The public relations skills of Chris Licht’s CNN were, shall we say, less than adequate. Before stepping on their own headline by firing CNN This Morning co-host Don Lemon on Monday, he and his Warner Bros. Discovery team announced Saturday afternoon the long-anticipated hiring of NBA on TNT personality Charles Barkley and CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King for a weekly primetime show on Wednesday nights, starting in the fall.
The public announcement came during the pregame show for the NBA on TNT’s playoff coverage. Host Ernie Johnson delivered the news:
Big news to share involving our family at Warner Bros. Discovery and it includes the Chuckster. Coming to CNN on Wednesdays this fall, an hour-long weekly discussion show centering on the people and the events that are shaping are people. It’s called King Charles — Charles being Barkley, and King being Gayle King, who you see hosting CBS Mornings.
King then appeared on-set with Johnson and his must-watch ragtag crew of Barkley, Kenny "The Jet" Smith, and Shaq.
Asked by Johnson what she “expect[s]” and is “picturing” for the show, King explained what united Barkley and King was they love “live TV”: “And, to me, live TV is like working without a net. Don’t you feel that? So, so whatever happens, happens. I like that...Charles always says I don’t like a script. I like to have a little bit of script."
She added, “We’re both very curious people” and what “excit[ed]” her “most” was that neither was “looking for another job.”
Barkley replied he wasn’t either, but when told he could work with King, he said he would. He added he “want[s] [King Charles] to be nonpolitical” with both saying they’re not “a liberal or conservative, Republican, Democrat.”
“That’s one of the things that has already ruined television in general. And I know she’s going to be a straight shooter. You know, I’m going to be a straight shooter,” he continued.
King replied that “decorum and courtesy and kindness always works, but everybody I know has an opinion about something,” so “I just think we have to figure out a way to have a good conversation without tearing each other down and I think that we can do that.”
Anyone with a pulse would recognize this was a pants-on-fire lie as, along with King’s record of ultra-liberal punditry masquerading as common sense, she’s donated to the Obama campaign and vacationed with them. On the last point, she’s dismissed it as nowhere near a break in journalistic ethics.
The excitement extended over to Monday’s CBS Mornings with what co-host Nate Burleson called “an exciting new venture” that will be in addition to her CBS duties.
King said, after some clips from TNT, that she’s “really excited about Charles Barkley” as “[h]e just totally cracks me up, and I think that we’re both different.”
She also put out the call for help: “So, also we’re looking for creative out-of-the-box thinkers, putting the staff together, looking at the set, getting the topics. He has ideas, I have ideas. Chris [Licht] and Ryan [Kadro] over there have ideas, so we’ll be ready this fall.”
Before going to break, Burleson made a claim that was a scorcher of a lie: “I know you said that you guys are different, but the similarities, you guys are very honest and transparent. And that’s going to work for this show. We need a little bit more honesty on TV.”
Once again, King sees no problem with not telling viewers about her deep ties to the Obamas and Democratic Party (or how she remained friends with creep Charlie Rose), so not at all honest.