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Jealous Journalists Take Shots at Integrity of FNC & Brit Hume --2/16/2006


1. Jealous Journalists Take Shots at Integrity of FNC & Brit Hume
Admitting he hadn't seen the interview, at about 4:15pm EST Wednesday on CNN's The Situation Room, Jack Cafferty charged that "it didn't exactly represent a profile in courage for the Vice President to wander over there to the F-word network for a sit-down with Brit Hume. I mean, that's a little like Bonnie interviewing Clyde, ain't it?" MSNBC's Keith Olbermann castigated Cheney for choosing the "more malleable cameras of Fox News" in place of a press conference. Over on the broadcast network evening newscasts, NBC's David Gregory, the most aggressive reporter in the White House press briefings, fired back at Hume, suggesting Cheney chose him because of his condemnation of the press corps: "Speaking out for the first time, the Vice President chose to speak with Fox anchor Brit Hume, a former White House correspondent, he has been outspoken in his criticism of the White House press corps' coverage of this story." CBS correspondent Jim Axelrod characterized FNC as a "friendly" venue: "The Vice President chose to make his first public comments on Fox News Channel's Special Report, a broadcast Mr. Cheney sees as friendly, and has turned to before." One doubts reporters presumed Vice President Al Gore was going to friendly media when he sat down with ABC, CBS, NBC or CNN.

2. Katie, Matt, Tim and Kelly Take Potshots at Cheney on NBC's Today
It was open season on Vice President Dick Cheney on NBC's Today Wednesday morning as Katie Couric opened the show over a "What's the Wait?" graphic, continuing the media elite's whining that they aren't being spoon-fed information from the White House: "Good morning, shooting itself in the foot? More fallout over Vice President Cheney's hunting accident as the victim suffers a minor heart attack. And once again the Bush administration delays telling the press."

3. ABC's GMA Gives Team Clinton Forum to Lecture Cheney on Honesty
Good Morning America's third day covering Vice President Dick Cheney's hunting accident was its biggest to date. On Monday's show, the 7am half hour started with three straight Cheney stories, followed by two more on Tuesday. On Wednesday, GMA devoted its first four items to the hunting accident. At one point, viewers were shown live video of the four reporters as Diane Sawyer informed: "Our reporters, our team standing by to cover all the angles this morning from the medical condition to political and even potential legal fallout." In the third story, Claire Shipman's hot pursuit of Cheney led to bizarre lecturing from Senator Hillary Clinton and Joe Lockhart, former press secretary to President Bill Clinton. Despite their affiliation with a presidency known for its own cover-ups and practice of releasing information on late Friday afternoons, Shipman treated both Clinton and Lockhart as paragons of forthrightness. In one clip, an angry looking Senator Hillary Clinton cautioned, "The refusal of this administration to level with the American people on matters large and small is very disturbing."

4. Gumbel: Lack of Blacks Makes Olympics "Look Like GOP Convention"
Bryant Gumbel couldn't resist taking a racial shot at the Republican Party in a pre-Winter Olympic games commentary at the end of the February edition of his Real Sports magazine show on HBO. The former NBC and CBS morning news host concluded by telling viewers that as for the Winter Olympic games, "count me among those who don't like 'em and won't watch 'em." He condescendingly suggested viewers "try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."


Jealous Journalists Take Shots at Integrity
of FNC & Brit Hume

Admitting he hadn't seen the interview, at about 4:15pm EST Wednesday on CNN's The Situation Room, Jack Cafferty charged that "it didn't exactly represent a profile in courage for the Vice President to wander over there to the F-word network for a sit-down with Brit Hume. I mean, that's a little like Bonnie interviewing Clyde, ain't it?" Cafferty soon called FNC a "safe haven" for Dick Cheney and predicted "he's not going to get any high hard ones from anybody at the F-word network." CNN colleague Lou Dobbs opened his show by complaining: "Vice President Cheney finally talking about his shooting accident, but to only one news organization. Is that full disclosure or is it blatant news management?" Guest Michael Goodwin of the New York Daily News called it "ridiculous" for Cheney to give "one interview to his favorite network." And later, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann castigated Cheney for choosing the "more malleable cameras of Fox News" in place of a press conference.

Over on the broadcast network evening newscasts, NBC's David Gregory, the most aggressive reporter in the White House press briefings, fired back at Hume, suggesting either Hume had an anti-White House press corps axe to grind or at least that Cheney chose him because of that opinion: "Speaking out for the first time, the Vice President chose to speak with Fox anchor Brit Hume, a former White House correspondent, he has been outspoken in his criticism of the White House press corps' coverage of this story." On the CBS Evening News, correspondent Jim Axelrod characterized FNC as a "friendly" venue: "The Vice President chose to make his first public comments on Fox News Channel's Special Report, a broadcast Mr. Cheney sees as friendly, and has turned to before." One doubts reporters presumed Vice President Al Gore was going to friendly media when he sat down with ABC, CBS, NBC or CNN.

Axelrod also described Karl Rove as "President Bush's political enforcer" and asserted that "one Republican insider" claimed that in the hunting accident case "secrecy" had come to look "like conspiracy."

On ABC's World News Tonight, co-anchor Diane Sawyer revealed what animated the ABC News staff during the day: "You know, Elizabeth, listening to George [Stephanopoulos], I'm thinking of our conversation in the newsroom today about President Bush and his own hunting mishap."

[This item was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To share your views, go to: newsbusters.org ]

Hiding FNC: Of the three broadcast network evening newscasts, only the NBC Nightly News showed their Cheney/Hume clips in full frame -- with the bottom left corner FNC logo displayed as well as the text and labeling across the bottom of the screen. Those who watched ABC's World News Tonight or the CBS Evening News saw a zoomed-in blurry version of Cheney so ABC and CBS could eliminate the FNC logo, though both put "Fox News Channel" in small text in the top right of their screens. NBC version to right [online and in NewsBusters posting], ABC and CBS displays below in transcripts of those newscasts.

Some partial and full transcripts for the Wednesday afternoon, February 15 coverage of Cheney's decision to sit for an interview, in his office, with FNC's Brit Hume, a session taped at 2pm EST and which aired on the 6pm EST Special Report with Brit Hume. FoxNews.com has posted video and a transcript which show Hume covered every question you could expect a journalist to pose: www.foxnews.com

# CNN's The Situation Room at about 4:15pm EST, as caught by the MRC's Megan McCormack:

Wolf Blitzer, in DC: "What did you make of Dick Cheney's interview today?"
Jack Cafferty, from New York City: "Well, I obviously didn't see it cause it hasn't been released in its entirety yet. But I, I would guess it didn't exactly represent a profile in courage for the Vice President to wander over there to the F-word network for a sit-down with Brit Hume. I mean, that's a little like Bonnie interviewing Clyde, ain't it? I mean, where was the news conference? Where was the, where was the access to all of the members of the media? I, I don't know, you know. Whatever."
Wolf Blitzer: "You still think he needs to do a full-scale news conference in front of all the cameras, all the reporters and ask whatever they want?"
Cafferty: "That's never going to happen. I, but I mean running over there to the Fox network to, I mean, that's, talk about seeking a safe haven. He's not going to get any high hard ones from anybody at the F-word network. I think we know that."


# CNN's 6pm EST Lou Dobbs Tonight:

Lou Dobbs opened: "Tonight, Vice President Cheney finally talking about his shooting accident, but to only one news organization. Is that full disclosure or is it blatant news management?"

Dobbs refused to say "Fox News Channel" as he quipped: "Vice President Cheney chose to break his silence, not with the press conference or before the White House press corps, but in a one-on-one interview with a news organization whose location and identity we can't disclose tonight."

In a mid-show guest segment, Michael Goodwin, the former Executive Editor of the New York Daily News, who is now a columnist, scolded: "I do think that the Vice President has acted foolishly here. I think that putting it out the way he did. And then acting today even, just giving one interview to his favorite network, I think is ridiculous."


# MSNBC's Countdown. Keith Olbermann opened, over a "Friendly Fire" graphic, by taking a shot at FNC:
"Good evening. The Vice President of the United States has accepted responsibility for the accidental shooting of a Texas attorney during a quail hunt. Our fifth story on the Countdown: Just 95 hours and 10 minutes after it happened. Not in a news conference nor in a written statement nor to a panel of interviewers from a variety of news organizations, but rather before the more malleable cameras of Fox News. Conducted this afternoon in Washington, D.C. and already in the immediate aftermath presenting several discrepancies about when the condition of the victim, Harry Whittington, could be safely established, about who decided to keep it quiet until morning and why, about whether Mr. Whittington was Mr. Cheney's 'friend,' his 'good friend' or just an 'acquaintance' of thirty years. The Vice President answered each of those three ways. I have those discrepancies, whether the Vice President's account holds water with gun and hunting experts and the analysis of John Harwood of the Wall Street Journal."


# ABC's World News Tonight. Co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas led:
"Good evening. It was a different side of Dick Cheney we saw today when he spoke about the shooting accident that wounded his friend and brought unwelcome attention on his office. Cheney has received a lot of criticism for not telling the public about the incident earlier. Even many of his supporters have been perplexed by his silence. They say it's made this story bigger than it otherwise would have been. Tonight, the Vice President has taken back some of the control by speaking out. And we begin with our chief White House correspondent, Martha Raddatz. Martha?"

Following the Raddatz piece on the FNC interview and some q&a with George Stephanopoulos about whether Cheney succeeded in capping the story (probably), co-anchor Diane Sawyer revealed what animated the ABC News staff during the day:
"You know, Elizabeth, listening to George, I'm thinking of our conversation in the newsroom today about President Bush and his own hunting mishap."
Vargas: "That's right. He wrote about it in his autobiography in 1994. He shot a rare bird by accident on a hunting trip of his own. He says he didn't know what to do, but then decided to tell every single reporter who was accompanying him on that hunting trip. So, at least in that respect, you saw a very different way, a different version of how to handle this kind of crisis."
Sawyer: "Right, different incident but sharp contrast in the way it was handled."


# CBS Evening News. Anchor Bob Schieffer opened his newscast, as tracked by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth:
"Well, he called it one of the worst days of his life. That is how the Vice President described the day he fired his shotgun and then watched in horror as his friend fell to the ground. After four days of silence, the Vice President finally spoke publicly about the hunting accident that left his friend, Harry Whittington, wounded and still in the hospital. Cheney's comments came in an interview with Brit Hume of Fox News. Jim Axelrod is at the White House tonight with our report, and he has some follow-up. Jim?"

Jim Axelrod began: "Well, Bob, CBS News has learned that it was President Bush's political enforcer, Karl Rove, who finally got the Vice President to speak publicly about his hunting accident. And Rove pushed Mr. Cheney hard, worried that the story was moving from distraction to political problem."
Cheney, on FNC: "It was not Harry's fault. You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend."
Axelrod: "The Vice President chose to make his first public comments on Fox News Channel's Special Report, a broadcast Mr. Cheney sees as friendly, and has turned to before. For a tough guy, not known for emotion, Dick Cheney looked somber and shaken."
Cheney: "The image of him falling is something I'll never be able to get out of my mind. I fired, and there's Harry falling. And it was, I'd have to say, one of the worst days of my life."
Axelrod: "Four days later, most of the questions lingering concern why and when a private citizen, ranch owner Ann Armstrong, made the news public the Vice President of the United States had shot someone. Mr. Cheney was adamant today it was handled appropriately."
Cheney: "I thought that was the right call."
Brit Hume, Fox News Channel, to Cheney: "What do you think now?"
Cheney: "Well, I still do. I still think that the accuracy was enormously important. I had no press person with me. I didn't have any press people with me. I was there on a private weekend with friends on a private ranch."
Axelrod: "The hope among Republicans is the interview will finally tamp down the story. GOP pressure was mounting on Mr. Cheney to say something. When secrecy looks like conspiracy, one Republican insider told CBS News, that's a political problem."
Unidentified man: "He's doing extremely well."
Axelrod: "In Texas, doctors had good news today about Harry Whittington, the man Cheney accidentally shot. His heart is now beating normally again. He's making good progress four days after the accident."
Hume: "So did you run over to him or-?"
Cheney: "Ran over to him, and-"
Hume: "And what did you see? He was lying there?"
Cheney: "He was laying there on his back, obviously, bleeding. You could see where the shot had struck him."
Axelrod: "Among the details provided in the interview, alcohol. The Vice President says he had one beer, it was at lunch, and that was several hours before the hunting accident. Not an issue, says the Vice President. Bob?"

Schieffer: "Well, Jim, I know you said that Karl Rove was the one that convinced the Vice President to do this. I sort of go back to the days of Lyndon Johnson, and kind of imagine what he might have done had poor Vice President Humphrey gotten involved in something like this. Is there any evidence that the President himself got into this or talked to the Vice President about it?"
Axelrod: "Well, Bob, the history of these two men, of course, is that the President has allowed the Vice President to operate with a great deal of autonomy. Nothing to suggest that that changed, but, clearly, the President's most senior aides did get to the Vice President, delivered this news that the political damage was being done, and, clearly, that changed the calculus."

Bob Schieffer: "I want to turn now to Gloria Borger, who broke the story last night of how the way all this was handled has created a real divide between the President's people and the Vice President's staff. Gloria, we heard the Vice President describe this as one of the worst moments in his life. How is he holding up? He, after all, is not in the greatest of health."
Gloria Borger: "Well, Bob, one source who's very close to the Vice President told CBS News today that Dick Cheney has been in what he calls a 'state of meltdown' over this hunting accident. And another top White House aide also told CBS, quote, 'You can't imagine how upset the Vice President is.' In fact, he said, the Vice President is so upset that the Whittington family is worrying about Dick Cheney."...


# NBC Nightly News. Anchor Brian Williams, in Torino, started:
"Good evening. Tonight, after four days of blanket news coverage and mounting questions about a shooting that left a man hospitalized, today the Bush White House made an attempt at stopping the political damage by breaking four days of silence on the part of the Vice President. Today Dick Cheney sat down for a television interview. He is now taking full responsibility for the shooting, while others are still questioning the circumstances and the chain of events. Once again tonight we begin our reporting with NBC News Chief White House correspondent David Gregory."

Gregory pretty much stuck to relaying what Cheney said in the FNC interview, but he couldn't resist this dig at Hume:
"Speaking out for the first time, the Vice President chose to speak with Fox anchor Brit Hume, a former White House correspondent, he has been outspoken in his criticism of the White House press corps' coverage of this story."

Katie, Matt, Tim and Kelly Take Potshots
at Cheney on NBC's Today

It was open season on Vice President Dick Cheney on NBC's Today Wednesday morning as Katie Couric opened the show over a "What's the Wait?" graphic, continuing the media elite's whining that they aren't being spoon-fed information from the White House: "Good morning, shooting itself in the foot? More fallout over Vice President Cheney's hunting accident as the victim suffers a minor heart attack. And once again the Bush administration delays telling the press."

From Italy, Couric and Matt Lauer teased the upcoming segment with Tim Russert. Couric: "But first off still some rough sledding for the Bush administration over Vice President Cheney's hunting incident, right?" Lauer: "Yeah that's right Katie and we should also tell you that the man Vice President Cheney accidentally shot suffered a minor heart attack while still in the hospital on Tuesday. President Bush's press secretary knew about that before his news conference that same day but he didn't tell anyone. The administration was already under fire because it waited a day to tell the press when the accident happened. So what's going on? And is Vice President Cheney making a bad situation even worse by keeping silent about it? We're gonna have much more on that, Katie, with Tim Russert in just a couple of minutes."

[This item, by MRC news analyst Geoff Dickens, was posted Wednesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To post your comments, go to: newsbusters.org ]

Kelly O'Donnell's setup piece painted a bleak situation for the White House: "As the shooting victim's condition worsened the political consequences and complications for this White House became more difficult as the administration struggles to deal with events both within and beyond their control." O'Donnell raised doubts about the administration's candor: "Although he knew about it before appearing on camera McClellan did not tell reporters about Whittington's heart attack. A fact the hospital announced later. McClellan held that back and made only this reference to Whittington's condition."

This led into Russert's segment that was headlined: "Cheney Under Fire, Things Get Worse For VP & Friend." The following is the full exchange between Lauer, in Italy, and Russert in Washington, DC:

Lauer: "Alright Kelly thanks very much. Kelly O'Donnell at the White House this morning. Tim Russert is NBC's Washington bureau chief and moderator of Meet the Press. Tim, good morning to you."
Tim Russert: "Good morning, Matt."
Lauer: "So, so four days Tim without a public statement from the Vice President. His office put out a statement but I'm puzzled by this. What, what are you hearing behind the scenes? Why the delay?"
Russert whined for the national press corps: "Matt it's very straightforward when it comes to the Vice President of the United States. He's never one who's believed in the care and feeding of the national press corps. He has a constituency of one, George W. Bush. Since 1952 every presidential race has had an incumbent president or vice president running for president. This vice president is not gonna run for president. He doesn't seem to worry about his image and until or unless the White House, the President says to him, 'Mr. Vice President you must speak publicly,' he will not."
Lauer: "Yeah but what about just the emotions of this situation, Tim? I mean the office releases a statement, they use the third person, 'the Vice President ready to assist,' things like that. What's wrong with coming out and saying, 'Hey I'm distraught over this. I feel awful about this. I wish there were something I could do.'"
Russert: "By every indication the Vice President is devastated by this and we obviously all are deeply concerned about Harry Whittington this morning as we talk about it. But Matt I think the concern is obviously the questions that will be asked. And the two big ones are, why did it take so long to report this to the American people, was there any special consideration given to the Vice President because of his office? What was the distance involved between the Vice President and the victim? A lot of unanswered questions and they realize that if there's a full blown press conference it could also involve questions about Scooter Libby, his chief of staff who resigned, the war in Iraq, Katrina and so forth."
Lauer: "Well let me just follow up on that because you say that, that, you know, the Vice President doesn't want to really make an issue of this, at least not a public issue. And the White House, already criticized for waiting a day to announce the actual accident occurred, now we've got Scott McClellan standing in front of the press corps yesterday already knowing that Mr. Whittington has, has a minor heart attack and doesn't say a word about it. Doesn't that seem to add insult to injury?"
Russert: "Yes and it reinforces this storyline of an administration that seems to relish or enjoy secrecy or an administration that, in the eyes of the national press corps, is suspect in terms of credibility because of issues like Iraq, like Katrina. And Scott McClellan himself Matt, as you know, stood at the podium and said that Scooter Libby and Karl Rove had not been involved in the Valerie Plame situation. It is, it is a story that will not go away because the press corps believes that this is something they must pursue because of other times that they should've been more vigilant."
Lauer: "And, and by the way it's not just the press corps and Democrats jumping on this. Former Reagan press secretary Marlin Fitzwater quoted Tuesday as saying, that the Vice President, quote, 'ignored his responsibility to the American people,' end quote. And he went on to say, quote, 'that he was appalled by the whole handling of this.' So, so is that a fairly common feeling among Republicans as well?"
Russert: "And growing. Ari Fleischer the former press secretary for this president issued similar words. The National Review, a conservative magazine has said the Vice President should come forward. My sense is Matt that's what will happen. Obviously there's a lot of concern now about the health of Mr. Whittington and it's difficult to make a lot of statements while he is still in difficult situation, but there will, there will be a time and I think relatively soon where this president, this White House will tell the Vice President it's become a distraction, you have to go, come forward and talk to the American people."
Lauer: "And, and Tim I hate to even ask this question but should the unthinkable happen and should Mr. Whittington not survive, what, what position does that place the Vice President in? Quickly if you can."
Russert: "God forbid Matt there would have to be a further investigation down in Texas and obviously that could be very serious ramifications for everyone. Everyone insists it's, it's been a terrible hunting accident but obviously a death would trigger a very, very, very widespread investigation."
Lauer: "Yeah and again no evidence at all to suggest it was anything but a tragic accident. Tim Russert as always, in Washington, thanks so much."
Russert: "Thanks Matt."

ABC's GMA Gives Team Clinton Forum to
Lecture Cheney on Honesty

Good Morning America's third day covering Vice President Dick Cheney's hunting accident was its biggest to date. On Monday's show, the 7am half hour started with three straight Cheney stories, followed by two more on Tuesday. On Wednesday, GMA devoted its first four items to the hunting accident. At one point, viewers were shown live video of the four reporters as Diane Sawyer informed: "Our reporters, our team standing by to cover all the angles this morning from the medical condition to political and even potential legal fallout."

In the third story, Claire Shipman's hot pursuit of Cheney led to bizarre lecturing from Senator Hillary Clinton and Joe Lockhart, former press secretary to President Bill Clinton. Despite their affiliation with a presidency known for its own cover-ups and practice of releasing information on late Friday afternoons, Shipman treated both Clinton and Lockhart as paragons of forthrightness. In one clip, an angry looking Senator Hillary Clinton cautioned, "The refusal of this administration to level with the American people on matters large and small is very disturbing."

Later, Joe Lockhart advised: "When you hold it back, you raise a whole series of issues of why you're holding it back and what else happened and really what else is going on in the government that you're not telling us. It is PR 101 and they failed PR 101 here."

[This item, by MRC news analyst Brian Boyd, was posted late Wednesday morning on the MRC blog, NewsBusters.org. To share your take, go to: newsbusters.org ]

In the first story in the series, ABC's Mike von Fremd concluded with, "As for Harry Whittington, the District Attorney, who has already said this was an accident and no crime was committed, says that in the unlikely event that Whittington takes a turn for the worse and dies, that would immediately spur a new report that could lead to a grand jury investigation." Hey, a reporter can dream, can't he?

Now, the full transcript of Shipman's February 16 GMA story, in which both Hillary Clinton and Joe Lockhart were treated as authorities on the benefits of full disclosure:
Shipman: "Sources tell ABC News that the Vice President's team did debate issuing a statement early Sunday morning, something the White House wanted and something that might have helped quell this controversy. But people I talked with last night told me that the V.P.'s team decided it would be more credible to let a witness, the ranch owner explain what happened. That decision and now other questionable judgment calls are turning this mishap into a damaging political problem. The Democrats couldn't resist the opening."

Senator Hillary Clinton: "The refusal of this administration to level with the American people on matters large and small is very disturbing."
Shipman: "But truly surprising, what had been private grumbling by Republicans about how the White House has handled the shooting spilled into ugly public view Tuesday. Two former press secretaries offering up harsh criticism to the magazine Editor & Publisher. Marlin Fitzwater saying he's 'appalled by the whole handling of this.' And even more unusual, Ari Fleischer, President Bush's first press secretary and almost always a loyalist, saying 'It could have and should have been handled differently.'
"And indeed, for the third day in a row the administration avoided a straight forward exchange of information with the public. Although White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan knew Harry Whittington had suffered heart problems before this 12:30 briefing, he said nothing about it, in fact, continued to suggest 11 times in all that the story was yesterday's news."
Scott McClellan: "We went through this pretty thoroughly yesterday...First of all, I think we went through this pretty thoroughly yesterday...Went through this yesterday...I was very respectful and responsive to your questions yesterday...I think we went through it thoroughly yesterday...We went through this in a very thorough manner yesterday."
Joe Lockhart: "When you hold it back, you raise a whole series of issues of why you're holding it back and what else happened and really what else is going on in the government that you're not telling us. It is PR 101 and they failed PR 101 here."
Shipman: "Now, McClellan has said he didn't want to interfere with an upcoming hospital press conference, but he's said to be frustrated that the V.P. had known for hours about his friend's new heart condition. There is enormous frustration now between the White House and the Vice President's office. Sources are saying that the White House is pressuring the Vice President to make some sort of public statement, express contrition. (The) Vice President isn't ready to do that, wanting to see how his friend's recovery goes. But V.P. aides tell us there will be some sort of public statement at the latest by Friday, when the Vice President has a public speech planned."

Gumbel: Lack of Blacks Makes Olympics
"Look Like GOP Convention"

Bryant Gumbel couldn't resist taking a racial shot at the Republican Party in a pre-Winter Olympic games commentary at the end of the February edition of his Real Sports magazine show on HBO. The former NBC and CBS morning news host concluded by telling viewers that as for the Winter Olympic games, "count me among those who don't like 'em and won't watch 'em."


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He condescendingly suggested viewers "try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."

Gumbel's remarks came at the very end of the February edition of Real Sports, a monthly sports news magazine show which includes Bernard Goldberg amongst its correspondents. It first aired on Tuesday night, February 7, a few days before the Olympics opened in Italy.

Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org, Dave Pierre posted an item on Gumbel's blast with credit to some news outlets, a radio talk show host and blogs which had picked up on the slam, probably based on an initial press release from HBO. I was unaware of any of those pre-NewsBusters postings/on-air comments, but was still able to immediately enhance Pierre's item with a still shot of Gumbel as well as a video/audio clip since I was planning to post my own item on it. Thanks to the inclusion of the video, the DrudgeReport.com on Thursday morning highlighted the NewsBusters posting.

My brother had called me on Monday to tell me how several kids in New York City, who happen to be black and for whom he's an ice hockey coach, were upset by Gumbel's dismissal of the Winter Games for not having any black athletes. Seeing potential that Gumbel may have said something politically incendiary, on Monday night, February 13, I recorded on DVR an 11:45pm EST re-play of the February 7 Real Sports. On Wednesday I transferred the MPG to a portable drive, brought it into the MRC and watched Gumbel's end of show commentary. When I heard the racial shot, I took a still shot and transcribed the entire commentary in anticipation of posting a blog item and a CyberAlert item when the Cheney matter calmed down. But Pierre beat me to it. So after he posted Wednesday night, I added my still shot to his item, then rendered a 30-second video clip and added that too.

For the NewsBusters item, with video of the key sentence in both Real and Windows Media formats, as well as an MP3 audio clip, go to: newsbusters.org or play video above.

Gumbel's commentary, at the end of the February 7 Real Sports on HBO, in full:
"Finally tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don't like 'em and won't watch 'em. In fact, I figure when Thomas Paine said 'these are the times that try men's souls,' he must have been talking about the start of another Winter Olympics. Because they're so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something's not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what's called a 'kiss and cry' area while some panel of subjective judges decides who won. And try to blot out all logic when announcers and sports writer 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 to fill space and sell time during the dreary days of February. So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they're done and we can move on to March Madness, for God's sake, let the games begin."

HBO's page for Real Sports: www.hbo.com

Previewing a 1989 NBC prime-time special, "The Racial Attitudes and Consciousness Exam (RACE)," Gumbel revealed how he presumes conservatives are racists: "This test is not going to tell you whether you're a racist or a liberal."

For dozens more videos of Gumbel's liberal advocacy and bashing of conservatives, as well as links to many more MRC articles about Gumbel's bias on NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show, check out our special Web section, "Bryant Gumbel: Liberal Activist Masquerading as Impartial Journalist," at: www.mrc.org

-- Brent Baker