Has anyone ever read the site, TMZ.com before Friday? Friday was the day TMZ editor Harvey Levin (he blogs) burst forth with the “Exclusive!” Los Angeles Sheriff’s arrest report as to the DUI (“driving under the influence“) arrest of popular film producer, director and actor Mel Gibson which occured during the early dawn hours of Friday, July 28, 2006 in Malibu, CA.
If you’re not an AOL employee, shareholder or subscriber (AOL owns TMZ), or not a celebrity-interested onliner, you’re not likely to even know about TMZ. I found the site by following a Friday headline on the DRUDGE REPORT. I’m not likely (not nearly so) to revisit TMZ after this week but I am now convinced that Levin is a sewer rat chewing upon the lives of others, so there’s now the awareness of his caustic stew and accordingly, I will now keep an eye out — an alert, wary one — as of last Friday.
And, as to interesting sub-note about Harvey Levin, he’s also the producer of the television show, “Celebrity Justice” (described as, “Famous Faces, Famous Cases” except that it appears they forgot to include an exclamation point at the end of that) (here’s his Wikipedia entry).
I’m still not tuning in, still not interested, nor never have been.
I suppose being a sewer rat chewing on the lives of “celebrities” gets Harvey Levin copies of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s arrest reports minutes after they’re written, even before they’re received by the District Attorney (procedure), which can always be explained away (and apparently is being, from a few comments I read on TMZ) as the result of ~someone~ pilfering the Sheriff’s Department’s trashbin. Where, of course, the Sheriff’s Department files their arrest reports minutes after they’re written, where they’re later retrieved by the District Attorney’s office. Can’t be sure ~who~ gets ahold of them while they’re loitering in the trashbin, ‘guess.
Now, after watching Levin’s grotesque “coverage” (I wish I could show you air-quotes as I write this) of Mel Gibson’s woes — who by Saturday, the day after, announced his plans to enter rehab today, to his credit — I’ve waded through a lot of the comments on TMZ had have read a noticable bit that slam for Gibson’s ruination, demand that Gibson “pay” for his “crimes” (Gibson’s statements made during his arrest, while under the influence of drink and depression, in various order), that Gibson’s films will “no longer be seen,” that “not one more penny will be spent on (Gibson/Gibson’s films)” and most stupendously, that Gibson be “punished” and “held accountable” in a harming way for the thoughts by his father (thoughts!)…”
I was thinking the polar opposite, and from the polls I’ve been reading (ABC.com, TMZ’s very own, a few others elsewhere), most other people have, too: that prayers are with Gibson for a return to sobriety, that there’s appreciation and thankfulness he did not harm himself or others while driving under the influence, that it’s commendable he’s seeking help as he is and so quickly and publicly admitting his substance abuse problems, and that his films, past and present, will continue to be enjoyed and watched by me and by the majority of fans.
Gibson said some creepy things (“f*****g Jews” and that “all the wars are started by Jews,” that he “owned Malibu” and he called one of the officers “sugar tits” — obviously a nasty sarcasm — from what is said in the report) and I sure don’t think they were in good taste, nor indicated a sound mind nor emotional state, but the negating comments about Gibson seem pale by comparison with the issue of his inebriation and discarded sobriety (he’d been previously sober, but how previously, I have no idea, just that he had been at one point and admitted to contending with substance abuse problems throughout his life). To some commentors at TMZ, and certainly to target-seeking, craving Harvey Levin, that wasn’t and isn’t the issue but the BIG EXCLUSIVE and creepy pictures of Mel Gibson are the thing to do.
Whatever revenue Levin has gained by his “Exclusive!” screeds from last Friday (ongoing as I write this complete with Mel’s arresting, arrest mugshot — far nicer a photograph than anything TMZ has managed to run prior to this), whatever profit is his as of now is going to reflect badly on the site’s advertisers. I know I’ll wash from memory any trade, commercial link I may have seen over there. But wouldn’t it be nice if one day Levin and his website could thank Mel Gibson for all the site visits? (I bet it’ll never happen.)
Hollywood appears to have been lying in wait since the 2004 release of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST (bearing a grudge, filled with resentment about, describe it as you want, but the result is the same: a vendetta existed and still does about Gibson from among some in Hollywood); and, that that film was and is enjoyed so overwhelmingly by the public certainly seems to have fueled the festering (as in, “boil, boil, toil and trouble”).
And since Gibson received such support for making this film, also to the consternation of Hollywood, I’m sure that’s been a bitter brew to their stewing. Hollywood refused to finance the film (Gibson financed it himself), refused to distribute the film (again, Gibson’s production company arranged that) and Hollywood pushed the negative about the film in trade paper after television screed (Levin comes to mind here). In fact, speaking of Levin, he was among the most ardent, angry denouncers of the film, making repeat “personal appearances” on televised news show after entertainment show to implore the world as to why this was “not a good film,” as did most peers of Levin’s, and most of those were liberal, Hollywoodites and were/are Jewish.
Whatever problems some had and have with this film and with Gibson for writing, directing and producing (and distributing) the film, they were wrong about the film, and, they’re wrong about why they truly revile the film, and because of that, revile Gibson. I am truly sorry that these people revile the scriptural message described in this film, and content (and theology) that this film contains, as with the theology it represents, but they do and that’s their loss — in fact, that’s why there’s such sorrow among them as to their upset with this film, and now, it seems with Gibson.
This article in HAARTZ is quite frightening in it’s hypersensitivity and, worse, in it’s aggressive demand for vengeance for mere words, even those from a person under the influence. Note to those not familiar with alcoholism: people’s personalities really do change while under the influence, which is why it’s so important for them to stop drinking, because the changes are almost always destructive.
Thus, Gibson falls down, Gibson gets chewed on…and on, and on. I can’t see making things harder for someone when they’re down and I wish Gibson the best in recovery and look forward to more films from this talented filmmaker. About the ravings, I accept his apology and last time I checked, our nation wasn’t one who punishes people for thoughts or even for random speech, however objectionable.
To Levin, however, and people like him — particularly in Hollywood — what I’ve read since Friday is the real disappointment (TMZ and comments) : disappointment because I don’t read or hear that these “offended” people are in recovery (now) nor have apologized for their monstrous comments. And real disappointment in that the film and music industry are pervasively afflicted with (extremely) bad behaviors, and bad behaviorists — worse, very bad films — and where’s the outcry about that? Sometimes, I wish I didn’t care. Then I remember who I am.