Hmmm. Let’s see if we have this straight. Tea Party activists opposing big-spending programs by a Democratic President who happens to be black? Racist. Big Hollywood star tells girlfriend that her tight clothes will get her raped by “a pack of f*****g n******s”? Nuanced. Even Joy Behar has trouble with Whoopi Goldberg’s attempt to use the “some of Mel Gibson’s best friends are black” defense on The View, and the two start playing their Complete Moral Authority cards in a liberal meltdown. Pass the popcorn and watch the clip from Mediaite:
You can say he’s being a bonehead but I can’t sit and say that he’s a racist having spent time with him in my house with my kids. I can’t say it and so I really just need to say that. I don’t like what he’s done. Make no mistake. …
Drunks say stupid stuff to people all the time because they’re drunk. They’re out of control. They are not thinking they are idiotic. That’s why I don’t like alcohol. I can’t say anything about that because I know what people are like when they’re drunk. This rant, I don’t think he’s drunk on this rant.
Except, as Mediaite’s Glynnis MacNicol points out, Gibson didn’t sound drunk at all in the clips aired by Radar Online. He certainly sounds like a bonehead, as Whoopi calls him, but last I checked, bonehead and racist are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they almost always go together, just like bonehead usually goes with misogynist. Who’d have thought that two liberal women on television would debate the finer points of racism and anti-Semitism in this kind of situation, and not mention the fact that the clip also included threats of violence against the mother of the man’s child? It’s like double standards squared on The View.
However, they may not be that out of the mainstream. Survey USA surveyed 500 adults in the Los Angeles area and found that Gibson hasn’t done a tremendous amount of damage to the brand. Only 39% had an unfavorable view of Gibson, with men and women holding identical 39% negative assessments. A majority of 52% believe Gibson can rehabilitate his image, and 61% said they would go see a new Gibson movie when it hits the screens. He may not even have to hit the Betty Ford Clinic with those numbers.
Update: I had the Gibson quote slightly incorrect, Jim Treacher e-mails; it should have read “a pack of …” Which, as Jim says, is actually somewhat worse.