On Tuesday’s edition of the morning news program, co-anchors Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King were solemn as they addressed a Monday report from The Washington Post, in which eight women came forward with similar stories about Rose, detailing how the veteran newsman made sexually inappropriate phone calls, exposed himself and groped women without their permission.
Though O’Donnell and King were clearly still reeling from the news about their colleague, they applauded the women who have shared their stories about Rose.
“It takes a lot of courage for these women to come forward. They should continue to do so,” O’Donnell began. “I also want to say this: This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment of where we stand, and more generally, the safety of women. Let me be very clear: There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive, and I’ve been doing a lot of listening, and I’m going to continue to do that.”
She continued, “This I know is true: Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace, or in society, until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility. I’m really proud to work at CBS News. There are so many incredible people here, especially on this show. This will be investigated. This has to end. This behavior is wrong. Period.”
King was more emotional in her statement, admitting that she is having trouble reconciling her friendship with Rose with the upsetting allegations about him.
“I got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night… I’m not OK,” King said. “After reading that article in the Post, it was deeply disturbing, troubling and painful for me to read. That said, we have to make this matter to women — the women who have spoken up, the women who have not spoken up because they’re afraid. I’m hoping they will take the step to speak out, that this becomes a moment of truth.”
O’Donnell and King agreed that although they have worked closely with Rose for the last several years at CBS This Morning, they cannot excuse his behavior just because he is a colleague and friend.
“What do you say when someone that you deeply care about has done something that is so horrible? How do you wrap your brain around that?” King asked. “That said, Charlie does not get a pass here. He does not get a pass from anyone in this room. We are all deeply affected. We are all rocked by this.”
On the heels of Monday’s report in the Post, Rose was swiftly suspended from both CBS News and his PBS interview show.
“It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior,” Rose said in a statement. “I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”