Gayle King considered scrapping her appearance on The Late Show Tuesday.
After her CBS This Morning colleague Charlie Rose was fired in the afternoon, amid sexual misconduct allegations from eight women published in The Washington Post Monday, she debated whether it would be appropriate to go on the air and talk to Stephen Colbert. "I came this close to canceling," she said. "It's a very difficult day. We booked this weeks ago, guys, because I was here to talk about Oprah's Favorite Things. Merry Christmas! Happy holidays!"
Colbert praised King and Norah O'Donnell's professionalism during a delicate situation. "I was very proud of CBS News and what you, Norah and everyone at CBS This Morning did," he told the broadcaster, "covering the allegations against Charlie Rose as news—objectively and fully."
"But that's what you have to do," King said. "To be honest with you, it isn't easy. It's still very painful. It's still very hurtful. Charlie and I—we worked together, have been friends. But when you think about the anguish of those women, despite the friendship, you still have to report the news. When I think of the job that we do at CBS, that's why I wanted to cancel, because I didn't want to be sitting here talking about this. But when you think about the job we do at CBS and how hard the people work, I want to know we are a top-notch broadcast operation. That's why I thought it was important to be here." Still, King confessed, "I was wincing at your monologue."
"You did your job this morning, and I did mine tonight," Colbert said. "We have different jobs."