Oh my: Mel Gibson tapes might have been doctored

Huh. Well then, I’m eager to discover from what context “I’ll burn the goddamn house up, but blow me first” might have been unfairly ripped.

Second look at Mel Gibson’s sanity?

Forensic audio and video experts examined the recordings for HollywoodLife.com and believe someone tampered with them, editing the audio, removing parts of conversation and piecing together phrases to make the recordings sound real.

“One of the things that you have to know is that nobody at this point can authenticate it’s Mel’s voice — not 100 percent,” Bonnie Fuller, editor of HollywoodLife.com, said on “Good Morning America” today. “There are words that are edited out, there are spaces, there are gaps.”

“I believe these are professionally done. I think she had help,” said forensic audio expert Arlo West. “She clearly was speaking into what we call a large diaphragm microphone. Her voice is very well engineered. She sounds great.”

She really does. Here’s the latest tape from Radar; it occurred to me after listening to the first one a few days ago that her voice sounded unusually crisp, even with the mic being on her side of the phone, but maybe it’s a little too crisp. Two issues for the cops who are combing through the tapes in hopes of using them against him, then. First, if they’ve been edited, then they’re obviously not true and correct copies and can’t be admitted. Second and more problematically, California law requires both parties’ consent before a conversation can be recorded. Is Mad Max so mad that he actually agreed to let Grigorieva tape him?

If you missed it in Headlines, this Time mag piece on therapists’ reaction to audio of the calls is grimly fascinating. Most of them aren’t surprised, but one worries that this degree of rage is “dangerous” and “not typical” and another says, “I’ll bet every penny I’ve ever made that he was abusive in all his previous relationships.” For what it’s worth, according to Mel’s ex, she’d lose that bet. Exit question: Is this pushback about the tapes being doctored really just Mel’s way of planting a tiny enough seed of doubt in the public’s mind to save his career? E.g., “Honey, I don’t want to see the new Mel Gibson movie. Didn’t you hear those tapes?” “But baby — he says the tapes were doctored.