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Gumbel Denounces MRC Ad; Insists That on Political Views "I Hold Them in Check"

October 31, 1999

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."Bryant Gumbel & Tim Russert

     Here's the exchange from CNBC's Tim Russert show which aired at 6pm and 10pm ET on October 30 and 31, 1999:

     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."

Related Links:
Gumbel on CBS
Gumbel on NBC
Top Ten Gumbel Stumbles


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