If I learned anything from Robert Kelly’s interview with Gayle King, it’s that the art of the interview has been lost. Gone are the Barbara Walters days of truncated, tricky questions that illicit admissions, no matter how prepared and media trained the subject. Many are complimenting King’s composure during Kelly’s volcanic eruption, as she gently and effectively interrupted his useless rant and encouraged him to take his seat. While I also think King’s composure deserves praise, I question whether an interview can be deemed effective when the phrasing of a question causes such a rant in the first place.
An interview is not about accountability, despite the desires of social media. It’s about information gathering. And if you aren’t gathering any information and are instead just witnessing his temperament, we’ve gotten nowhere. If it were me, I’d say, “How would you describe your relationship with Jocelyn Savage?”
Though many have also suggested that R. Kelly does not deserve a platform, I’m fine with it. We’ve interviewed serial killers, pedophiles, etc., and I think those interviews are important — as information gathering. I draw exception when there is a pending criminal case that could influence the potential jury pool. Let investigators do their job before you put this man on television. In fact, interview R. Kelly from behind bars instead.