"F***ing Idiot" Outburst by Gumbel; Donaldson Also Dissed a Conservative
1) A CBS camera on Thursday seemed
to have caught a disgusted Bryant Gumbel blurting out "What a fucking
idiot" just after wrapping up a hostile interview with Robert Knight of
the Family Research Council about how the Boy Scouts exclude gays.
2) Robert Knight had a bad day
Thursday. ABC News dropped him from Sam Donaldson's noontime Webcast show
because a liberal refused to appear with him.
3) "Hollywood celebrities are
not pleased with the American Investigator newsmagazine show called Amazon
Rainforest: Clear-cutting the Myths." Watch it tonight on a station near
4) A rundown of the table of
contents for the June 30 CyberAlert sent earlier today, but which may have not
been seen by AOLers.
Corrections for the June 30 CyberAlert,
distributed earlier today: -- It contained an error in an item pointing
out a New York Times mistake, MRC Communications Director Liz Swasey
noticed. The CyberAlert stated: "The New York Times created a 27th
Amendment, referring to the GOP preference to talk about partial-birth
abortion instead of 'suggesting overturning the Constitutional amendment
allowing abortion.'" While there is no amendment allowing abortion,
there is a 27th Amendment. Originally proposed in 1789 and ratified in
1992, it states: "No law, varying the compensation for the services
of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election
of representatives shall have intervened." I had relied on a pre-1992
-- Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's first name was twice misspelled
with two Ls.
-- Item #4 dropped the last name of actor Andy Garcia.
[WARNING. This item contains a vulgarity. To avoid it, skip to today's
A CBS camera seems
to have caught a disgusted Bryant Gumbel blurting out "What a fucking
idiot" just after wrapping up a hostile interview with Robert Knight
of the Family Research Council (FRC). The incident occurred at about
7:15am ET Thursday, June 29 following Knight's appearance to defend the
Boy Scout policy of excluding gays from being leaders, a policy the
Supreme Court had re-affirmed the day before.
reception for Knight had followed a much kinder approach to a
representative of Planned Parenthood who had come aboard to support the
Court's ruling overturning a law which banned partial-birth abortions.
Here's the how and
when on Gumbel's vulgar insult, or at least what looked like one.
Immediately after the interview, Gumbel threw the show to weather guy Mark
McEwen outside. McEwen joked about his Survivor prediction: "A week
ago, Bryant, remember Bryant I told you Dirk was going to get thrown off
the island. I was a week late, one week late."
CBS then switched
back to Gumbel inside, probably for his reaction to McEwen's quip, but
instead viewers got about two seconds of Gumbel leaning forward to get up
and out of his chair as he uttered: "What a fucking idiot." The
first two words are audible and clear, the second two are inaudible but
you can read his lips.
CBS quickly cut
back to McEwen with the weather.
+++ Check it out
for yourself, or at least as well as you can in the small RealPlayer
screen. The MRC's Eric Pairel and Brandon Rytting now have a clip, of the
end of the Gumbel/Knight interview, up on the MRC home page. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
To follow news
about FRC's demand for an explanation from CBS, check out the MRC's
Here's a more
complete rundown of the interview, courtesy of MRC analyst Brian Boyd:
first two questions were not hostile: "Your organization filed a
friend of the court brief on behalf of the Scouts, why are you applauding
And: "Does the ruling allow Scouts to ban
only gay Scout leaders or any would-be Scout who happens to be gay?"
"Well it's about behavior, Bryant. When you say who is gay and who
isn't, it's how it manifests itself. It basically says there's no place in
the Boy Scouts for homosexuality. You know if you look at the big picture
we have a critical shortage in America of boys who are growing up to be
mature husbands and fathers. The Scouts play a crucial role in molding
boys into manhood. You can't have homosexuality in the Boy Scouts because
it steers their sexuality into completely non-productive and actually
At this point Gumbel's personal view became
clear: "Dangerous directions?"
"Homosexuality takes years off men's lives. The International Journal
of Epidemiology said that a homosexual man at age 20 is likely to lose
seven to 20 years off his life-span."
Gumbel talked over Knight: "Mr. Knight,
scouting is supposed to be. "Wait, wait, wait, scouting is supposed
to be about values. It's supposed to be about truth and honesty. Why does
one's sexuality have to play a part in this?"
Knight: "Because sex has everything to do
with morality. You can't have sexual activities without making moral
decisions. It's not like race, skin color, ethnicity, whether you're white
or black has no moral implications. What you do sexually says a lot about
your moral character. That's why we have marital vows, that's why we
channel sex into marriage, it's very important because-"
Gumbel cut him off: "But James Dale, the
young man who was at the heart of this, was an exemplary Scout leader for
many years. One who brought honor to the institution of Scouting,
exemplified its ideals. What did he do to merit exclusion?"
Knight: "Well, he came out as a gay
activist. He marched in a parade and once he did that he crossed the line.
He said I don't agree with-"
Gumbel jumped in: "Did he become
Knight: "No, he was exemplary. Because of
the Scouts ban on homosexuality-"
Gumbel demanded: "Did he become
Gumbel: "Did he become immoral?"
Knight: "I believe he acted immorally by
saying, 'I'm going to impose my vision of sexuality on the Scouts and use
the power of law to do so.' That's not a friendly act."
Gumbel sarcastically asked: "Mr. Knight, is
scouting any safer or purer today by the decision to exclude gays?"
Knight: "Oh, I think it's a little safer,
but I do worry that the Scouts now will be under fierce attack by people
who think homosexuality is OK for boys to engage in. And they'll be
pushing the Scouts out of public buildings and the public ought to be
defending the Scouts fiercely. They have a right to treat this issue that
Gumbel ended the interview: "Robert Knight, got to
let that stop there. Thank you."
And at this point
CBS went to Mark McEwen with the weather and what is described above
occurred with Gumbel seeming to say: "What a fucking idiot."
even Gumbel's parting shot, compare the tone of his interview with Knight
to how he treated Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt. Here are all
of his inquiries, some of which were prompts for her to enlarge on her
ruling is being hailed as the most important abortion decision in the last
eight years, why is it so crucial?"
-- "These D&X and D&E procedures are
controversial, they are in the minds of many especially brutal. They are
also banned in, there are laws relating to them in 29 other states. What
does this decision say about those other laws in those other states?"
-- "Congress has three times in the past
five years tried to pass a federal ban on these D&X these D&E
procedures, are you at all concerned this victory may prove a temporary
-- "Quick note, in another abortion related
decision the Court gave states greater leeway to restrict anti-abortion
demonstrations outside of health clinics. Dealt a double defeat by the
court how do you now expect the opponents of abortion to regroup and try
to regain the footing they lost yesterday?"
-- "Just a quick note, George W. Bush was in
favor of banning those so-called partial-birth abortions, Al Gore was
Robert Knight had a bad day Thursday. After being insulted by Bryant
Gumbel, ABC News dropped him from Sam Donaldson's noontime Webcast show
because a liberal gay activist group refused to appear with him.
Director of Media Analysis at the MRC, learned of ABC's cancellation and
quizzed Sam Donaldson about it. He put what he learned into a Media
Reality Check fax report distributed this afternoon. Here's an excerpt of
the report, "Conservative Expert Robert Knight Gets Dissed by CBS,
Cancelled by ABCNews.com," picking up after Tim described the Gumbel
But CBS isn't the only network that had a
problem with Knight. ABCNews.com producers asked for Knight to appear on
yesterday's edition of the daily Sam Donaldson Internet program. FRC
publicist Kristin Hansen was told Knight would appear with a
representative of the gay left group Lambda Legal Defense Fund.
Hansen said she told ABC producers, "I
just want to warn you that when Lambda finds out they're going to debate
the Family Research Council, they'll demand that you drop us." The
next morning, with the show slated for an 11:20 taping, and the
ABC-ordered limousine idling on the street, ABC called to cancel. "It
was like a half-hour before the show, and I get the call that 'Lambda
won't go on with you. And in fact, we found James Dale [the gay man who
sued the Boy Scouts with Lambda]'. I said I can't believe you're allowing
your show to be dictated by your guests. You're completely stacking the
When we called ABC for comment, Sam
Donaldson called back, and he confirmed that they granted Lambda's
last-minute demand. "This was about James Dale and his case. And we
booked James Dale and the Lambda attorney. I can't do the show on James
Dale without James Dale."
When asked if the FRC would be invited on
next week to take the other side of the case, Donaldson said "No. Our
show had three clips from an executive of the Boy Scouts we had
interviewed." He added, "I don't know much about the Family
Council [sic], I have my staff helping me here. I cannot control the way
When Donaldson was asked if it would serve
viewers to inform them of Lambda's dump-FRC demands, since he told viewers
the Boy Scouts declined to appear, Donaldson said that might be warranted
if Lambda had refused to appear with any opponent. "They did not say
that. They said they wouldn't appear with this particular group. They said
a Boy Scout attorney would be fine."
Since his case drew national attention in
1998, Dale has made six network morning show appearances, and only one of
them featured an adversary (Rep. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas on January 3,
1999). This is part of a pattern. Of the morning show segments on gay
rights in 1993, the largest year for TV news stories on homosexuality (756
network morning, evening, and magazine show stories), the networks invited
69 gay-rights advocates to only 23 opponents. In 1995, the ratio was 13 to
FRC's Hansen explained that Knight appeared
on CBS because of a booking pinch: James Dale had been booked by The Early
Show, but he backed out for higher ratings at ABC's Good Morning America.
Tonight on independent TV stations across America:
"Amazon Rainforest: Clear-cutting the
Myths," produced by Marc Morano of the American Investigator
newsmagazine show. Morano's the one to whom actor Chevy Chase insisted
socialism and free markets work together "and I think Cuba might
prove that." To see a clip of that interview via RealPlayer, go to:
Here's an item
about tonight's show as lifted from Greg Pierce's "Inside
Politics" column in the June 28 Washington Times:
Hollywood celebrities are not pleased with
the American Investigator newsmagazine show called "Amazon
Rainforest: Clear-cutting the Myths."
The syndicated television program, which is
due to air at 10 p.m. Friday, says the Amazon rain forest is one of the
most intact and least endangered forests on the planet, and suggests that
Hollywood celebrities such as Robin Williams, Diana Ross, Elton John, and
Sting are duping the public with their benefit concerts and other
"We interview the tribal leaders who
have contempt for environmental activists and celebrities because they
feel exploited by them," says Marc Morano, a reporter for the
program. The Amazon special airs on WTMW Channel 14 on most
Washington-area cable outlets. More information is available at www.ai-tv.com.
WTMW-TV is on
channel 14 out of Arlington, Virginia and it will air at 10pm local time
tonight, June 30. For a list of stations across the country carrying the
show at 10pm ET tonight, go to: http://www.ai-tv.com/stationlist.htm
For those running
it at 9pm ET tonight, go to:
The articles in the June 30 CyberAlert from earlier today. Because I
miscalculated its length, AOL and CompuServe turned today's CyberAlert
into an attached file which I fear some may have been fearful of opening.
The two services convert any e-mail over 30k and today's CyberAlert came
in at 30.3k. It's perfectly safe to open, but you can also now read the
items online now thanks the MRC's Eric Pairel if you did not open the
1) "They are exercising for the first
time in seven months the opportunity to live really in freedom as a
family," a Castro deputy claimed in comments highlighted by NBC's Jim
Avila who then blamed the U.S. for making life "difficult" for
2) Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen took
advantage of her guest spot on CNBC's Rivera Live to scold NBC's Jim Avila
for his "incredibly nauseating" pro-Castro propaganda in the
guise of news reporting.
3) Dateline NBC painted a glowing picture
of what awaits Elian. Keith Morrison insisted: "Elian is more likely
to become a healthy adult in Cuba than in any other Third World
country." Elian will enjoy Cuba's "universal free
education" and the Pioneers are "very much like the Cub Scouts,
camping trips and all."
4) The New York Times created a 28th
Amendment, referring to the GOP preference to talk about partial-birth
abortion instead of "suggesting overturning the Constitutional
amendment allowing abortion."
A busier than usual pre-holiday Friday. We
are a little short-handed today, so didn't get up the video of
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen taking on NBC's Jim Avila. Will try to
get that up next week. -- Brent Baker
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