Gayle King was not in her normal spot behind the desk of “CBS This Morning” on Friday, one day after she attacked the network over how it released a clip of her interview with Lisa Leslie.
The interview was about Kobe Bryant, and during it King questioned Leslie on what impact his 2003 rape case, which was later dismissed, had on his legacy.
On Thursday, King attempted to defend herself and threw CBS under the bus while doing so.
“I’ve been up reading the comments about the interview I did with Lisa Leslie about Kobe Bryant,” King said. “I know that if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I’d be extremely angry with me too. I am mortified, I am embarrassed and I am very angry.”
“Unbeknownst to me, my network put up a clip from a very wide ranging interview, totally taken out of context and when you see it that way, it’s very jarring,” King continued, referencing the clip that was shared on social media by CBS.
“It’s jarring to me. I didn’t even know anything about it. I started getting calls, ‘What the hell are you doing? Why did you say this? What is happening?’ I did not know what people were talking about.
“I really want people to understand what happened here and how I’m feeling about it,” she said. “I believe that Lisa was OK with the interview and I felt really good about the interview.”
According to Fox News, King had a prior engagement:
“Gayle was off the show today because she had a long-standing commitment out of town,” a CBS News rep told Fox News.
King’s eyebrow-raising absence came roughly 24 hours after she declared she would have “a very intense discussion” with network executives over handling of an interview about the legacy of Bryant that landed her in hot water with critics.
CBS did release a statement about the whole incident. “Gayle conducted a thoughtful, wide-ranging interview with Lisa Leslie about the legacy of Kobe Bryant. An excerpt was posted that did not reflect the nature and tone of the full interview. We are addressing the internal process that led to this and changes have already been made,” the network wrote.
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people died in a tragic helicopter crash in California on January 26.