Coffee in my left hand, thoughts on the Gayle thing in my right.

So, the whole Gayle King thing.  We’ve seen the original interview.  We’ve seen multiple responses to it; some intelligent, some belligerent, some in between.  We’ve seen her ‘it wasn’t me, I’d be mad too’ response. We’ve seen her Bestie step in with a defense.

Here’s my .22 cents…

Gayle was wrong to ask the question in the first place.  Yes, she’s a journalist of the highest caliber; a news show on a major network gives her that distinction. But with that distinction comes a great responsibility.  At her level, Gayle is able to formulate her own questions without oversite or preview. 

She knew exactly what she was going to ask. There is no world where a seasoned journalist is not ready for multiple answers, with multiple follow up questions. Gayle is beyond seasoned, she’s at the top of the heap.  

What she didn’t take into account is whether or not asking the question was the right thing to do.  She didn’t ask herself, “is this what the people want to know? Is this what they need to know right now?” She put on her ‘gotcha’ hat and went digging.  She, however, was the one to get got. The outpouring was tremendous. And by outpour, I mean the dragging. Baby the dragging was rough, steady and ongoing.  

Added to the dragging were some inappropriate threats and name calling.  

We should have pointed out that Kobe and Gianna were not yet in the ground. We should have pointed out that Lisa was a good friend likely there to speak on her loss and the loss of many. We should have pointed out that there’s a place and time for everything and, on everything I know to be true, this was not the time. But some took it too far. Way too far. 

I don’t buy the “all famous people get their life threatened, it’s par for the course” nonsense.  No one should have their life threatened no matter the mistake. Who are you to threaten anyone? This is not some BET movie where life and death are acted out in a 3hr melodrama. This is that woman’s real life. There is no justification for it. 

Here’s where I might lose you though.  What the threats have done is make her the victim.  It’s as if Shonda Rhimes wrote this whole season 8 Scandal episode where Olivia Pope creates the spin to get Gayle out of this mess. The conversation is no longer on the need for her to apologize, but now how she has been wronged. It’s shifted from Poor Vanessa to poor Gayle. And granted, both of those things can exist; but one was created by tragedy, and the other created by bullies on Twitter.  

The apology that is owed to the audience is now buried under death threats, hair jokes and name calling. I doubt we’ll ever get it now. 

Coffee in my left hand, intelligent discourse in my right. 

9 thoughts on “Coffee in my left hand, thoughts on the Gayle thing in my right.

  1. There are areas of your argument I’m totally aligned with….and there is a POV, along with the lack of apology, that’s being left out. It’s that insidious “black man against black woman” not so silent war that continues to rage on. It makes me so sad. Yes Gayle King was wrong. Yes she was after sensationalism. Yes it was in poor poor taste. But I could just make Snoop Dogg become the first adult with baby shaking syndrome. He had a chance to be a real “King”…to show the world how black men lead…which includes correction at times. Instead of call her (and thusly all black women that make mistakes) out of their name, and in front of white America no less, why not just say “Gayle you were wrong, insensitive and out of line. You must do better sister. As a black man, leader and influencer, I’m here to say “shame on you”. On behalf of ALL black men, I apologize to the Byrant Family, Friends and Fans on behalf of Gayle King.” But naw…he went back to the streets..back to the gutter, to JOIN Gayle King and all the other straw heads that salivate at this kind of exchange. It’s just sad. Sad. And sad. When a King is insulted, He responds like a KING, not like a PAWN.

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    1. Agreed. Except to say that money and his proximity to Martha Stewart may have lulled us into a false sense of security; I think he was just being his regular ole self. And he should have tried to be better. Thanks Sara!

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  2. I watched a clip that I felt provided complete context to her questions. First, she led in with “it is said…” For me, this implies “others.” Therefore, feelnshe was asking Lisa about her feelings concerning people tarnishing Kobe’s legacy. The 2and question was very specific: she asked Lisa about her personal thoughts on what the media should do. I didn’t find the questions inappropriate, but specific to the thoughts and feelings of someone who was close to him concerning outsiders using their platform to tarnish his legacy.

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    1. Thanks for that context Rob. I’d still offer that any questions about ‘people’ tarnishing his legacy could have waited until after a respectable mourning time for his family’s sake. And she should have led the media on what to do; not go there at all. IMO. Thanks for the comments, I’m really happy to have a counter balance opinion!

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  3. Excellent points! Like you, I’m not for the name calling or the threats. This is still a black woman and she didn’t deserve some of that heat. HOWEVER, because she is a seasoned journalist, because she should have known better and because she gave NO THOUGHTS of the grieving widow, the remaining daughters and the millions of people who loved Kobe, she will never be a victim in my eyes. She earned that heat! At no time when the dragging was taking place did I say, poor Gayle. I did say, that’s a bit much or that’s over the line. But I, like many knew that heat was coming from Gayle’s disrespectful question and timing. Anyone can make a mistake. None of us are perfect, but the spirit in which she asked the question and the timing told me she was going to ask Lisa Leslie by any means necessary regardless of how anyone felt. LL was visually uncomfortable. Gayle is no victim. A victim of her own arrogance maybe, but no victim. As the world reminded Gayle, her an Oprah have been very disingenuous with regards to the mistakes of black men versus the mistakes of white men. So again, not a victim. But I do see your point. Good piece. Maybe you should take Gayle’s job…

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  4. Great blog Vonn…
    I don’t believe in threats/bullying but it does not dismiss her hand in the situation , in my opinion. She made a choice, a bad one and received the backlash. She has attempted to apologize without addressing any responsibility on her part, and the backlash continued.
    At this point, no more apologies are necessary and will land on deaf ears….therefore she must live with her adjusted approval level and move on… just as I will with my opinion of her and this situation .

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  5. Gail wanted the heat because she knew that the question would be hard-hitting. As a result of her wanting the heat, she got more than she bargained for and now what will be the next step because she loves her job.

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