-By Warner Todd Huston
Some of you may recall that early in the morning of July 28 of 2006 actor Mel Gibson was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Los Angeles, California. During that arrest, it was reported that Gibson was alleged to have launched into a brief but vehement denunciation of Jews that were "responsible for all the wars in the world." Famed at the time for having produced and directed the film The Passion of the Christ (2004), Gibson's anti-Semitic tirade was the feature of news reports throughout the media for weeks after the incident.
The same cannot be said, however, for Oliver Stone who just last weekend launched into his own anti-Semitic rant. Coverage of Stone's outrageous comments, arguably as bad as Gibson's, has been met with a virtual shrug from the Old Media, especially the TV newsers.
On July 25, 2010, the London Sunday Times released an interview with Oliver Stone that featured his claim that Hitler is often treated too harshly by history because of the "Jewish domination of the media." (The Sunday Times article is on a subscription only site)
Stone lamented the fact that few people are seemingly aware that Hitler killed "25 or 30 million" Russians saying, "Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than [he did to] the Jewish people." The reason no one knows this, according to Stone, is apparently because of powerful Jews in the US.
"There's a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f_ _ _de up United States foreign policy for years."
And it should be noted that Oliver Stone did not deliver his comments in a drunken rant as Mell Gibson did. Stone was stone cold sober when he made his remarks.
The media has minimally reported this incident, of course.
Now this Jews-control-the-media claim has a long pedigree and is still bandied about by racists in academia. Just in 2006, for instance, a study widely distributed -- and widely attacked -- based on this theme was released by University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer and Harvard's Stephen Walt. It goes back as far as there has been media to supposedly control.
Still, Stone's claim that the "Jews control the media" has been met with a yawn by that same media. Stone's absurd comments have barely caused a ripple on the national and international media scene.
The same cannot be said of Mel Gibson's drunken anti-Semitic rant.
In the first few days after Gibson's arrest was made public he was top news not just in the entertainment media, but also in the regular news media as well as the left-wing blogosphere.
The entertainment gossip site TMZ had the report of Gibson's arrest on the very afternoon he was detained and immediately released his anti-Semitic statements. Over the next few days he was the top news at ABC, CBS, NBC, and all the cable stations. The story was also all over the print media as well as the foreign media.
Three days after the incident, media gadfly Arianna Huffington was demanding that Hollywood denounce Gibson for his remarks. A few days later "comedian" Bill Mahr was doing the same thing, both on the left-wing blog site The Huffington Post. Many other prominent lefty bloggers immediately went after Gibson for his anti-Semitic remarks, as well.
In contrast it seems that in these three days after Stone's anti-Semitic rant Huffington Post only has three posts on the left-wing director's outrage and none of them are from a principle celebrity or a Huffington top blogger, much less Huffington chief, Arianna, herself. Further not many other high profile lefty bloggers seem too eager to launch into denunciations against Oliver Stone.
Back in 2006 Gibson was apologizing within a week saying he was "deeply ashamed" at his actions. The actor/director said that he was undergoing alcohol abuse treatment as a result of the incident. This, of course, caused a whole new slew of coverage that went on for another few days.
Again in contrast, the media today has also reported Stone's day-after apology where he reverses himself saying, "Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry." Interestingly, most of these stories are one, two and three paragraph shorties as opposed to the long report treatment that the Old Media doled out to Gibson's altercation of four years previous.
There is also the equating of Gibson to Stone. Perhaps it is a natural comparison, but an LA Times blog by Patrick Goldstein is a typical example. As Stone apologized in his one paragraph press release, Goldstein couldn't help himself but bring Mel Gibson into the Stone story in a recent post*. Also as amusingly, Goldstein tries to tar Andrew Breitbart with the whole incident, doing his best to obscure Oliver Stone's guilt by making this whole thing an issue of conservatives overreacting instead of focusing on Stone's outrageous comments.
Goldstein gives Stone a pass because he apologized fairly quickly after the incident. He attacks Gibson, though, for having waited a week to issue his in 2006. I guess one can say anything at all but if one apologizes quick all is forgiven to such as Patrick Goldstein.
And typical of how the left-wing spins an incident, Goldstein characterizes Oliver Stone's apology as a "quick, forceful apology" yet the thing is but one paragraph issued through his agent. On the other hand he lambastes Gibson's apology even as he has said it repeatedly to all sorts of media folks (in person mind you) and even went to alcohol rehab over it all. It's hard for any fair minded person to think that a one-paragraph press release if somehow more "forceful" than apologies made in person to multiple media outlets, but that is the spin that Goldstein is ridiculously proffering his readers.
Sadly, Goldstein is typical of how Hollywood will react to Stone and how they have reacted to Gibson. In fact, Goldstein gives Stone a "wry Jewish" wink and a nod letting the hatemongering Director know that it's OK to smear Jews in the media. Goldstein writes, "it's not considered out of bounds for Jewish filmmakers to josh among themselves about the decline in Jewish domination of the film industry," so apparently no one should get too mad at Oliver Stone for his "joshing" and joining that self-hating club.
In the end we can all see the difference in treatment of similar incidents. Let Mel Gibson say something like he did in 2006 and we get a Goldstein finger wagging disgustedly, but when golden lefty Oliver Stone does it, we get a "wry Jewish" wink and a grin.
*Incidentally, in the same post Goldstein peddles the lie that Fox News got Shirley Sherrod fired, too. The truth is that Sherrod was fired long before Fox News even began to cover the story.
(Originally posted at BigHollywood.com)