Former CBS host Bryant Gumbel, who was once infamously caught on camera calling a conservative activist a "f***ing idiot," defended and reaffirmed his comment while guest hosting on Tuesday’s "Live With Regis and Kelly." Discussing the possibility of inadvertently swearing on live television, Gumbel told co-host Kelly Ripa that he "was correct" when he used the F-word in reference to Robert Knight, then with the Family Research Council.
While explaining the 2000 event, Gumbel did announce that it was "wrong" to use profanity on the air, but added that he found Knight’s assertion, that gays should not be allowed in the Boy Scouts, "infuriating." He also derided Mr. Knight, now the director of MRC's Culture and Media Institute (CMI) saying, "I'm going to kindly describe him as a gentleman."
Video of the Gumbel’s original on-air vulgarity can be found here. Video of the June 5 "Regis and Kelly" can be found here: Video: Real (942 KB) or Windows (1 MB) plus MP3 (164 KB) [Warning: Discussion of the profanity follows]
On June 29, 2000, Mr. Knight appeared on the "Early Show" to discuss a Supreme Court ruling that reaffirmed the right of the Boy Scouts to exclude homosexuals. After a contentious interview, Gumbel can be clearly seen calling the FRC representative a "fucking idiot."
Gumbel has never apologized for the incident. In fact, CBS originally contended that the remark was not directed at Knight. A July 12 CyberAlert described the denials:
Last Wednesday the Capitol Hill Blue Webs site [sic] ran an item which claimed Mark McEwen was Gumbel’s real target. Here’s an excerpt:
...CBS insiders, however, tell us that neither Gumbel nor the network has any intention of apologizing to Knight or the FRC because those close to the turbulent morning show say Gumbel was not hurling the epithet at Knight, but at Early Show weatherman Mark McEwen.
"Bryant considers Mark a lesser talent and finds it harder and harder to hide his lack of respect for him," says one former Early Show insider. "He was upset over Mark's crowing about picking one of the participants to be ousted in the Survivor series."
While still not apologizing, Mr. Gumbel’s latest comments finally acknowledge the obvious: The liberal anchor intended the vulgarity for a conservative whose views didn’t square with his own. In a statement to NewsBusters, Robert Knight, now the Director of CMI, noted, "The fact is, they stonewalled and denied and now Mr. Gumbel has admitted the truth which is that he did utter the epithet out of frustration and was caught on camera doing so."
Mr. Knight added that "[Gumbel] is apparently unrepentant and does not regard such rudeness as a thing to be avoided when it comes to conservatives."
The MRC has issued a press release condemning Gumbel's latest comments.
Other, numerous examples of liberal bias committed by the liberal anchor can be found here.
A partial transcript of Mr. Gumbel’s comments on the June 5 edition of "Live With Regis and Kelly" are below:
Kelly Ripa: "This is live television. I could say anything. I could blow at any time! But you want to make sure that if something accidentally comes out of your mouth– And on purpose is one thing. On purpose. But an accident, you know– "
Gumbel: "Have you ever done one?"
Ripa: "Not yet!"
Gumbel: "I did one."
Gumbel: "When I was at CBS. And kind of surprising, I've been doing this 36 years. [Kelly adjusts his mug.] Thank you. I was wondering what I was drinking. And people who know me, guys who know me, are like, ‘I'm amazed you never slipped up.’
Gumbel: "One time I was doing an interview with, I'm going to kindly describe him as a gentleman."
Gumbel: "And he was arguing about how gays should be kept out of the Boy Scouts, etc. etc. And he was infuriating me."
Ripa: "Right. Of course."
Gumbel: "And I finished with the interview and I thought we had gone to commercial. And we hadn’t. And I said, ‘What a blanking idiot."
Ripa: "Oh, that’s so– Oh!"
Gumbel: "I was correct, but it was wrong to do."