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Was Mel Gibson Too Chicken To Face Alan Colmes? Or Was FOX News Too Chicken To Allow It?

Reported by Ellen - December 14, 2006 -

Mel Gibson was the latest recipient of FOX News Republican Rehab on Hannity & Colmes last night (12/13/06). Gibson’s three part interview with Sean Hannity took up the first half of the show, longer than Hannity’s Republican Rehab interviews with Donald Rumsfeld the previous two nights. Gibson insisted that his drunken, anti-Semitic tirade last spring, which he has since repudiated, had been a good thing for him, that he looks at it now as a “growth experience.” Then why wasn’t he grown up enough to be interviewed by Jewish Alan Colmes, too?

Throughout the interview, which appeared to be in Gibson’s home or office, a religious Christian painting, in gold so that it attracted light, was positioned on a shelf or table smack dab in the center of the TV frame, between Hannity and Gibson, so that the viewer could not fail to focus on it, like some kind of altarpiece. Not so pious – and not so obvious, on a wall behind Gibson's head – was a framed newsclipping that read, “Fiji Villager Spears… (the next visible word ended in “ther,” as in mother, father or brother) To Death.”

Hannity was still in lapdog mode, even more so than with Donald Rumsfeld. Apparently, Gibson’s violence-filled movies were more appealing than Rumsfeld’s mismanagement of the real thing. Plus there was that dash of anti-Semitism. I don’t know Hannity to be an anti-Semite but there’s nothing like a right-wing bigot to rally Hannity to a Republican rehab broadcast. Before Gibson there were Bill Bennett, The Minutemen and Trent Lott, among others.

Gibson’s outburst occurred less than a year ago but Hannity all but declared Gibson completely cured. With the same sincere face he wore with Rummy, Hannity did more cuing up of responses than asking for answers. “So you found humility… You changed.” And later, “Tell us about the night… It sounds to me like THE night that changed you.” Compare that to Hannity’s continual attacks on Senator Robert Byrd, who briefly belonged to the KKK more than 60 years ago.

As a Jewish person, I accept Mel Gibson’s apology. Nevertheless, it’s hard for me to believe that someone who isn’t anti-Semitic would become that way just because they got drunk. I’ve been drunk many times in my life, and I’ve been around drunks many times and I’ve yet to say or hear anything like what Gibson said. And, this is not the first time that Gibson has insulted Jews or been accused of anti-Semitism.

But if we take Gibson at his word that he has grown and changed for the better, then why would he not want to talk to Alan Colmes? Wouldn’t Gibson want to have a prime time dialogue with a Jew? Wouldn’t FOX News want him to have that conversation? Wouldn’t it go a lot further to prove his rehabilitation and be a lot more newsworthy than the half-hour of softballs lobbed by a simpatico Hannity?

The Gibson interview will be continued tonight.