Like Father, like Son

Like Father, like Son
: I watched Mel Gibson’s interview on ABC the other night and came to the uncomfortable feeling that Mel’s a bit crackers. He has that scary stare and set-in-stone perspective of a cultist.

Now we see that his father — already known as a Holocaust-denying nut, whom Gibson angrily protected in that interview — can’t keep his spittle-spewing yap shut.

In the bizarre interview, Gibson also said Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan should be lynched and called for the government to be overthrown….

Some of his most outrageous rants focused on the millions of Jews exterminated by Adolf Hitler.

“They claimed that there were 6.2 million in Poland before the war, and they claimed after the war there were 200,000 – therefore he must have killed 6 million of them,” he said. “They simply got up and left! They were all over the Bronx and Brooklyn and Sydney, Australia, and Los Angeles.”

: UPDATE: I just email from one Leather Penguin (damn, it feels silly quoting some people) wondering whether the Gibson Sr. story is a scam:

I may be wrong, but this looks bogus. I read the article, didn’t recognize the call letters or the host’s name (I’m a talk radio junkie), and spent ten seconds looking them up.

WSNR is a sports radio station, the host in question isn’t on their talent roster, and the show in question isn’t on their schedule. I’m especially disappointed with the NY Daily News running this story as it was presented on their website. Talkline, who supposedly syndicates this radio show to WSNR, doesn’t have the host’s name anywhere on their website. And one guy they have listed as having a syndicated show on WSNR–which WSNR also doesn’t list–supposedly airs from 10AM-12PM, which would be one hell of a shift….

Looks like good reporting, Mr. Penguin.

: UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: See the comments. Many poke holes in Penguin’s conclusions. We fact-check your fact-checking.

  • I think you’re reading him wrong. He is sincere about his faith. And frankly, he’s a lot more real than that guy in Guyana who had his people drink Koolaid spiked with cyanide.

  • hen

    my problem with Mel is he said his father NEVER lied to him. well what is it Mel? did your father never tell you his Holocaust denial stories or are they the truth? and if they are the truth, how can you reconcile being both a Holocaust denier and NOT an anti semite?
    regardless, i think i’ll see his movie – i like him as an actor and think he has done a lot of good stuff.

  • TC

    Don’t be so quick on the story as presented folks.

  • Stan

    Yeah, he’s nuts. I agree. That interview was really, really creepy.

  • rds

    No, Mel’s interview wasn’t creepy, it was thoughtful and impressive. Yes, his father is crackers and offensive. I would never say on national television that my father “lied” to me, no matter what he had said or done. One doesn’t do that to one’s parents if you have a shred of loyalty. Looking forward to the movie.

  • Bob Johnson

    Did I read the wrong interview? The first link, right? I’m having a hard time finding it very creepy. The guy seems to have his head screwed on much straighter most any other Hollywood spittle-spewing yapper.
    Before you get your panties in a bunch about him protecting his father, put yourself in his position. How easy do you think it would be to disgrace your own father in front of millions of people? Especially after Dad’s already been slandered all over the press–and all because of your movie. As far as I’m concerned, his discretion proves that he’s a decent guy.

  • Todd

    There was something a bit odd about the whole thing. Gibson was obviously there to raise the profile of the movie, and while it’s not unusual for a star of his stature to promote their movie in such a manner, it seemed to make him uncomfortable. Not only that, but Sawyer’s questions were awfully invasive; he had to answer them–price of doing the interview to promote the movie–but he was talking about some pretty private and personal stuff. He was trying to deflect it with humor, but there’s only so many ways you can answer questions that are different versions of “are you a nut” and “no, really, are you a nut” and “c’mon, just between us, are you really a nut” and not have your responses sound a bit strained.
    Plus Diane Sawyer’s ‘I’m-so-concerned-about-this’ furrowed eyebrows get on my nerves.
    Gibson’s responses about his father were exactly right. His father could be a loon, but Gibson doesn’t have to tell Sawyer if he thinks so.

  • Ebb Tide

    I have no intention of seeing the movie, I read the book.

  • BF

    Hollywood megastar has mid-life existential crisis, spends millions on his self-absorbed therapy. Hopes to recoup his mental health care costs at the box office.
    Well it’s his right, but I won’t pay to see it.
    Mel’s favorite book says something pithy about rich men and the relative ease of threading a needle with a camel. Let’s see all the imminent profits go to charity.
    Mel a nut job? No I don’t think so. He’s just another tiresome, spoiled, self absorbed Hollywood spiritualist I have to hear about.

  • ken

    I’m with Todd on this one. I blogged about some of this this morning, but even IF Hutton Gibson is a raving loon and anti-Semite, you can’t automatically assume that’s reflected in his son’s work. Hutton didn’t write the Gospels and he didn’t write the script for this movie. And you do try to protect your family (especially if they’re an embarrassment, I’d say).
    I don’t want to cast any stones here, but I think liberal Christians, more than Jews, are bugged about this movie because it probably ISN’T going to be revisionist. And if the movie comes across, somehow, as anti-Semitic, it’s because the source material is, somehow, anti-Semitic (which I don’t think it is)
    Even if the movie were anti-Semitic, I think the movie-going public (in America at any rate) deserves a lot more credit than it’s getting. Regular Americans didn’t run out into the street lynching Muslims after 9/11, what makes anyone think they’ll do it after a movie version of a story they’ve heard over and over and over again.

  • The “radio station” may be an Internet-only thing. Here’s the link I found. Don’t have speakers/sound software here, so I can’t click through to hear the show. It’s supposedly only MW 10-11PM anyway.

  • The show is real and is on that station at that time:
    There’s a mysterious tool I use when I’m doing crackerjack investigative reporting. It’s called Google.

  • button

    I watched the WABC show with Diane Sawyer. It was an hour of free promotion, trailer clips and advertising for his movie.
    I don’t know whether I’ll go see it or not mostly because in my life much depends on whether I have the opportunity to go to a movie coordinated with the window of time they’ve scheduled to show the movie.
    For example, if they decide to show a movie the first two weeks of March in my area, but I can’t go just then for diverse reasons, then I don’t see it. I wanted to go see Eyes Wide Shut, but just couldn’t manage it when they were showing it around here.
    And I don’t know whether I really want to watch Gibson’s version of The Passion.

  • Reid

    Why, exactly, would a 2 hr shift be particularly odd?

  • Leland

    Right with Eric… found WSNR, found Talkline Communications, found schedule with WSNR weekly show “Speak Your Piece”.
    I find it disappointing that the newest method for criticizing a movie is review the rants of the Director’s father. Particularly when one is uncertain if they have any of their facts straight.

  • JorgXMcKie

    Although I’m not a Christian, I would be careful about visiting the sins of the father on the son. A long-time (about 15 years)acquaintance of mine (we are friendly enough to party together occasionally over the years and email infrequently, but are not really close) is the son of a, relatively, famous nutbar Baptist preacher. My friend is not at all like his father in either his beliefs or his actions, although he appears to be a faithful, practicing Christian. While not famous, my friend is relatively well known in our profession for his thoughtful, well-written work. No one that I am aware of truly dislikes him, although more than a few disagree with various of his stands and writings. Still, whatever influence his father had over him has evidently done him little that is not good.

  • Tim

    Further confirmation:
    Speak Your Piece! (wsnr-620) is hosted by Steve Feuerstein, one of the most refreshing and authentic voices on America’s talk show circuit. He has a broad world experience with over fifteen years media experience working in Asia, Europe and the Middle East and zeroes in on the tough issues with intensity and passion.

  • I’m fascinated by how right-wing apologists who are so quick to go after (real or perceived) anti-semitism on the left are giving Gibson a free pass on this, simply because Gibson is a regressive conservative.

  • Anil:
    I’m sure as hell not, and my guess is that if you looked at my blog or commenting for two seconds you’d probably write me off as “right-wing”, whatever that means these days.
    Gibson is not a “conservative”. I think the word you’re looking for is kook.
    I think it’s idiotic that religious conservatives (one of which I’m most assuredly not) are circling the wagons on this, just because Gibson is an “out” Christian in Hollywood, if you will.
    That’s all fine and well, but he belongs to a radical splinter sect of Catholicism which espouses views that are probably heretical to mainstream Catholics.
    I’m not basing this on what his father, an even bigger kook, has said, but on the fact that he belongs to a church which repudiates Vatican II, which I believe is when the Catholic church finally officially agreed to stop blaming present day Jews for the killing of Christ. So, anti-Semitism? QED.
    Please don’t paint with such a broad brush about what the evil right-wingers think next time.
    Anyway, it looks like its strike through time for Leatherface or whatever’s “good reporting”, as I and many others have attested.

  • TC

    Eric, that link you threw up there proves nothing in relation to what I posted on my site and forwarded to Buzzmachine. That URL goes to a webpage that provides a javascript link to–an Internet Radio site. The broadcast radio station in question’s website:
    says nothing about either the host or the show.
    Go read what I posted, SnarkBoy. You’re proving my point right before my eyes.

  • Eric Deamer

    Holy *&$? Have you ever even used the internet before?
    Obviously, WSNR does not have much of a web page. You’re right, the page is nothing more than a stream of the radio station. So what? This neither proves nor disproves anything. There is no schedule or list of hosts of any kind. So, the fact that you can’t find information about Steve Feuerstein or “Speak your piece” on that particular site is utterly meaningless.
    There are, however, multiple google hits for “speak your piece” “steve feuerstein”, including what appears to be the home page of the show, which is what I linked above. It airs on Monday nights, from 10pm to midnight on WSNR 620AM, according to that page. So, the only way to truly know would be to listen to the internet stream or the actual radio on that time and see what comes on, and see if they air this interview this coming Monday. So, let’s just wait and see instead of darkly hinting and conspiraces okay?
    And, since you seem to have trouble telling time that’s 10pm-12am (aka midnight), not 10am-12pm (aka noon).

  • TC

    Look, putz, nobody in any article I cited mentioned Internet radio. It was presented as a broadcast station. There’s a difference, you know? One can be heard by millions. The other gets heard by dozens.
    I’ve been on line long enough to Read The F—– Articles. (And I remember when the two Stanford kids were running Yahoo out of their dorm, and what the letters stand for, and I had an account on the WELL when everything was text, so put that crap back in your pocket, gumby.)
    Why don’t you go update your blog and stop trolling here for a flame war.

  • The implication wasn’t that it was an internet radio station. It’s that it’s an AM station that also has a stream on the internet. Is that so hard to comprehend? (Wait, don’t answer that). Have you tried to tune in that frequency? If so, you should have made it clear. If not, I don’t see how you can criticize anyone else for being lackadaisical.
    I’m not really interested in flaming you. I find that kind of stuff boring. I’ve presented evidence that this radio show exists, that Steve Feuerstein is the name of the host, and that it broadcasts on something called AM 620 WSNR. This pretty much refutes all of your speculations. If you’re interested in being taken seriously you should update your post or something. If not, that’s fine, but don’t expect to be taken seriously.

  • How soon people forget. On March 9, 2003, Hutton Gibson was featured in a story in the Ny Times magazine where he pretty much said the same things, paraphrased just a little bit nicer. The story is in the archives, of course, which you have to pay for, but the abstract is here: Is The Pope Catholic…Enough?
    And hell yes, if my mom was out there spewing hate and ignorance, claiming that the Holocaust didn’t happen and Jews hate everyone and killed Jesus – I’d be sure to tell people *at least* that I don’t share her views, and in fact find them to be abhorent. Loyalty to one’s parents is a good thing, but not if they’re dragging you with them into hell. Frankly, I don’t think Mel is too concerned about defending his father because he believes what Daddy believes. For goodness sakes, the man thinks his wife is going to hell because she isn’t Catholic! Loyalty to his Dad is one thing, but ya think he can spare some for the mother of his kids? Sheesh. He can kiss my Jewish butt before I add another dime to his already swollen coffers, and really hope his savior was right about that camel/eye of the needle theory.

  • hen

    daaaaaamn – what laura said, except that i have no problem swelling up mel’s coffers.

  • TC

    Look, Eric, the station was presented in the articles that started this whole train wreck as an AM radio station originating in New York. No one said diddly about some webcast being the source. The website you posted the link for can in no way be implied to be the web version of the on air radio station, period. Oh, and I did tune in the station–the broadcast station. When I found their website I called up the simulcast. Even called them up. The call screener didn’t have a clue what I was talking about.
    The only implication that URL you posted has, for me, is that the website’s owners have hijacked the radio broadcaster’s call signals. You didn’t refute a damn thing my original post contained because you cannot admit there is a fundamental difference between a radio station called WSNR that broadcasts at 620 on the AM dial and a website touting the same call signal.
    Read what I wrote, Eric. It started of “I may be wrong, but…” If you would have kept your original comment to “It’s a webcast originating here,” or something along those lines, this would have been over once the clarification of who broadcasted the interview had been established.
    But you added the “crackerjack reporter” crap. So don’t tell me flaming “bores” you. Everything single thing you posted here includes cheap shots belittling my intelligence that would have you swallowing your teeth and swimming in the Kill van Kull if you said them to my face.

  • Meezer

    I seriously don’t see the problem with this movie. Yes, some Jews helped kill Jesus. And if an Indiana man was killed in Indiana he’d be killed by Hoosiers, not Californians. The women who went to the tomb with costly ointment were Jews as was the man who donated the tomb – his own, by the way. The Lord lived among Jews, was a Jew, His enemies were Jews, and his friends were Jews. What else? They should be Chinese?

  • BF

    Meezer, consider a Jewish man rounded up and shot by soldiers in occupied Vichy France. Would we say he was killed by Frenchmen or by Nazis?

  • swimming in the Kill van Kull
    Ooooookayyyy, I’m not sure what this means, but I don’t know how admirable or advisable it is to make physical threats over the internet pseodnymously, if this is what you’re doing.
    Again, some broadcast radio stations also have simultaneous web feeds is all I’m saying. Have you honestly never heard of this? You seem to be taking the fact that it exists on the web at all to mean that it can’t possibly simultaneously be an AM radio station originating in New York, and now you’rr conspiratorially muttering about how this means someone’ “hi-jacked” the signal etc. It’s just very lame.
    I did tune in the station–the broadcast station. When I found their website I called up the simulcast. Even called them up.
    This doesn’t make any sense. On the one hand you’re saying that the website has nothing to do with the station on the other hand you’re saying it’s “their website”. You’re at the very least not articulating yourself well. And again your initial post would have had more credibility if you’d outlined these other steps you took to ascertain the veracity of the report, such as tuning in the station and calling them. The fact that you’re only recalling the fact that you did this now looks suspicious.
    You’ve so far advanced nothing that would cause a reasonable person to doubt the accuracy of the Daily News story. There’s a small chance that your assertion that the radio station is internet only is true, but that doesn’t speak at all to the issue of whether or not Hunter Gibson actually said this stuff.

  • HH

    This smacks of the “Arnold’s dad’s a Nazi” smears and the out-of-context quotes dredged up from decades back by ABC News… let’s keep the criticism to Mel himself already.

  • Joe Peden

    Has anyone noticed that Gibson’s offering is a movie, not a documentary? Nor is it a course in Religion or History.
    Who in their right mind would suppose that, even if Gibson is antisemetic or claims anyway in his movie that the evil Jews did Jesus in, that current Jews should be blamed 2000 years later? Does anyone else think this is absurd, and racist to boot? Does being Jewish now equate to killing the alleged Son of God [a God who does not even exist, mind you]?
    Gibson is going to be laughing all the way to the bank, regardless. He will deserve to do so. Does anyone think that if Gibson gets a great payback, he will care if a bunch of lost-in-space people think he is “unfair”.
    I admit I am nuts, but does everyone else have to be nuts too?

  • Todd

    BF, I think a better question for this debate is, do we think that current Germans should be responsible for the Nazis killing that Frenchman?
    I think it is wrong to ask Gibson to publicly repudiate his father. None of us can know what goes on between them, and we don’t have a right to ask. Even if the father says stuff we don’t like.
    We can judge Gibson on his pronouncements of his own beliefs, and his public statements do not show a set of beliefs that are similar to his father’s possible anti-semitism. He could be lying, of course.

  • BF

    “BF, I think a better question for this debate is, do we think that current Germans should be responsible for the Nazis killing that Frenchman?”
    It’s no better or worse a question, its just a different question. Those who would blame current Germans for deeds of their fathers and granfathers , or who would blame Jews for some apocryphal deed some two thousand years ago, should be considered unhinged. I don’t believe reasonable people would debate this.
    By contrast, one can discuss the degree to which Jews, living two thousand years ago, were responsible for the actions of what was in effect a “Vichey” government of collaborators. The numerous rebellions against the Romans, finally resulting in the diaspora, would suggest that the population at large had a different attitude than the puppet regime.
    Attribution of blame to the Jews could not have been widespread until the schism from Judaism had fully manifested – early Christians felt themselves to be Jews. Moreover, it is not a stretch to suppose that once Romans became Christianized, the historical role of Rome in the fate of Jesus would have been downplayed.

  • Greg

    I certainly don’t blame Mel for his father’s bigotry, but he doesn’t have to say “My father never lied to me” just not to slander him; he can say something along the lines of “My father’s his own man and he doesn’t speak for him any more than I speak for him.”
    However, the reality is that Mel, not his dad, is the one funding the building and operation of a church that rejects Modern Catholicism and Vatican 2. Now, many of those who believe in this “traditionalist Catholicism” and attend these churches believe that Vatican 2 was a plot by Jews and Masons to destroy Catholicism. Now, Mel has never said anything along those lines, and it would be unreasonable to assume that he supports those viewpoints, but he has built a church that attracts these people. Isn’t it reasonable to be concerned about that?