On the March 7 edition of the CBS program, the “Early Show,” co-hosts Bryant Gumbel and Jane Clayson joined meteorologist Mark McEwen in an extended ridicule of Catholicism. The subject was Lent.
During the course of the conversation, Gumbel and McEwen admitted they were raised Catholic but were no longer practicing. “I was born Catholic and I got a problem with it,” said McEwen. His problem is that the Church is not inclusive enough for him; he specifically cited gays as a group that is excluded. Then there were the proverbial jokes about Catholics not eating meat on Fridays, etc.
On January 31, it was co-host Julie Chen who chimed in with weatherman McEwen making jokes about Catholic guilt, nuns “ready to take you out” and “being scarred for life,” saying Hail Marys, etc.
The Catholic League commented as follows to the press:
“The ‘Early Show’ is getting too cute with its discussions of Catholicism. Besides showing their ignorance, Gumbel, Clayson, Chen and McEwen display a troubling double standard: they are ever so careful how they talk about other segments of society. To the refrain that their morning banter is harmless, we suggest they choose another target and then explain to the offended group how innocent their light-hearted fare really is. African Americans, WASPS and Asians would be our recommendation.”