Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

You Fight for the People You Love

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gayle and oprah

This isn’t as much about interviewing as it is about the media and friendship.

Gayle King is Oprah Winfrey’s besty. And this morning, as an anchor for CBS This Morning, she defended the former Queen of Daytime TV from the hyperbole that is the news business. We all have all had times when we’ve have so much on our plate that we kinda sorta feel like, “What the hell am I doing with all this stuff on my plate?” But that doesn’t make most of us wanna sit in a corner in the fetal position, or have a screaming fit. Most of us, most times follow the popular meme; keep calm, and carry on.

But when you’re a A-plus-pluser like Oprah, people are always looking for chinks in your armor. Jealous maybe, I don’t know. I think about her fight with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association back in 1998. People are always out to get somebody like her who has done well by doing good. So in this latest iteration, somewhere, somebody started the rumor that Oprah was on the verge of, or having, or had a nervous breakdown. And you gotta wonder where this stuff comes from. Was it fact checked? It’s an old and unfortunate saying that the media likes to eat its young. And considering that Oprah Winfrey have given the world just about the best examples of personal and celebrity revelation that have ever sprung from the head of TV, you would think people on the button side of the camera would be a little better with their due diligence.

Well, whatever was going on, Gayle wasn’t having it. To paraphrase, she said the stories aren’t true and blow stuff out of proportion. And she quickly got support from co-anchor Nora O’Donnell that, yes, sometimes, it’s just an overabundance of busy that can make you feel overwhelmed, but that doesn’t have to translate into a month in the country.

I know Gayle came to Oprah’s defense for the 8 a.m. Pacific Time live airing of CBSTM, but I don’t know if she had repeated that message for the live broadcasts to Eastern, Central and Mountain timezones. I do know that I admire Ms. King for using her catbird seat near the tippy tippy top of the morning news mountain to cross the line back over to friend and be one to Oprah Winfrey. Clearly, she’s not afraid to take a swipe at the industry she currently works in. By doing that, she said what so many people in crappy jobs wish they could as clearly say – this is a job, it’s not my life. It’s not even the most important thing in my life.

If you can defend someone you love, you should and she did.

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Written by Interviewer

September 23, 2013 at 23:27

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