Bryant Gumbel: An idiot and his f-word

"The Early Show" host shows off his eloquence; Eminem -- now writing for Bryant Gumbel? Plus: Further proof of de-evolution -- John Rocker, the movie.

Published July 6, 2000 4:00PM (EDT)

The march of the "fucking idiots" is underway.

Meet the marshals: Bryant Gumbel, who unwittingly uttered the epithet on camera last week, and the crafty cameraman who focused on him during an unfortunately timed moment of candor and sent the phrase zinging over the airwaves and into homes nationwide.

Gumbel had just finished interviewing conservative pundit Robert Knight, a Family Research Council spokesman, on CBS's "The Early Show" last Thursday when a camera cut away from a weather report and found the newsman just getting up from his chair, according to the Associated Press.

"What a --," Gumbel could be heard editorializing. Off went his microphone, but there, for all the lip-reading world to see, was Gumbel mouthing the words "fucking idiot!"

The American Family Association initially called for Gumbel's job, but Knight says all he wants is an apology, since, you know, Gumbel didn't exactly mean to insult him on national TV.

He may be a fucking idiot, but he's a forgiving one ...

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Born detestable

"I can be a pain ... but I'd be like that if I were a refuse collector, too. I'm not just an idiot because I'm a rich, famous, talented person."

-- British popster Robbie Williams on his own inherent idiocy.

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Emphasis on the f-word

Residents of Warwick, R.I., may want to keep an extra-close eye on the little ones in the months ahead: James Woods is puckering up.

The actor, notorious for his love of the barely legal set, is throwing his weight -- and his lips -- behind his younger brother Michael's campaign for mayor of their New England hometown.

Although he lives in California -- land of bodacious babes -- and cannot cast a vote for Michael, also a sometime actor who is running on a Democratic ticket, he plans to attend fundraisers and do what he does best.

"I'll be out there pounding the pavement and kissing babies with the rest of them," he tells USA Today.

And you thought "robbing the cradle" was just a figure of speech ...

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Idiot's delight

If only Eminem could use Bryant Gumbel's excuse. But, alas, the rapper knew full well that the cameras were on him at a Toronto press conference on Tuesday, when he took the occasion to give a little perspective on his inflammatory music.

His lyrics, he says, have been taken entirely out of context. And if you get worked up about them, he wins.

"I say half of the shit I say I just make it up to make you mad," Eminem told the gathered journalists, "so kiss my white naked ass. So I'm telling you that I'm making this shit up and it's pissing you off and you're letting me get to you. So when you let me get to you, you let me win, so I'm winning."

You follow? Well, whatever. Eminem says he doesn't much care what you think. (As long as you buy the album, of course.)

"I think, for the most part, the kids get it," he says. "They understand it. I haven't heard of any instances where somebody raped a girl listening to my album or shot somebody listening to my lyrics."

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A bag in hand

Pssst ... hey ... how much would you pay for Margaret Thatcher's old handbag?

If you've always longed to handle the former British prime minister's prim little purse, now's your chance. But be warned -- you'll have to dig deep. The bids on Thatcher's black Ferragamo bag in a U.K. charity auction on are piling up fast.

The bag -- black with a snappy little gold buckle and a long chain -- "was used for many special occasions" and comes with a letter of authentication signed by the political icon herself.

With days of bidding still ahead, Maggie's bag has already received bids upwards of $150,000, leaving Jerry Hall's stripy sack (going for less than $1,000 at press time) and Cherie Blair's tiger print purse (not even $400) in the dust.

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Idiot's revenge

You may look at John Rocker and feel repulsion. Not Jerry Bruckheimer. He finds ... inspiration.

The "Gone in 60 Seconds" director is working on a project that's loosely based on the antics of the trash-talking Atlanta Braves relief pitcher. According to Variety, the film is about a Boston Red Sox player who is despised by the public and the police officer (and Yankees fan) who is assigned to protect him.

If ever there were a movie begging for Bryant Gumbel and Eminem to make cameo appearances ...

By Amy Reiter

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