"Since he didn't deeply research his guests, he tended to ask questions the average person might want to know. In the maximalist '80s and '90s that approach worked wonders," says Melanie McFarland. "King made his subjects come across as people – real people, serious people. Politicians in the hot seat softened and came off as more human even as they answered questions that seemed serious but were nowhere in the same realm of toughness as they would be if a major network journalist was doing the interrogating. He wasn't imposing or intimidating, he was a nice guy asking for simple explanations to simple things about which he was curious. In the wake of 9/11, that casual style left us wanting. When disasters erupted, King's main role was to wrangle CNN correspondents and give George W. Bush's cabinet members a forum that was largely unchallenging. As partisanship grew more rancorous, we learned to turn to The Daily Show or, for conservatives, Fox News' primetime lineup instead of to King who, until that era, ruled the cable primetime roost. That he refused to be combative or contentious wasn't the main problem. It was that his professed dedication to open curiosity came across as unquestioning. Usually with celebrities, this was fine and welcome. This, in fact, was as much a part of the brand as King's signature eyeglasses and suspenders. But when presidents, cabinet members and congressmen were on the other side of the table, he was basically doing them a service instead of putting their feet to the fire...King clearly wasn't a man who used simple questions to open the door to deeper understanding about a person – and this, I think, is where some of the best and braver interviewers borrow from his style of simple, gentle questions and probe more sharply, sometimes messily, and if the subject plays along we're gifted with new insight."