Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented today on the furor over the comments Mel Gibson allegedly made after his arrest for drunk driving Friday morning:
“What Mel Gibson apparently said is indefensible. The remark attributed to him, ‘The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,’ is anti-Semitic and irresponsible. Fortunately, he has apologized for his bigoted outburst. Unfortunately, his apology is being rejected by some who should know better. To wit: Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, has branded Gibson’s apology ‘unremorseful and insufficient.’ Moreover, Foxman concludes that it shows what a ‘sham’ it is for Gibson to portray himself as the ‘tolerant, loving person’ who made ‘The Passion of the Christ.’
“We have quite a file on Ted Turner at the Catholic League. Unlike Foxman, I have accepted every apology Turner has ever made for his anti-Catholic outbursts, all of which were made while he was sober. Indeed, I even went so far as to say that ‘no one in his right mind’ would ever put Ted Turner ‘in the same camp with a Klansman or an inveterate bigot.’ More recently, when radio shock-jocks Opie and Anthony apologized for their orchestrated anti-Catholic stunt in St. Patrick’s Cathedral a few years back, I not only accepted their apology, I was the first guest on their new CBS radio show and welcomed their return.
“But Mel’s enemies will never cut him a break. Their real goal is to discredit ‘The Passion of the Christ,’ and that is why their propaganda machine is in full gear. Never mind that Mel has said that ‘Anti-Semitism is not only contrary to my personal beliefs, it is also contrary to the core message of my movie.’ How ironic it is to note that the core message of his film—forgiveness—is sorely lacking in his critics.
“In 2003, Roman Polanski, the convicted child rapist, received a standing ovation when he won an Oscar for ‘The Pianist.’ Nice to know what really offends Hollywood.”