn’t do. But she did a great job at plugging her newly published memoir, “Waiting to Be Heard.”

It’s also difficult to say how she did on the TV show. Did she help her cause of innocence?

ABC did well to snare the big interview. The rival networks must want to eat their collective livers because this story was so hot. 

For the reasonable future, celebrity TV interviews will be judged against Oprah Winfrey, when she grilled disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong several months ago.

Winfrey did her best to keep the evasive Armstrong on track. Armstrong, viewers said later, didn’t seem to express much remorse or contrition for his actions in and out of cycling. That seems to be the acid test nowadays of whether someone can be likable after being ostracized by American society. The question is: Was the individual contrite enough? Was Knox contrite enough?

Meanwhile, how do we think Sawyer did in getting the story out of her 25-year-old interview subject?

I think Sawyer did fine. Sawyer was not there to act as Knox’ friend — or her adversary. Sawyer worked at it, attempting to push Knox to spill her guts. The veteran journalistgot off some memorable lines, perhaps none more evocative than: “An angel-faced killer has been apprehended.” 

Sawyer tried hard to probe Knox as to whether she was truly contrite. The action built slowly. After 15 minutes orso, Sawyer really got down to business and we viewers sensed that the preliminaries had ended. Now it was on to the main event, and Knox had better reach down here for her “A” game because Sawyer was going to start bring hers to the interview. And she sure did.

At 10:27 p.m., Eastern, we viewers got the money shot: Sawyer asking Knox if she killed Meredith Kercher. No, Knox said. Sawyer pressed on and asked if Knox knew anything that she hadn’t told the police or written in her memoir. No, she repeated. 

From there, the interview lagged a bit. It was as if Sawyer had had her big moment and now it was on to the rest of the action, specifically the course of the trial.

“How could I be convicted?”Knox asked.

Knox had already acted like an outraged innocent woman.

“It bothers me when people suggest she wasn’t my friend,”Knox told Sawyer. “I was stunned by her death.” 

We’ll never really know what happened. But ABC certainly did present a riveting TV show, starring Amanda Knox and co-starring Diane Sawyer.

MEDIA MATRIX QUESTION: What did you think of the interview?

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