Larry King Rips CNN: 'How Many Times Can You Cover A Plane?' It's 'Embarrassing'

Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, former CNN talk show host Larry King ridiculed his former employer when asked if he would ever return to the cable channel: "The tough time I would have at CNN now, I think, would be doing this airplane story. Because I think I'd crack up laughing. I think I would have – you know, how many times can you cover a plane? Six weeks and all we know is it made a left turn." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Co-host Willie Geist asked: "So you wouldn't do that story?" King replied: "Well, what if they forced me to? I would probably not want to do it. I think it would get embarrassing after a while."

The exchange was prompted by Geist referencing Piers Morgan leaving the network: "I've got to tell you, CNN's primetime is in a little bit of flux. Your old slot opened up not long ago. If CNN called you today and said, 'Larry, we want you back,' you would say what?"

King initially warmed to the idea: "You gotta call Larry King Now...I'd have to do both. I could not leave the internet, I'm committed to it and it's a wonderful show....But I'd be interested. I'm a workaholic. I'd be interested in doing it."

After slamming CNN's non-stop coverage of the missing Malaysian flight, King concluded: "But I have great respect for CNN. I had a wonderful 26 years there, that's a long time. They were fine to me, I was pretty good for them."


Here is a transcript of the May 6 exchange:

8:23 AM ET

(...)

WILLIE GEIST: You've been very open about the fact that you miss live TV. You miss the daily interaction with the staff and with the guests. I've got to tell you, CNN's primetime is in a little bit of flux. Your old slot opened up not long ago. If CNN called you today and said, "Larry, we want you back," you would say what?

LARRY KING: You gotta call Larry King Now, you gotta call people involved in – and I'd have to do both. I could not leave the internet, I'm committed to it and it's a wonderful show. I love the crew. Great cast. But I'd be interested. I'm a workaholic. I'd be interested in doing it.

What I miss about live TV is first, it's happening right then. And you get on top of a news story and run with it. And I love that. And that's one thing I miss, because we tape our show. But we have a great crew. I love the informality of it. I don't have any suits to deal with. It's a lot easier to do without drama.

And the tough time I would have at CNN now, I think, would be doing this airplane story. Because I think I'd crack up laughing. I think I would have – you know, how many times can you cover a plane? Six weeks and all we know is it made a left turn.

GEIST: So you wouldn't do that story?

KING: Well, what if they forced me to? I would probably not want to do it. I think it would get embarrassing after a while.

But I have great respect for CNN. I had a wonderful 26 years there, that's a long time. They were fine to me, I was pretty good for them.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC