Journalists continue to defend CBS News’ Gayle King as the backlash over an interview excerpt with WNBA star Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant’s 2004 rape case enters its second week.
#IStandWithGayle trended on Twitter Monday morning as MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough tore into the media for not defending King after the clips of her pressing Leslie went viral. Scarborough was especially critical of response — or lack of response — to a video posted by Snoop Dogg warning King, “Respect the family and back off, b-tch, before we come get you.”
“The media silence deafening,” Scarborough said, calling on Snoop Dogg collaborators like Katy Perry and Martha Stewart to defend the journalist.
CBS News’ Anthony Mason tweeted Sunday, “A word about my co-host @GayleKing who unjustly went through a rather rough week. She’s one of the most fair & decent people I know & one of the world’s very best interviewers. I admire her both as a journalist & a friend. Gayle, we love you & we’ve got your back @CBSThisMorning.”
On Friday morning, King’s best friend Oprah Winfrey choked up, explaining, “She is not doing well. May I say she is not — she is not doing well, because she has now death threats and has to now travel with security and she’s feeling very much attacked.”
CBS News President Susan Zirinsky called death threats made against King “reprehensible” over the weekend.
“We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist,” Zirinsky told The Associated Press. “We find the threats against her or any journalist doing their job reprehensible.”