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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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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)

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Showtime presumably paid a substantial amount of money for a series. I doubt it's going to be pulled simply because Haim Saban and Ari Emmanuel have their knickers in a twist. I'm not going to enter the debate about the Jews' control of the media, because this article is more about the efforts of two particular Jews to influence one particular outlet of the media. Now, Haim Saban brought us the Power Rangers and the X-Men cartoon series. Thanks, Haim. Now shut up and get back to doing your job of creating entertainment. Ari Emmanuel, you're an agent. Do your job and represent your clients. Quit making your little grandstanding power plays. Stone's miniseries will probably tank on its own. All you're doing is fomenting an interest in the series. Hell, I may even actually sign up and get Showtime now, and I think Stone's an unadulterated crackpot who's made maybe two good movies in his life, both over 20 years ago.

"Israel has taken more Muslim refugees than any other country in the Middle East."

Yeah, right...but Israel denied entry to Ethiopian Jews because they weren't white European extraction Jews and then ended up doing a major world PR tap dance and finally let them in.

Oh, and by the way...remember the U.S.S. Liberty!

How many here know the name Jonathan Pollard?

He was the Naval Intelligence analyst who was arrested and imprisoned for spying for Israel who in turn used our naval Intel to give to the Russians to allow more Jews to immigrate from Russia. Now major Israeli diplomats are lobbying to get Pollard out of jail...well guess what...there are too many good people in Washington to let a traitor go free, and by the way, a lot of them are Jewish, as if that

Real great allie as long as the Intel goes one way--> to them and they share nothing in return unless it is their interest. They play both sides of the street. Plus anyone want to guess at how many for KGB, current FSB, agents have immigrated to Israel while continuing to spy for the Rodina?

The Stone and Gibson of Hollywood are hypocritical fools. They spit on Jews but ironically Jews made Hollywood what it is today, the best and most creative film industry in the world. The same industry who helped these two fools to become so successful. Anytime a famous person like Stone makes such generalizations against jews it serves the interest of Israel's right wing lobby in the US who can claim again that the whole world is against jews and that everybody wants to push Israel into the see. I find ironical that Stone considered a Jew in hollywood and one of the most successful filmmakers in hollywood makes such a remark. He is Hollywood! and funny enough never made once a movie to criticize israel's policies against the palestinians.
This whole Stone controversy is absurd that it could very well have been concocted.

I don't buy into all the loud, repetitive screed the movie, "The Passion of The Christ" was anti-Semitic. I watched the film and their was no visual contexts, as some have alluded to, that all of the Jews had big noses, and the other stereotypical physical features that you hear about. I will not even begin to speak of theology today's Hollywood moguls, because it would be the same as sprinkling them with Holy Water and watching it burn their flesh.
If I would wish anything it would be for a two way understanding between both Jews and Christians, with the fanatics kicked to the curb, because they do not represent the best of either faiths. And as for my own Christian beliefs, I am cognizant that Jesus was a Jew, and was consecrated according to the law of Moses. But with Him ended the Old Testament and the New Testament began.
For my Jewish brethren, please take note that when in the company of gentiles it is not polite to talk as though you had Tourette's syndrome, and for my fellow Christians do not hold any those who are Jewish for fault for the death of Jesus, because their were more Jews weeping along the road to Calvary than those who were mocking him.

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