AceShowbiz - Gayle King was nowhere to be seen in the Friday, February 7 episode of "CBS This Morning" amid the Kobe Bryant questions debacle. In her response to the backlash she received, the TV host appeared to blame the network for releasing an "out-of-context" clip that landed her in hot water.
People seemingly thought that her eyebrow-raising absence had something to do with the trashing. It also came roughly 24 hours after King revealed she would have "a very intense discussion" with network executives over the handling of an interview about the legacy of the late NBA legend, who died in a helicopter crash last month.
However, the network quickly set the record straight. Explaining in a statement, CBS said, "Gayle was off the show today because she had a long-standing commitment out of town."
King was hugely criticized over an interview with former WNBA star Lisa Leslie in which she asked her about a 2003 rape accusation. Right after the clip was published, everyone, including rappers Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Lil Boosie a.k.a. Boosie Badazz, came after her.
The criticism apparently was serious that Oprah Winfrey recently shared that her friend has been getting death threats. "She is not doing well," she said on "Hoda & Jenna & Friends" on Friday, tearing up. "She has now death treats and has to now travel with security and she's feeling very much attacked. You know, Bill Cosby is tweeting from jail. She feels that she was put in a really terrible position."
King herself defended her line of questioning, stating in an Instagram video, "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. It's jarring to me. I didn't even know anything about it," she continued.
King added, "We talked about that court case because that court case has also come up. And, I wanted to get Lisa's take on it as a friend who knew him well, what she thought, where that should stand. It was very powerful when she looked me in the eye, as a member of the media, to say, 'It's time for the media to leave it alone and to back off."