10th July 2000

“What a… stimulating exploration of ever-shifting social attitudes.” That’s probably what he said:

NEW YORK — Bryant Gumbel is back on conservatives’ hit list for what appeared to be a profane remark about a guest on his show.

The host of CBS’ “The Early Show” was interviewing Robert Knight of the Family Research Council, who backed the recent Supreme Court decision allowing the Boy Scouts to ban gays as leaders. When the interview ended Thursday, Gumbel was heard saying “What a …” before his microphone was turned off.

Knight said he thought Gumbel ended the remark with a profanity and the word “idiot,” which a videotape reportedly supports. The American Family Association wants the network to give Gumbel the boot, and Knight wants an apology.

A spokeswoman for Gumbel said he left Thursday for vacation. She didn’t know what he said.

Neither, apparently, did CBS News, which released the following statement: “He was making a casual remark of some sort, but it is unclear what the comment was and, in any case, it bears no relevance to the content of ‘The Early Show.'”

11:10 a.m.