ALEXANDRIA, VA -- While filling-in for Regis Philbin on Live with Regis and Kelly today, Bryant Gumbel actually boasted about once calling conservative culture-critic Robert Knight “a f***ing idiot” (Gumbel used the actual word) at the end of a June 29, 2000 interview on CBS's The Early Show about whether gays should work as scoutmasters in the Boy Scouts. (Mr. Knight, then with the Family Research Council, is now the director of the MRC's Culture and Media Institute.)
After the first incident, the Media Research Center called on Mr. Gumbel to apologize. He remained silent. His employer, CBS, incredulously claimed that they did not know what Mr. Gumbel had said, although the incident was captured on videotape on live television. In his comment today, Mr. Gumbel expanded on the insult, saying,
Gumbel: “One time I was doing an interview with – I'm going to kindly describe him as a gentleman – and he was arguing about how gays should be kept out of the Boy Scouts, etcetera, and he was infuriating me. And I finished the interview and I thought we had gone to commercial and we hadn't, and I said 'what a blank-ing idiot.' I was correct, but it was wrong to do.”
Concerning Mr. Gumbel's remarks, MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement:
“Bryant Gumbel is a crude, left-wing reporter who has now confirmed what we documented and CBS denied for seven years—CBS claimed 'it is unclear what the comment was'—and for which Mr. Gumbel refused to apologize. Mr. Gumbel's words and lack of decency and decorum, then and now and as confirmed on the broadcast today, show that he is grossly biased and sees absolutely nothing wrong in smearing people he disagrees with politically as blankety-blank idiots.
“Robert Knight, and the audience, deserved an apology back in 2000 from Mr. Gumbel and CBS, and they certainly deserve one today from Mr. Gumbel. In this age of Don Imus and belittling of people for political reasons, the lewdness on the left needs to be challenged and rejected by all Americans, most notably by those in the media.
“We once again call upon Bryant Gumbel to apologize publicly for his crass comments and we also call upon CBS to correct the record, which it has stonewalled for so long.”
To schedule an interview with MRC President Bozell or an MRC spokesperson, please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen O'Boyle (x. 122) at 703.683.5004.