Gayle King has received backlash online for an interview she conducted Wednesday on CBS Mornings, with Thomas Hand, father of eight-year-old Emily Hand who is being held hostage by Hamas. The exchange, which was already emotional, became even more intense when the topic of Gaza politics came up.
“It’s a difficult place to live,” Hand stated, referring to living in Israel. He also said that the “greatest movement towards peace” Israel made was exiting Gaza.
Hand stated: “We’re constantly being bombarded by rockets, thousands and thousands and thousands of rockets for the last 20 years. The greatest movement towards peace that Israel ever did was we pulled out of Gaza. Israel has never made such a big step towards peace, and it got us nothing. They didn’t even back a little baby step to go towards peace.”
In response, King said: “But now this seems to be all about politics. What do you say about that? You know, you have innocent children, Palestinians who are dying, innocent Israeli children who are dying and no one seems to say enough, stop that.”
Hand answered: “I’m not interested in politics at all. My only concern is getting Emily back.” Some believe that King’s focus should have remained solely on Hamas victims and Hand’s pain. King has also been accused of being insensitive.
Perhaps Hand wasn’t interested in discussing the political reasons his daughter has been taken hostage but King wasn’t trying to dismiss his pain. As a veteran journalist, she was merely trying to discuss the nature of this tragedy in a holistic way.
The Israel-Hamas war is a very complicated topic and King was trying to approach the topic with as much detail and care as possible—other journalists should take note.