On Today, Bryant Gumbel Blames GOP for Shutdown, For 'Trying to Extort the Government'

Former Today co-hosts Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley shared in the NBC anchoring duties on Monday’s Today, and Gumbel naturally returned to Republican-bashing form.

In a 7:30 am segment on the top news stories of 2013 as rated by users at Culturalist.com, when the government shutdown came up, Gumbel argued it’s a “false equivalency” to blame both parties for the shutdown when all the blame should be on Republicans:


LAUER: At number five, the federal government shutdown. I think that was on most of our lists as well.

GUMBEL: Yeah, but I called it the GOP shutdown.

LAUER: I know you did. (Jane Pauley laughs) We’ll get to –

GUMBEL: No, I thought it was a false equivalency for people to say it was a government shutdown, a failure of government. It was not. It was a few individuals who were trying to extort the government.

JORDAN ROTH, CULTURALIST.COM: A lot of our users put a lot of blame on Republicans.

If Roth seemed overeager to agree with Gumbel, it might be pointed out that Gumbel was a guest at Roth's "marriage" to Richie Jackson last year.

Roth started the segment with number 10, “Wendy Davis defends abortion rights.” Roth asserted “People really felt like if we had more leaders like Wendy Davis, willing to stand for what’s right, we might just get somewhere.”

When the hosts talked about their own lists, Pauley put "Economic Recovery" on her list: "It was a slow moving momentous event, not a moment. I figured  this was the year the recovery stood up and walked, andwhile maybe a lot of people don’t feel it yet, and most people are not invested in the stock market, I think the historic highs on the stock market were like the exclamation point of the sentence.” Pauley also said her three children would have all put "Marriage equality" number one on the list.

"Health care rollout" was on everyone's list, and no one talked about it.

— Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center. Follow Tim Graham on Twitter.