Charlie Rose to Bryant Gumbel on PBS: You Owe It To Us to Offer More Masterful Liberal Bias

August 9th, 2015 7:44 AM

HBO Real Sports host Bryant Gumbel was interviewed by Charlie Rose on his PBS talk show on Wednesday night (but here in Washington, we saw it after the debates on Thursday night). Or you could say Gumbel was simply flattered by Charlie Rose, flattered to the point that Rose lectured Gumbel that he owes the world more of his wonderful voice – read nasty liberal bias and invective, as he offered on NBC and then on CBS – comparing him to a Marlon Brando of newscasting.

Rose swore he wasn’t sucking up to Gumbel, which he certainly was, but perhaps he thought he was acknowledging Gumbel’s talent like a man observes a sunrise:

CHARLIE ROSE: But here’s my argument with you. Here it comes. You’ve got, and without sucking up to you, you’ve got a lot of talent. You have strongly held views about this world we live in, and I think you have the unique ability to communicate that. I mean you are -- you know how to grasp an issue and you know how to understand it and communicate it.

I think that you owe it to us to do more because I think you really have skill. I would say the same thing to Marlon Brando about acting. And I did say that to Marlon Brando.

BRYANT GUMBEL: First of all, I'm grateful.

ROSE: And I used to say to him, if you have contempt for acting, then I don’t want this conversation to go one step further, I’m out of here. He said, no, I don’t have contempt --

GUMBEL: No, I don’t have contempt for the business. First of all, I thank you. Secondly, in fairness to all the people who are in television, they’re kind enough every now and then to come knocking and ask.

ROSE: I know. The Today show --

GUMBEL: Yes. But they ask about various programs, would you do this?

ROSE: You sit right here any night you want to. In fact I’m getting ready to go on vacation. You can have five nights, if you want to.

GUMBEL: I like doing one-on-ones like this. I don’t know. A buddy of mine says, you know, you could do a show called Get Off My Lawn because that's where you are now. I'm like the little old guy on the corner who keeps finding problems with this and that. You know look, I still like being engaged. I just don’t feel an overwhelming need to do it in public.

Gumbel often uncorks it old-style on his HBO show, from his rant a few days ago about "all the misguided things done or borne of American exceptionalism," to his tirade about the Winter Olympics being too white, like a Republican convention.

Earlier in the interview, Gumbel expressed that willingness to avoid taking on “idiots” – shades of the Robert Knight “f—ing idiot” gaffe?

GUMBEL: I’m much more easygoing now. You know -- well, you remember. I mean back in the day, if somebody said something that set me off, I was eager to fight and more than willing to mix it up, and now I’m more inclined to say, you know what? You're an idiot. I'll let you be an idiot. I`m not going to take the bait.

He admitted there were hot times when he wanted a hot mic, and cited the upcoming Trump vs. the Rest debate:

GUMBEL: Like there are times -- you're right -- there are times when I see things that are happening in the public sector. I see things that are happening in politics. You`re seeing things that are happening on the racial front where I say, boy oh, boy oh, boy oh, boy, do I wish I had a forum because I would really like to come out swinging and say such and such.

Rose was still pandering, asking Gumbel if he wanted him to call HBO chief Richard Plepler to ask for another program. But Gumbel claimed he no longer has “that overriding ambition for everybody to know what I'm thinking.”

The two men also reminisced about 20 or 25 years ago, when network morning news shows ran newsy segments late into the program, with Gumbel recalling a five-part interview with Reagan budget director David Stockman after he ripped into Reaganomics...and a 20-minute interview with civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy...although neither mentioned Gumbel lecturing Abernathy to "print the legend" and avoid the truth, as he wrote in his 1989 memoir, that Rev. Martin Luther King committed adultery with two women the night before he was assassinated.