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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Monday November 1, 1999 (Vol. Four; No. 174)

Gumbel Denounces MRC Ad; Insists That on Political Views "I Hold Them in Check"; Debut Show Today to Feature Bill Clinton Interview 

Special GumbelAlert Edition:

On Tim Russert's show on CNBC over the weekend Tim Russert held up the MRC's ad from last Wednesday's New York Post which offered examples of Bryant Gumbel's liberal advocacy over the years. Gumbel replied by asking Russert to denounce MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell, though he didn't name him, and taking a shot the MRC by saying the view expressed in the ad should not be "taken seriously." He also claimed that he holds his personal political views "in check."

     Here's the exchange from CNBC's Tim Russert show which aired at 6pm and 10pm ET on October 30 and 31:

     Russert: "You are someone who as you said, is emotional, not afraid to let your views out if that's the way you feel."
     Gumbel: "Yeah."
     Russert holds up the MRC's ad from the New York Post, which prompts Gumbel to start laughing as Russert explains: "You're being greeted this week with, as you can see, ad about 'CBS News has nothing to brag about. Liberal activist anchor Gumbel back on the air.'"
     Gumbel: "Oh, I know. Now you know the person who started this. You give me your opinion of him."
     Russert laughs.
     Gumbel: "See what I mean."
     Russert: "Now that's my show. I'm asking the questions. But is it hard holding your own views in check?"
     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 taken seriously."
     Russert: "But you sometimes aren't afraid of saying, hey, this is the way I feel in my gut."
     Gumbel: "I'm not afraid of it. I don't think necessarily. Look, I mean, I don't think any viewer arrives thinking that you and I fell off a truck, you know, and that you come to this thing without any of the filters of our experience or our environment or our upbringing or our ethnicity. We are the products of that. We are the products of that and we arrive with a certain amount of baggage, just like everybody else does. Our job is not to be absent the baggage. Our job is as much as possible to try to not let that baggage bleed over into what we do professionally and to try to maintain as even a keel professionally as we can. And I'm not ashamed of that, I'm really not, and I think we all arrive at it, at that point."

     Gumbel may try, but his personal political baggage was obvious to anyone watching NBC's Today. For proof, check out the MRC's special Gumbel page which features RealPlayer video clips of our "Top Ten Gumbel Stumbles," an "Anthology of On-Air Gumbel Stumbles" with over 40 of his liberal utterances from 1989 through 1999, and the text of the New York Post ad. Go to:

     Direct address for the October 27 New York Post ad:

     +++ Watch Russert confront Gumbel with the MRC's ad. Monday morning the MRC will post on our home page a RealPlayer video clip of this exchange. After 10am ET, go to: http://www.mrc.org

     Early risers can catch Gumbel's debut this morning as co-host of The Early Show on most CBS affiliates at 7am local time across the four continental U.S. time zones. On Sunday Gumbel went to the White House to tape an interview with President Clinton, so expect that to run early in Monday's The Early Show. -- Brent Baker


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