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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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The Mel Gibson Tapes Tampering Saga: Is it news or is it exploitation?

Mel_gibson OK, I'm just as fascinated with the Mel Gibson loony bin behavior saga as everyone else, but it's beginning to look like this story has jumped the shark, so to speak, in terms of actual real news value.

The not-so-shocking truth is that everyone is running Mel Gibson Rant Stories because they get ratings and readership wherever they appear. So I guess it's no surprise that Bonnie Fuller, the ex-US Weekly Svengali, had the brilliant idea of taking the story to the next level -- and generating tons of hits on her Hollywood Life website -- by ramping up a conspiracy-theory style "are those tapes really real?" angle.

As Chloe Melas somewhat breathlessly reports: " can now EXCLUSIVELY confirm that [the Gibson tapes] are not 100% authentic. We spoke to Arlo West, CEO of Creative Forensic Services, best known for his work on the Natalee Holloway case, who reveals the audio rants between Mel and his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva have been tampered with."

The story contends that the tapes were professionally edited and made for distribution in order to help Oksana "entrap Gibson," complete with intentionally removed words and the use of a high-tech mike known as a large diaphragm microphone that sounds like a device right out of an "Austin Powers" movie.

The mainstream news media is taking this whole thing very seriously, or at least doing a good job or pretending to take it seriously, with ABC News, for example, doing a lengthy report on the subject, including an interview with Fuller and one of her forensic experts. ABC treats Fuller as if she were Seymour Hersh, even though if you go on her delightfully tacky, hot pink-colored Hollywood Life website, you'll find it overrun with such weighty fare as "Lamar Odom Warns Miles Austin -- Don't Hurt Kim or Else!," "Kelly Osbourne Dumps Cheating Jerk of a Fiance" and my personal favorite, "Woman With World's Biggest Breasts in Fight for Her Life."

That doesn't mean that her investigation into the authenticity of the Gibson rants is off base. Her audio experts sound persuasive. But so far, all they've managed to insinuate is that Oksana, who has charged Gibson with beating her and physically intimidating her, may have decided to get some help in recording some audio evidence of his abusive behavior. She certainly accomplished that, since once it was clear that she had actual tapes of Gibson in all his unhinged fury, there has been no serious effort by the Gibson camp to turn this into a she-said, he-said story. 

It's possible that the tapes have been edited to cut out some inflammatory remarks by Oksana, but no one, not even Hollywood Life, is making the claim that Oksana actually baited Gibson into going off the deep end. It seems to be that, at worst, she got some help in recording their conversations. But that's exactly the problem with this latest new wrinkle in the Gibson saga. Now that we've gotten over our initial horror and exhausted all of the "How will this hurt Mel's career" stories -- like the one I wrote -- all we have left are the dregs, as in titillating revelations and revisionist "Was Mel entrapped?" style stories. And when you head down that road, you know, in terms of media infatuation with a celebrity-gone astray story, that you're getting close to the bottom of the barrel. 


Photo: Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva in February at the premiere of "Edge of Darkness." Credit: Jacques Brinon / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (44)

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Ever notice that at some parts of the tapes, Mel seems to be responding to something that's not there - and you can hear a small gap as if something was removed.
She set him off - and deleted the things she said that keep him going. She made this as one sided as possible, and so are you.

The unrelenting castigation of Gibson is media exploitation at its most heinous.

What she did is no worse than what all other media outlets do...Popular media is always at the bottom of the barrel.

"you know, in terms of media infatuation with a celebrity-gone astray story, that you're getting close to the bottom of the barrel. "

And yet here comes the LA times with a story on it. It's unbelievable how far downhill this publication has fallen. Btw, it's spelled 'mic', not 'mike'. It's a piece of audio equipment, not a person, idiot.

I think this deserves to be public news and anyone who says she is looking for publicity is crazy. There is previous evidence of him going off the deep end. We should never doubt a woman's claims of violence and mistreatment or cast blame on her character. Let the police do their jobs, and if there was anything awry, they will find it. In the meantime, let's not blame the victim, good grief, what is it 1887?

Taping the conversations is bad enough, the "leaking" of the tapes is worse! No child likes to hear their parents arguing and now thanks to Oksana, their daughter Lucia will be able to listen to the tapes/read the dialogue one day too.

I think Mel Gibson has a wealth of personal and work relationships that profile him as having some narcissistic tendencies ( what actor hasn't?).

When you listen to the telephone dialogue ( only one is enough) and you hear the hysteria in his voice..... while the female remains totally collected and devoid of any intense know that HE has entangled his life with the worst kind of narcissist there is.
The female who demonstrates this kind of icy cool while the man is driven to panic attacks is what old folks used to call " the black widow" ( mates and then kills the mate)

What you are seeing here is " an abused male".

Tape #5 Mel Gibson rant excerpt : Mel Gibson yells at Oksana: “I spent too much goddamn money on you! And my wife knows! It’s you!”

When exactly were these tapes made? If the tapes were purportedly made after the January 06, 2010 altercation between Mel and Oksana, and Mel was divorced from Robin, why would it matter if his wife knew. He was divorced from Robin by then. It doesn't add up.

Diggin for gold.

boo hoo, leave the man alone. Mel Gibson should beable to see his child if he is paying support..all she wants is money, play the whole tape from the beggining and you can hear it in her voice, the more he screams the sweeter her voice is, she knows what she is doing come on its being recorded..

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