Hollywood’s Cowardice Over Mel Gibson

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I share Ruth Marcus’s bewilderment at the absurd and morally abtuse refusal, on the part of Hollywood types, to outright condemn Mel Gibson for his anti-Semitic rant. (She imputes mercenary motives — which is rather a rich irony when you think about it.) Sure, the guy’s an alcoholic, but the notion that this explains his comment, made apropos of nothing whatsoever, that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” is pitiful.

No less an icon* than Patrick Swayze offered that “people say stupid things when they happen to have a few, and especially if you don’t drink any more, or have limited your drinking for a long time and all of a sudden you decide to have one too many with the boys – you are stupid.” When drunk, people do say stupid things–like, “You’re an idiot!” or “I never liked you in the first place!” or “I slept with your wife.” [Update: or “husband.”] Rarely do they say things on the order of “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world” — unless, I presume, that’s the kind of thing that’s always floating close to the surface of their minds. Alcohol doesn’t alter people’s basic beliefs (if only!); it just seems to bring them into the open.

[* Sarcasm is being (pettily) deployed here, which should, but evidently doesn’t, go without saying.]

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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