The Fox News Channel website has an article today by Roger Friedman that takes Mel Gibson to task for selectively distributing “The Passion of the Christ.” After detailing where the movie will be shown, he then says Gibson “consciously created a divisive atmosphere for the presentation of his film.” He also charges, “All this seems designed to keep ‘The Passion of the Christ’ out of neighborhoods that are considered Jewish, upscale, or liberal.”
Here’s how Catholic League president William Donohue responded:
“Roger Friedman says the movie will be shown in two Chicago theaters; in fact it will be shown in seven. He says it will not be shown in the L.A. neighborhood of Century City; in fact it will be shown at the AMC in Century City. He says it will not be shown in the ‘wealthier and trendier parts’ of Los Angeles; in fact it will be shown in Marina del Rey, Burbank and Santa Monica. He says it will not be shown in New York’s Upper West Side; in fact it will be shown at 86th and Broadway. He says it will be shown only in the ‘fringe areas’ of the Upper East Side; in fact it will be shown at 86th and 3rd and 64th and 2nd. He says it will be shown at one theater below 34th Street; in fact it will be shown at three. He says it will be hard to find in Nassau County, Long Island; in fact it will be shown in seven theaters there. He says that theater-goers will be ‘hard pressed’ to find it in ‘either the south or north shore’ of Long Island; in fact it will be shown in towns like Glen Cove and Port Washington on the north shore and Merrick and Seaford on the south shore. He says those who live in Westchester will also find it difficult to see the movie; in fact it will be shown in Larchmont, New Rochelle and Yonkers. And so on.
“Taking a course in Geography 101 might cure some of Friedman’s problems, but it would not be enough. That’s because his forced conclusion suggests something else is at work: to say that Gibson is intentionally keeping the film away from Jews and the rich is not only flatly wrong, it smacks of malice. We look for Fox to correct itself.”