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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Oliver Stone has apologized for his anti-Semitic rant, but is the damage already done?

Oliver_stone It's such a quintessentially American thing to do that I'm surprised that someone hasn't already engraved it on our $20 bills: If you shoot off your mouth and hurl stupid insults at innocent people, the best thing to do is to apologize as quickly as possible. It's why Oliver Stone isn't going to become Mel Gibson, even though Stone's crackpot remarks about the "Jewish domination of the media" and the Holocaust sounded just as bad as anything Gibson said in his infamous drunken rant about the Jews after he was picked up by Malibu police for drunken driving.

I know this is going to be portrayed as yet another example of the terrible double standard in Hollywood, where lefties can say whatever they want and get away with it while conservatives are pilloried and symbolically burned at the stake. Or as Big Hollywood's John Nolte so succinctly put it: "Don’t expect Oliver Stone to get the Mel Gibson treatment. Gibson’s sin against Hollywood was producing 'The Passion of the Christ,' not the vile things that came out of his mouth. After all, this is the same industry that honors, continues to work with, and defends fugitive child rapist Roman Polanski. As long as your politics are in order, no 'Jewish domination of the media' comments can hurt you."

That's the right wing mantra about the way the media handles these outbursts, which is filled with some considerable irony, since Big Hollywood is run by Andrew Breitbart, the mischievous conservative bomb thrower who ignited the Shirley Sherrod media conflagration last week by putting up an edited tape of a speech she'd given, which made it appear that she was a racist. Of course, when seen in its entirety, the tape showed the exact opposite. By then, Sherrod had been forced to resign. After the unedited tape surfaced, Sherrod was deluged with contrite apologies from everyone from the White House, the NAACP and the Secretary of Agriculture to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, who'd been among the first to call for her firing.

So where does this leave Oliver Stone? First off, unlike Gibson, who took forever to issue a weak apology for his anti-Semitic rant -- and still hasn't apologized for more recent racist, misogynistic ravings reported to have been made to the mother of his young child -- Stone issued a quick, forceful apology. He said very clearly that "Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry," adding that the Holocaust was indeed an "atrocity." Has he really changed his views overnight? Perhaps not. But sincerity is hard to measure, especially in show business.

I don't know how it works anywhere else, but in America, if you apologize with speed and sincerity, people forgive you. They may not forget, but they'll forgive. Jews have long memories, so even a haphazard Jew like myself can easily call to mind Henry Ford, David Dukes, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and all the other infamous anti-Semites who've never done much in the way of apologizing for their vile words.

The conservative argument about Hollywood's double standard toward Gibson versus Stone is full of holes, the biggest one being that until Gibson went off into the wackosphere with his latest rant, he'd been quietly accepted back into polite Hollywood society. When his longtime agent Ed Limato's agency merged with the agency run by Ari Emanuel, who'd loudly said that Gibson should be shunned by one and all, Emanuel happily received Gibson as an agency client rather than risk Limato leaving with all his other top stars. No one in the supposedly liberal media criticized Emanuel for accepting Gibson with open arms. And hardly anyone in the showbiz press bothered to dredge up Gibson's past offenses when he was out promoting "Edge of Darkness" earlier this year. Forgiveness was in the air. It was only when Gibson went off of a new rampage, adding blacks and women to his hit list, that he officially became a Hollywood pariah.

I suspect that when Stone is out promoting "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" this September that he'll occasionally be required to issue a few more mea culpas. But not often. After all the crazy things Stone has said through the years, from signing a petition that compared Germany's treatment of Scientologists to the Nazi's oppression of the Jews to his unabashed embrace of tinhorn Latin American dictators like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, it takes a lot for people to get worked up over his latest foot-in-mouth antics.

Of course, for a filmmaker to make dark insinuations about a Jewish media cabal is sort of like a Republican officeholder advocating tax increases -- it can get you into a whale of trouble, even if, as this wry Jewish Journal post points out, it's not considered out of bounds for Jewish filmmakers to josh among themselves about the decline in Jewish domination of the film industry. If Stone were a comedian, he'd be able to push the envelope oh, so much further, since comics can get away with all sorts of outlandish, politically incorrect remarks without provoking a hailstorm of criticism. I guess if there is any lesson here, it's that Stone is a lot better off in American than in his beloved Venezuela, Cuba or Iran, where artists have languished in prison for years for making remarks far less rude than what Stone had to say about the Jews. Stone is a free man, which I suspect means that he'll saying something crazy again any day now.   

Photo: Oliver Stone at the British premiere of his film "South of the Border." Credit: Max Nash / AFP/Getty Images



 

 
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The idea that Jewish influence in the U.S. media is a conspiracy theory is ridiculous. That would be like claiming that no blacks are dominant in basketball.

Not only are the eight biggest studios run by Jews, but also CNN, Fox News, CBS, NBC, Disney, Viacom, and Comcast. The families that own The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Tribune are Jewish.

As for Goldstein, he defended Roman Polanski. How tribal is that? If Mel Gibson had raped a child, would Goldstein be looking for excuses?

Pretty wildly irresponsible but certainly not racist or necessarily "anti-semitic"...I find most offensive about this the media suggestion that Stone is suggesting Hitler to "not be such a bad guy"...it cannot be understated how important it is to understand the history of political/cultural/social evil from MULTIPLE perspectives as well as to understand the perpetrators on a HUMAN level...to not do so exposes society and politics to greater chances of leading humanity into ever more cataclysmic situations.

I'm puzzled at why Hollywood seeks to avoid the truth. Its pretty much a fact that the majority of Hollywood executives are Jewish....is it not? This is not opinion....this is fact.

It always interested me that every Hollywood made movie has a Jewish soldier serving during WWII, yet I never see a Hispanic person. Funny given the fact that approximately the same number of Hispanics served in the military during WWII as did Jews (approx 3-5% each).....so who is making the movies that come out of Hollywood?

Someone said he's "half-Jewish". What??!!!??? How? Is that like being half Christian? Half Islamic? Half Buddhist? Is being a Jew a racial/genetic distinction now? A cultural ethnicity? Or a religious faith? I can't keep up, it's all so shifty and oh, so convenient.

Perhaps he's half Jewish in the geographical Eastern-Euro-Slavo cultural way. I love immigrants, but think if their grandparents wanted to come here to America, perhaps they might have left some of the cultural baggage behind? Even Stanislavsky knew that some things were better left in Eastern Europe. Socialist/Nazi/Communal societal philosophy is one of those things America least needs.
Attack the communism, not the communist. Communism is bad for everyone ESPECIALLY the communists.

His crime is his punishment (ie: He's a commie).
Dislaimer: this is NOT "hate" speech. I don't hate. Period. This is NOT politically correct. It IS factually accurate TRUTH and my exercise of unrestricted free speech:)

Firstly, please don't call me an anti-Semite when I have plenty of Jewish family and believe the Israeli state has the right to exist in peace. But why can't you criticize Israel's 'messed-up' policies or the nature of its initial creation without having to apologize? Why can't you point out that the Holocaust is often overemphasized in the US media in comparison to other historical tragedies and seen as more important than anyone else's genocide without having to apologize? Why did we ignore Sudan for decades (and are beginning to ignore again)? Why is it that whenever I say anything about First American genocide I get anti-Indian rants that tell me to get over it, yet the moment that anyone says anything about Hollywood having way too many Holocaust movies or that Defiance was a poorly-made film, they're an anti-Semite? Why can some Hollywood people have unpopular views and have their careers unblemished, yet others are immediately pariahs? I'm frankly tired of that. And I'm more than tired of the media's obsession with "anti-Semetic rants" when truly offensive and high-profile anti-Mexican rants are routinely ignored every day (among others).

And for the record, while Stone's statement was a sweeping generalization, I can tell you as a fact from friends who work at major news networks that they have gotten orders from top execs of a certain heritage that they could not cover certain aspects of big news stories that would paint Israel in a negative light. Without going into details, the public would be surprised how much of the recent Gaza conflict was censored. Does that make me think that all Jewish media people are biased and have a negative influence on public opinion? Of course not--besides, there are too many Jewish Americans to make ANY sweeping generalizations! But there are a significant number of very powerful individuals who are indeed biased and do influence the public with their bias, and for me to acknowledge that is hardly a statement of prejudice.

I want to read Alexandr Solzhenitsyn's last book, "200 Years Together." This greatest writer of the 20th century wrote in Russian. Nearly all his work has been translated and published in English, but readers who do not read Russian have been denied an English printing of this particular book, in which Solzhenitsyn describes the history of the Jews in Russia.

Where to start? The double standard still exists regardless of the apology and the quickness of the apology. The rant is completely hypocritical, but maybe it is, in fact, consistent with Leftist ideology. It is nothing new in Leftist politics, whose adherents are anti-Israel and anti-Jewish. You can say the same with Gibson's way-out-there religious beliefs. However, which is worse in Hollywood... religion or politics. Gibson has the worst of 2 worlds, while Oliver Stone is fully Liberal, Leftist, and non-religious.

Forgiveness is for the one being hurt. Gibson needs to give an apologiy, but it does not need to be done publicly. The released tapes was wrong, but in light of the legal aspects, Gibson has every right to not make a public comment until the matter settles.

"And hardly anyone in the showbiz press bothered to dredge up Gibson's past offenses when he was out promoting "Edge of Darkness" earlier this year."

You make it seem like no one did it. I seen at least one interviewer dredged it up. There are probably many more if I looked. And true to Gibson, he called an interviewer an "a**h*le". It's on youtube.

"People getting worked up are taking his words out of context just as much as Fox did with Shirley Sherrod" - David

dear David - Fox didn't broadcast the Sherrod thing until AFTER the White House did their thing - talk about a bigoted point of view - get your story straight

The vilest comment anybody ever made is implicit in this article: that in Slave Colony America you cannot name the oppressor by name and expect to get off without having to grovel to a committee of unlected nanny-goat hobgoblins.

Wow! The Jew-haters are out in force this afternoon, and they love their Oliver Stone!

 
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