Former national security adviser Susan Rice told Snoop Dogg to “back the **** off” from CBS News journalist Gayle King after the rapper slammed King for an interview she did about late NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
King came under attack on social media last week after a clip from a recent interview she did with former WNBA star Lisa Leslie that included a question about Bryant’s 2003 sexual assault allegation went viral.
“We expect more from you, Gayle,” Snoop Dogg said in an Instagram video last week. “Respect the family and back off, b—h, before we come get you,” he added along with other disparaging remarks.
“We expect more from you, Gayle. Respect the family and back off, b—h, before we come get you.”
In response, Rice tweeted, “This is despicable. Gayle King is one of the most principled, fair and tough journalists alive. Snoop, back the **** off. You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won’t be pretty.”
“Snoop, back the **** off. You come for @GayleKing, you come against an army. You will lose, and it won’t be pretty.”
Oprah Winfrey said Friday that King has received death threats and is now traveling with security.
In a later Instagram video, Snoop Dogg clarified that he is a “non-violent” person, adding he didn’t want any harm to come to King and he wasn’t threatening her. He said he just wants her to “have a little more respect for Vanessa, her babies and Kobe Bryant’s legacy.”
CBS News President Susan Zirinsky on Saturday called any threats against King “despicable.”
“We fully support Gayle King and her integrity as a journalist. We find the threats against her or any journalist doing their job reprehensible,” she said.
Snoop Dogg had joined with others, including LeBron James, 50 Cent and even Bill Cosby, in criticizing King for asking Leslie whether Bryant’s legacy had been complicated by the accusation that he raped a woman at a Colorado resort in 2003. Bryant said the two had consensual sex, and the case was thrown out when his accuser decided not to testify. Bryant later apologized for his behavior and settled a civil suit.
King called the social media clip distributed by CBS from the wide-ranging interview “out of context,” adding that she was “very angry” with the network.
Zirinsky said the interview was “comprehensive and thoughtful.”
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., also stood up for King.
“For those threatening her and inciting violence, stop it immediately,” he tweeted. “This is unacceptable. We must do better.”
MSNBC’s Willie Geist tweeted that “the threats against Gayle King for asking a fair question in the course of a long interview are absolutely disgusting. Gayle is one of the most thoughtful people in our business.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.