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Mel Gibson: disproportionate outrage in liberal press.

Toronto -- When the Canadian mainstream media had a field day over Mel Gibson's drunken manic outburst, it took a Jewish convert to Catholicism to provide some perspective.

While correctly condemning Gibson's ugly tirade, Toronto papers insisted on regurgitating the complaints of anti-Semitism against the film star's biblically faithful 2004 masterpiece, The Passion of the Christ.

In the Toronto Star, liberal Rabbi Schmuley Boteach used the occasion to reiterate the allegation that The Passion of the Christ was anti-Semitic (Aug. 5, 2006). The Globe and Mail editorialized: "His movie The Passion of the Christ depicts Jews as bloodthirsty Christ-killers" (August 3, 2006). Likewise, the National Post editorialized that The Passion of the Christ was "a crucifixion movie criticized for its bloodthirsty portrayal of Jews." Worse, the Post re-printed Christopher Hitchens' characterization of the film as a "twistedly homoerotic spank-movie" and an "obscene blockbuster," a "pogrom movie (Aug. 1, 2006)."

But then Michael Coren wrote correctively of "Hollywood's double standard:" "I'm far [angrier] with Hollywood than I am with Mel Gibson, who is now the talk of a Hollywood boycott. The reason I'm more annoyed with Hollywood? Gibson was drunk when he made his obnoxious comments about Jews and has since apologized. Most celebrities are sober when they make bigoted remarks about Christians and rarely even offer an attempt at contrition."

Coren then meticulously listed seven episodes where Christians have been "insulted, abused and lied about in movies and on television;" and two instances of anti-Semitism by liberals who were quickly forgiven by Hollywood (Nat. Post, Aug. 28, 2005).

Coren's comments echoed the more balanced observations from south of the border, such as from Orthodox Jewish theologian and conservative commentator Dennis Prager. Prager's column on August 8 contrasted the left's reactions to the actual shooting of Jews in Seattle with those regarding Gibson's ugly tirade. Prager quoted "Jewish writer Zev Chafets [who] wrote in the Los Angeles Times, 'On the same day Gibson got into trouble in Malibu, a fellow named Naveed Afzal Haq brought a pistol to the Jewish Federation office in Seattle and shot six women, killing one. Two days later, this personal jihad--one of the most gory anti-Jewish crimes in American history-got second billing on the ADL website, under 'Mel Gibson's Apology for Tirade "Insufficient.'" (For the record, the ADL later announced it had accepted Mel Gibson's apology) (;"

Editor: See also Herman Goodden's column, p. 9.
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Title Annotation:Canada
Publication:Catholic Insight
Date:Oct 1, 2006
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