17 February 2006

Bryant Gumbel: The Empty Talking Head

The thing about Bryant Gumbel is that he is paid to interview people. He was brought on board at CBS in order to add an 'ethnic' balance to their news platform.

Unfortunately for CBS, the adage - " you can take a brother off the street, but you can't take the street out the brother" - holds markedly true for this empty headed buffoon. Here is his latest comment on the Winter Games:

Bryant Gumbel has some harsh words for the XX Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. ‘‘Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the games look like a GOP convention," huffed Gumbel, host of HBO’s Real Sports. ‘‘And try to blot out all logic when announcers and sportswriters pretend to care about the luge, the skeleton, the biathlon and all those other events they don’t understand and totally ignore for all but three weeks every four years. Face it: These Olympics are little more than a marketing plan."

Gumbel can have his opinion; I don't begrudge him that. Although he has publicly denied having a political agenda, I think you can see that his agenda is flagged loud and clear by these comments. If he wants to be fair then where is his outrage at the miniscule number of whites who are pro-basketball players? Or in the NFL? Of course, being the cynical, liberal narcissistic tool that he is, he probably doesn't have the required amount of self-reflection to realize that his racially charged comments are, in themselves, racist.

In his narrow mind, if you aren't swinging a bat or throwing a football then you aren't engaging in a 'real' sport. I wonder where he stands on World Cup Soccer?

Moving away from race for the moment, Gumbel has said time and again that he has no political agenda.

Gumbel: "You know what, in terms of my political views I hold them in check. I don't think that someone who watches is inclined to think that I'm one way or the other. With regard to this thing I'm mindful of someone who once told me that our founding fathers guaranteed everyone the right to be heard. It said nothing about being takenseriously."

CNBC with Time Russert-10/31/1999

Here for the transcript

When Gumbel took his current posittion with CBS, the watchdog group Media Resource Center, fired off its own letter to the head of CBS.

"for 15 years, Mr. Gumbel used another morning program as a daily platform for personal liberal bias masquerading as news and commentary." Bozell explained that "like everyone else, Mr. Gumbel is entitled to his own opinions -- but not to his own set of facts. Yet he repeatedly used his anchor status to slant the facts to support his personal liberal opinions, misinforming millions."

Gumbel has a long history of making racial charged and outrageous comments. Here is a list of his Top 10 [Hat tip: Media Resource Center]

    Number 1: "This comes at a time when Republicans are looking to gut the Clean Water Act and also the Safe Drinking Water Act. What are our options? Are we now forced to boil water because bottled water is not an economically feasible option for a lot of people?"
    -- To Natural Resources Defense Council lawyer Erik Olson, June 1, 1995 Today.

    Number 2: "Largely as a result of the policies and priorities of the Reagan administration, more people are becoming poor and staying poor in this country than at any time since World War II."
    -- July 17, 1989 Today.

    Number 3: "And Kathleen Willey also spoke about Linda Tripp, a Clinton-basher who seems to be at every ugly turn in this controversy. Tripp was outside the Oval Office when Willey emerged from her encounter with the President. Just how is it that Linda Tripp is so often conveniently involved in the President’s troubles? For some clues let’s bring in The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, who has profiled the controversial Miss Tripp in this week’s issue. You write that co-workers often viewed her as an inveterate busybody. Has she always been a snoop and a gossip with a particular interest in other people’s romantic lives?"
    -- On Public Eye, March 17, 1998.

    Number 4: "The bottom line is more tax money is going to be needed. Just how much will be the primary issue on the agenda when Congressional leaders meet with the President later today, Wednesday, May the 9th, 1990. And good morning, welcome to Today. It’s a Wednesday morning, a day when the budget picture, frankly, seems gloomier than ever. It now seems the time has come to pay the fiddler for our costly dance of the Reagan years."
    -- Leading off Today, May 9, 1990.

    Number 5: "In the first two years this is a man [Clinton] who tried his best to balance the budget, to reform health care, to fight for gay rights, to support personal freedoms. Couldn’t those be considered doing the right things, evidence of true character?"
    -- To David Maraniss, MSNBC’s InterNight, October 10, 1996.

    Number 6: "Do you give Bill Clinton credit for addressing serious issues that went untouched for 12 years -- deficit reduction, gun control, world trade, health care. He has certainly taken on tough issues, and made them not a question of if, but how much."
    -- To Mother Jones Editor Jeffrey Klein, January 7, 1994, Today.

    Number 7: "We keep looking for some good to come out of this. Maybe it might help in putting race relations back on the front burner after they’ve been subjugated so long as a result of the Reagan years."
    -- On the Los Angeles riots, April 30, 1992, Today.

    Number 8: "Scott, as you and I both know, a popular move these days is to make a titillating charge and then have the media create the frenzy. Given Kenneth Starr’s track record, should we suspect that he’s trying to do with innuendo that which he has been unable to do with evidence?"

-- To CBS News reporter Scott Pelley, January 21, 1998, Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel.
    Number 9: "If I’m a young black man in South Central L.A., where poverty is rampant and unemployment is skyrocketing, I see that Washington’s promises of a year ago have gone unfulfilled, I see that perhaps for a second time, the court’s inability to mete out justice in a blind fashion, why shouldn’t I vent my anger?" 

-- To U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), April 15, 1993, Today.
    Number 10: "We've got an awful lot to talk about this week, including the sexual harassment suit against the President. Of course, in that one, it’s a little tough to figure out who’s really being harassed."
    -- Today, May 10, 1994.

As I said before, he can have his opinions. I don't care what he thinks or says but, he was hired to do one thing - interview people and transmit the news to his audience. Period.

That doesn't mean interject his political opinions into his broadcasts. We already have enough of that. Gumbel is the poster boy for Media Bias. It is just a shame that he gets away with it.

We all know why that is, don't we?

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