Gayle King Faces Interview Backlash


A month has gone by, and the world is still dealing with the aftermath of Kobe Bryant’s death. This well-known athlete, his 13 year old daughter and seven other victims were on their way to a basketball practice in California’s foggy weather in the morning on Sunday, Jan. 26. They were flying without direction because of the fog, impairing the pilot's vision until they fatally crashed into the side of a hill. The world was shocked. It hit all of America and even affected fans overseas. Even if you are not a basketball fan, this tragic event struck a nerve. 

Within ten days of Kobe Bryant’s death, Gayle King, a broadcast journalist known for working with CBS News held an interview with Lisa Leslie, a former WNBA legend and friend of Bryant’s. King prompted Leslie with questions about the MVP and all he has been through in his life as well as his basketball career. However, it was Gayle King’s questions about a sexual assault case involving Bryant from 2003 that has caused a media frenzy.

As a student-journalist, I am still learning the in’s and out’s of this tricky but exciting industry. One must know the law that comes with working for the mass media as well as the ethics that follow it. Even though it is hard to keep the balance of fighting for truth while being empathetic towards the people being reported, there is a balance to maintain. 

I do not think, coming from a journalistic point of view, that King’s questions were so outlandish to ask. They were public record information, and I am sure that during the time of the actual case King is referring to, that the paparazzi was gaining their fill of information along with fake news.I do believe that her timing for that particular question was more than inappropriate.  

Ten days after he left this world, King began digging up his dirty laundry for the world to see, and what makes it worse is that Kobe is not here to defend himself. She did not give his family, his friends or his fans enough time to grieve this tragic loss before trying to taint the legacy he has left behind with arbitrary allegations . She did not give the world enough time to celebrate Kobe’s life before trying to tear everything he worked for down with her probing questions. 

In the interview King even describes the woman involved in the sexual assault case as “victims.” Not saying that the young lady has not gone through some form of violation, but in my opinion, in King’s mind, Kobe is guilty. Not mentioning that the charges filed against Bryant were dropped.

Since the interview, King has been receiving fierce backlash from the public. Fans and friends of Kobe Bryant took to social media to voice their opinions. Oprah Winfrey, in a following interview defended her friend Gayle King. While fighting back tears, Oprah said, “She is not doing well”, and mentions that King has requested for extra security and immediately started receiving death threats.

Snoop Dogg, an American rapper and friend of the retired basketball star was one the first people to comment on Gayle King’s interview. Snoop Dogg was hurt and upset, letting his emotions rule over his judgment. He posted a video online directed at the broadcast journalist, and as much as he is entitled to his opinions, the only issue with his response was that he called King hurtful and misogynistic insults.  

Since then, the rapper has posted another video in which he not only apologizes to Gayle King, but he asks her to have a face-to-face meeting to really converse without the harsh scrutiny of the public eye. 

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