The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

« Previous Post | The Big Picture Home | Next Post »

Should Haim Saban really be telling CBS to get rid of Oliver Stone?

Hugo_chavez Haim Saban isn't just mad at Oliver Stone for his controversial remarks about the Holocaust and Jewish domination of the media, which caused such a conflagration that Stone was forced to issue a speedy apology. According to this post in the Wrap, the Israeli-born media tycoon has launched a campaign to get Showtime to cancel its upcoming 10-part series, "A Secret History of America," which Stone has produced. Saban said he has already called Les Moonves, the CBS chief who oversees Showtime, demanding that he cancel the series, which is designed to provide an alternative look at U.S. history subjects rarely taught in public schools.

Saban said that WME Chairman Ari Emanuel had also "privately" called CBS to urge that the series be yanked from the Showtime schedule (though I guess now that Saban revealed that Emanuel has made the call, it isn't so "private" anymore). Saban says that Stone's apology was "transparently fake," adding that "this guy should be helped in joining Mel Gibson into the land of retirement, where he can preach his anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism in the wilderness where he belongs."

I know that some people are outraged by Stone's remarks, which included the nutty charge that America's support for Israel was the result of Jewish domination of the media. For one thing, it's pretty lame on Stone's part to ignore the fact that the U.S. is a natural ally for Israel on its own merits, since it's the only true democracy in the Middle East. On the other hand, I was surprised to discover that many of the people who left comments on my original blog post about Stone seemed convinced that the Jews actually do control both the media and the entertainment business, apparently because a lot of Jews work in media and showbiz. I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but that is transparently dumb on every level.

The most obvious: If you were putting together a list of the most powerful men in entertainment and media, you'd start with Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. owns 20th Century Fox and innumerable TV networks and newspapers; Brian Roberts, whose Comcast empire includes NBC/Universal and is a dominant player in cable TV; and Phil Anschutz, who controls innumerable sports teams, showbiz arenas, newspapers and Regal, the largest theater chain in the U.S. You know the punch line: None of them is Jewish. [UPDATE: I stand corrected: The Roberts family is Jewish.]

Haim Saban is a pretty wealthy and powerful guy himself, but he's a pisher compared to guys like Murdoch and Anschutz. I admire Saban's passion, but I don't agree with his trying to bully CBS into dumping Stone's series. This is a free country, so there's nothing wrong with Saban saying how distasteful he finds Stone's remarks (we're in agreement on that score). But getting a network to pull a show simply because its producer has espoused some crackpot conspiracy theories opens the door for all sorts of unsettling decisions. It's really not so different from the reasoning behind the infamous 1950s Hollywood blacklist, where hundreds of actors and filmmakers were denied work because people in powerful places didn't like their politics.

To put it in a more modern context, Mel Gibson has completed work on a new film, "The Beaver," which is in post-production at Summit Entertainment, the company behind the "Twilight" series. Should Summit simply refuse to release the movie, saying it finds Gibson's personal views and behavior repugnant? I'm sure that would make a lot of Gibson haters happy. But even though I find Gibson's antics wildly repugnant too, since he seems to hate every minority group on the planet, I think the film deserves to rise or fall on its own merits. If people loathe Gibson, they can--and should--refuse to see the movie. If it flops, the fans have spoken, but at least it was given a chance to be judged on its own merits.

I feel the same way about Stone's TV series about America's hidden history. In a free country, one of the freedoms that's worth respecting is the freedom to hear all sorts of opinions and attitudes, not just the ones we agree with.  


Photo: Oliver Stone, left, with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in a scene from Stone's documentary "South of the Border." Credit: Jose Ibanez / Cinema Libre


Comments () | Archives (35)

The comments to this entry are closed.

"it's pretty lame on Stone's part to ignore the fact that the U.S. is a natural ally for Israel on its own merits, since it's the only true democracy in the Middle East."

WHAT??? a democracy where you can vote only if you are a jew doesnt sound like much of a democracy to me.

Oliver Stone is a genius.

The Roberts family is Jewish just FYI

And Lon - Israel has taken more Muslim refugees than any other country in the Middle East. Where is the outrage from the Middle East muslim brotherhood? Maybe you should pick up a newspaper.

PATRICK - this is a free country - for SABAN & US JEWS to express our digust and fight back the OLIVERs and his SOTNEs

following apology logic related to single ethnicity, jews should apologize to russians since most stalin's gulag top managers and officials were jews. stop put races and ethnicities against each other.

Mel Gibson, Helen Thomas, Jimmie Carter, Patrick J. Buchanan, etc. and most of posts here.

Welcome to the club mr. Stone

I think you're misunderstanding the nature of our American free press. Our Constitution prevent any government agency, or a government-funded entity, from participating in censorship - except in the cases of pornography or libel and slander. But Haim Saban is a private person. He's within his rights to ask that material, which is false, and anti-Semitic, not be disseminated.
That said, let me tell you were this Jewish control of the Media comes from. There was a plagiarism, and forgery, which first so the light of day in 1903 in the Russian Empire where most of the world's Jews lived until by the end of the 19th century around 1881 when a Pogrom took place because the Jews were blamed for the assassination of the Tsar.
After the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917, both Jews and "White" Russian (royalists) fled or immigrated to the United State. By 1920 the latter succeeded in persuading Henry Ford - yes, of Ford Motor Company - that Communism, Internationalism (the earliest a form of Globalism), Capitalism,
and Revolutions were all orchestrated secretly by Freemasons and/or Jews. It was at this time, in 1920, that the hoax, known as the "Protocols of the Elders o9f Zion" was first translated and published in English. Henry Ford, through his vast wealth, bought a newspaper, the Dearborn Independent, and serialized this notorious anti-Semitic narrative. He's no Jew, but it was he who spread this crap through the media, during 1920-1922, under the collective title of four pamphlets, (collecting the articles into booklets), as "The International Jew, The World's Foremost Problem." He, an Irish American Christian, spread the propaganda that the Jews, inter alia, control the press and movies.
And that the "secret" behind the "secret" of all the variations on a Jewish conspiracy. In fact, the conspiracy was one against the Jews. All these malcontents were often obscure or anonymous authors who translated the "Protocols of Zion" into the various languages, and eventually these theories reached the desk of Adolf Hitler who, because of Henry Ford's earlier antisemitism, payed homage to Heinrich by keeping a framed photograph of him on his desk - this way before the Final Solution that resulted in the Nazis extermination of 6,000,000 Jews.

Sorry to correct you, but Brian Roberts is Jewish. We were neighbors for several years: both his parents are Jewish.

There's another well-known Jewish name in Hollywood---Oliver Stone. His father is Jewish.

Apparently, the movie industry employs a large number of Jewish people. But so long as they didn't get their jobs at gun point, and their work is evaluated by an objective audience that determines whether they like their movies or not, then what difference does it make?

Do you think that the loss of Jewish imagination, and Jewish chutzpah, and the unique Jewish experience is going to make movies better ? Would music be better without African Americans? Was baseball better before Jackie Robinson, Barry Bonds, and Jim Rice? Would Italian food be more tasty if it were made by Latvians and is Chinese food improved when it's cooked by non-Asians?

Even the two Jewish men who complained to Showtime about Stone, didn't use their influence to try to get his series dropped. They made a request that was turned down. But I don't think they should have said anything. Let Stone's series speak for him and let the audience make up its own mind.

Their behavior contrasts with Hollywood's reaction after Vanessa Redgrave's anti-semitic rant during the Oscar ceremony in the 1970s. Because they didn't want a return of McCarthyism, it seemed as though every Jewish movie maker in Hollywood bent over backwards to offer her a job.

« | 1 2 3 4 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

Stay Connected:

About the Bloggers



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: