Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded to MSNBC talk-show host Keith Olbermann’s comment last night that Donohue made a bigoted statement when he once said, “Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.” Here is Donohue’s rejoinder:

“Bill O’Reilly was right when he referred to Keith Olbermann as a ‘notorious smear merchant.’ Here’s why.

“On July 31, 2006, Olbermann interviewed Tom O’Neil, a Hollywood observer, and in the course of discussing Mel Gibson’s drunken anti-Semitic rant, O’Neil wondered aloud whether Mel could come back from this incident: ‘I don’t see how Mel rallies from this, especially in Jewish Hollywood.’ A few seconds later, Olbermann said, ‘And let’s clarify so nobody puts you on that list of folks who said things. When you said Jewish Hollywood, you meant the Jewish community in Hollywood, not Jewish Hollywood.’ O’Neil answered affirmatively.

“So let’s clarify for Olbermann’s sake. When I referred to Hollywood being run by secular Jews, how is this any different from what O’Neil said? Moreover, consider that the Forward, one of the nation’s most prestigious Jewish newspapers, editorialized in 2004 that it is merely a ‘sociological observation’ to say ‘Jews run Hollywood.’ Is the Jewish Forward anti-Semitic, Mr. Smear Merchant?

“On the same day as O’Neil’s innocent remark, the Los Angeles Timesnoted that ‘many of the town’s senior executives are Jewish and Hollywood has a long history of supporting Israel and Jewish causes.’ The next day, the same newspaper opined, ‘Hollywood was largely founded by, and the studios are still chiefly run by, Jewish executives.’ A week later, Washington Post reporter Ruth Marcus said, ‘By Hollywood I mean the entertainment industry, which…is in fact dominated by Jews.’

“To get evidence of the kind of movies Hollywood makes about Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, see our website, Mr. Smear Merchant.”

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