Friday, August 14, 2020

I Can’t Give Gayle King a Pass.

February 10, 2020 by  
Filed under Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( Journalism is an extremely hard job, and it calls for the asking of hard uncomfortable questions. People will champion you when you go after their interests, and the people that threaten said interests, while demonizing you when you have to address an area that cause them to feel what they love is attacked. It is wise for a journalist to have their facts in order when they sit down to interview and write. It is also necessary to weigh the climate in which one chooses to speak. This doesn’t mean you avoid the tough questions, but you approach them with the respect the situation warrants. Let me say, this is why I can’t give Gayle King a pass…she didn’t simply ask a question. What could have been a just way to address the Kobe Bryant case turned into a situation by which Gayle King didn’t respect the climate in her press of a matter.

Let me be clear, my issue is not the fact that Gayle King addressed Kobe Bryant’s case. Initially I saw it as her giving Lisa Leslie, and woman and athlete, a chance to address that matter as it had already been brought up since Kobe Bryant passed. The problem was Lisa Leslie’s initial answer clearly wasn’t good enough, so the press began. Respecting the climate is to know this was the point where disrespect for Kobe Bryant, his family, and Lisa Leslie would be perceived.

She went beyond the line that made the question necessary; viewers are looking at this and some could ask why is Lisa Leslie being badgered? Why was she put in the position to defend someone that has passed? Why is this happening now as Kobe Bryant hasn’t even been buried yet? Regardless of what CBS did why did Gayle King press this question. She isn’t a rookie in journalism; she should have known better.

I don’t agree with the disrespectful name calling, nor perceived threats. With that being established I do believe she, as should all journalists, ought to be held accountable for how she handled that portion of her interview. Let’s not assume that everyone angry didn’t watch the entire interview. Some people watched because they wanted to believe this was not real. Unfortunately, not paying attention to climate has many in the black community wanting to know why it seems black males are under attack in a way their white male counterpart is not. Just let me say sitting down to interview Harvey Weinstein’s attorney is not the same as putting him on the hot seat directly. Journalism should be non-bias and it just doesn’t feel as such in this situation.

I’m not here to bash Gayle King. It is important to know black men are not the only people questioning her handling of this interview…black women are upset also. I can’t excuse that the follow up questions after that initial question was disrespectful more so to the family, and Lisa Leslie as Kobe Bryant is no longer with us. Many are left to wonder why she didn’t sit down with Kobe Bryant when he was alive. If this was a matter that wasn’t laid to rest, why wasn’t the question posed to him directly by Gayle King so that he could speak for himself. Just as journalists hold us to account in their reporting…we are to do the same. I admit I’m disappointed to say the least.

Staff Writer; Adonicka Michele

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