In an interview with Rolling Stone, HBO host Bryant Gumbel was asked about the National Rifle Association and a segment he did on his Real Sports show about the “Eat what you kill” movement.
That said, I’m willing to separate that this story had nothing to do with that. It’s not a gun story. So I would like to think that I would have done it, but I don’t know. Obviously, that was my first experience around killing and guns and hunting.
Let’s not be shocked this was Gumbel’s first experience around hunting. There’s a reason David Alan Grier impersonated him as prissy on the air on Saturday Night Live 20 years ago. Rolling Stone asked him about how a reviewer at the magazine called him “self-satisfied’ when his HBO show debuted. Gumbel attributed it all to being very prepared.
I used to say when I hosted the Today program that if Barbara Walters, Ted Koppel and I all asked the same difficult question in the same tone of voice with the same look on our faces, Koppel would be characterized as brilliant and prepared, Barbara would be characterized as bitchy and I would be characterized as arrogant.
So when you ask is it a negative thing, well, it shouldn’t be, but it is often thrown at someone of color as if, “Who the hell do you think you are?” I think it’s wonderful to be prepared and to be confident and to present yourself in that fashion without apology. But to a lot of people it’s almost like I should be grateful for sitting where I am and I should make that known, and when I don’t, some people see that as off-putting.
All three of these interviewers can sound “self-satisfied,” but they do not ask questions with the same faces or the same tones of voice. It’s not just a racial thing to find Gumbel off-putting. He certainly should be self-aware enough that people you call “pigs” aren’t going to like you.
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