Mainstream media coverage of Bryant Gumbel's denigrating remark on the racial makeup of the Winter Olympcs has been scant. The host of HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" said:
"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 statement on white athletes is more direct than Rush Limbaugh's statement about black quarterbacks in 2003, when discussing black Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Said Limbaugh on ESPN:
"The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."
Bryant Gumbel's remark has not made it onto any news shows of the Big Three networks, while Rush Limbaugh's remark made it onto all three evening news shows. The only Gumbel mention by a TV network other than Fox News was a CNN segment called "Showbiz Tonight," relegating the story to celebrity gossip.
On October 1, 2003 all three evening news shows reported on the Limbaugh controversy.
ABC's Peter Jennings:
"We're going to take A Closer Look tonight at the latest controversy fostered by what someone said on television about race. In this case, Rush Limbaugh's remarks about the NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles."
CBS's Dan Rather:
"Radio star Rush Limbaugh's comments about Philadelphia Eagle Donovan McNabb brought calls today for ESPN to fire the self-described conservative commentator."
NBC's Tom Brokaw:
"In Washington, the big controversy these days is the leak about the CIA agent. In Philadelphia and throughout the sports-writing world tonight, the big issue is Rush as in Rush Limbaugh."
Even Howard Stern was willing to discuss Bryant Gumbel's remark, saying that he thought Gumbel himself was white.