Media Ignore Oliver Stone’s Anti-Jewish Rant, Bashed Mel Gibson for His
Fast-forward to 2010. It's been three days since director Oliver Stone churned out similarly disturbing anti-Jewish rhetoric to the Sunday Times, and many of Gibson's most prominent critics on the left - including Salon.com - still haven't issued a word of condemnation about Stone's comments.
Similarly, the network news shows have ignored Stone's remarks, despite their wall-to-wall coverage of Gibson's reprehensible diatribe in 2006. The media blitz over Gibson's comments began the day after his arrest with ABC's World News Saturday, and continued non-stop on ABC, NBC and CBS until Aug. 4, 2006.
"You know, it brings up an interesting question because he is in rehab for alcohol. He says he's been battling alcoholism for many years. Can you reform from being a bigot? Is that possible?" asked Hannah Storm, co-host of the CBS Early Show, on Aug. 3, 2006.
"Over the weekend, newspapers around the world were filled with headlines about actor, Mel Gibson," said anchor Charlie Gibson on ABC World News on July 31, 2006. "Reports of an anti-Semitic tirade at the time of a drunk driving arrest shocked Hollywood. And the question in Hollywood is - what's this gonna do to Gibson's career?"
In contrast, none of the network news stations have uttered a word about Stone.
Three days after Gibson's arrest, Arianna Huffington called on Hollywood to repudiate the actor for his statements. "Gibson's no-longer-deniable brand of bigotry has led to the extermination of millions - and continues to fuel much of the strife and suffering in the world today," wrote Huffington on her website. "Which is why Hollywood cannot sit this one out and wait for the reviews to come in."
But three days after Stone's remarks, Huffington has remained silent on the matter, instead letting Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, California State University, be the lone columnist on her website denouncing Stone.
Also on the Huffington Post in the wake of Gibson's arrest, TV host Bill Maher wrote a column rebuking Gibson, and saying that religion was the "disease" that led the actor to engage in anti-Semitic tirades.
Will Maher write a similar column suggesting that Stone's Buddhism was the cause of his bigoted rant? Perhaps - but the "Real Time with Bill Maher" host has yet to do so.
Some others who slammed Gibson for his anti-Semitism in the days following his arrest included Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald, The Atlantic writer Andrew Sullivan, and Hollywood agent Ariel Emanuel.
"[N]ow Gibson's true character, his real core, is revealed in a way that was previously obvious but is now undeniable," wrote Greenwald on his blog on Aug. 2, 2006.
The day after Gibson's arrest, Sullivan wrote on the Daily Dish that "Either this is an extremely elaborate hoax or it's the end of Gibson's career. It contains every anti-Semitic trope imaginable - from the darling of the Christianist right."
And on July 30, 2006, Emanuel blogged on the Huffington Post that "[a]t a time of escalating tensions in the world, the entertainment industry cannot idly stand by and allow Mel Gibson to get away with such tragically inflammatory statements...Now we know the truth. And no amount of publicist-approved contrition can paper it over."
But as of today, none of them have even mentioned the Stone incident publicly.
Perhaps most alarming is the silence from Showtime regarding Stone's comments. The network is planning to release a documentary mini-series on Hitler and Stalin, produced by Stone. The Media Research Center contacted Showtime on Monday and asked if the show was going to be impacted by the director's recent remarks. The network has yet to respond.
In comparison, after the Gibson incident, Disney quickly killed a mini-series on the Holocaust that the actor was involved with.
The networks, liberal writers and Hollywood industry figures still have time to step up and denounce Stone's comments. But the fact that they are still silent three days later is certainly noteworthy.