Larry King and the Old Niceness, An Improbable Defense

Outgoing Larry King, and the idea of niceness in general, found an unlikely defender today in Washington Post Style columnist Tom Shales.

Mr. Shales, who isn’t known for taking it easy on people, wrote today:

King was indeed chided over the years for lobbing “softball” questions. Controversial guests would appear on King’s show above and before all others because, it was said, they could expect an easier time of it. But why should every show and every host have to deliver hardballs over the plate at 100 mph? Must everyone who asks questions on television do it with a 25-pound chip on the shoulder? King let guests have their say. He was gentlemanly. And he got great guests, at least in his long and happy heyday, largely for that reason.

You knew you could go on King’s show and try to explain and defend yourself, if need be.

“Snitty British twit Piers Morgan” (that’s still Mr. Shales) would inevitably be less kind to his guests in the role.

Larry King and the Old Niceness, An Improbable Defense