Complimenting somebody on their looks at the conclusion of a discussion about sexual harassment seems like an odd juxtaposition, but it happened on CBS This Morning, while the crawl on the bottom of the screen ironically read “double standard.”
Co-host Gayle King was interviewing U.S. Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, at the time about the sexual harassment allegations on Capitol Hill.
Thune told King and the other hosts that men across all industries — including in Congress — are learning that bad behavior in the treatment of women has consequences. The resignation of Senator Al Franken (who actually hasn’t left yet) over groping accusations came up in the conversation as did the sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Roy Moore. Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones in tomorrow’s Alabama special election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, which has immense national implications in the closely divided chamber. The RealClearPolitics average shows Moore ahead by 2.2 percent, although a Fox News poll indicates that Jones has a 10-point lead.
Senator Thune explained that it would have been in the best interests of the country and the GOP for Moore to drop out in favor of another Republican who isn’t under an ethics cloud. He added that if elected tomorrow, Moore will likely be subject to an immediate ethics investigation, which could result in expulsion or censure, CBS News reported. He also declared that it is unfortunate that the Republican National Committee resumed funding of Moore’s campaign.
Gayle King concluded the interview with the following observation about Senator Thune.
“You look as good in person as you do on TV.”
The two other panelists, co-host Norah O’Donnell and another female correspondent, laughed heartily, and a somewhat embarrassed Thune seemed to take it in stride by thanking King for the compliment.
Some might wonder about the reaction to the King-Thune interview on social media in the context of objectification if the genders were reversed, however. Parenthetically, late last month, CBS This Morning fired co-host Charlie Rose over sexual harassment allegations.
Watch the clip below and draw your own conclusions.
John Thune was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, unseating Tom Daschle, the Minority Leader for the Democrats, by about 4,500 votes. Two years earlier, he lost to U.S. Senator Tim Johnson by just 524 votes amidst allegations of vote fraud, although Thune declined to contest the election, perhaps with the matchup against Daschle in mind.
Gayle King is regarded as Oprah Winfrey’s best friend, and rumors even circulated after Rose’s departure that Oprah might replace him on CBS This Morning. CBS apparently has not made any final decisions about the co-hosting slot.