Just when I was beginning to offer appreciation to the DRUDGE REPORT for (finally) concluding the “Mel Gibson Saga” headlines, I reapproach the site at 4:00 A.M., PST and find more Gibson headlines and links.
This morning’s include:
This from Reader’s Digest: ” Mel Gibson: Has He Gone Too Far? ”
I don’t follow the context of that headline there because I read the article — what portion RD offers on the internet — and the man, Mel Gibson, is reasonable and intelligently stated in an interview with Peggy Noonan. He’s not making “denials” that “the Holocaust didn’t happen” (which is what many who are Jewish and in “Hollywood” especially continue to allege he “thinks” and yet that’s not, not at all, represented in what he’s quoted as saying.
And, as to that headline (“Has Gibson Gone Too Far?”), there’s no issue in that article by RD as to what they allude to in that set-up headline ‘direction’ there. The reader is influenced at the very headline portion, even before they’ve read the article that follows, influenced in predetermination by an editorial perspective that establishes an unfounded, unsubstantiated context.
So there’s no where for the reader to go with that context in the headline except to then apply that context while they read the article — and they don’t even know what the negative is, just that they’re in a critical frame of mind, keeping an eye out for…what? What’s the problem here? Headline says he may have a problem, but…maybe if I read this I’ll see what the problem is…but the article never defines any range of evaluation, no starting point nor “bad” extreme, just that there’s this atmosphere of unacceptability about the subject of the article: “has Gibson gone too far?”
Too far? Evaluate this interviewee for a possible negative, is what the headline is actually communicating. What’s his negative,” the headline suggests, because there’s that question right there…
The article will be read, then, with the undefined premise in mind because we first read the headline: “what’s wrong with this man,” the headline suggests, before they even present any information by way of what the inerview reveals.
And, the interview reveals that there’s nothing wrong there. He hasn’t gone “too far” – he’s been lucid, well stated and succinct. And hardly harmful nor damaging.
No, the headline represents bad writing in the sense that it’s sneaky. It’s covert messaging like a secret-code effort, if not is one, the use of headlines such as that.
Gibson says this:
NOONAN: You’re going to have to go on the record. The Holocaust happened, right?
MEL GIBSON: I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor. He worked in a concentration camp in France. Yes, of course. And my dad also knows that there were internment camps where many people died. Now, his whole thing was about the numbers. I mean atrocities happened. The thing with him [my father] was that he was talking about numbers. I mean when the war was over they said it was 12 million. Then it was six. Now it’s four. I mean it’s that kind of numbers game. I mean war is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million people starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century 20 million people died in the Soviet Union. Okay? It’s horrible.
What about those statements and questions represents “Holocaust denial”?
Answer is, nothing about them does.
What’s obvious from those statements by Gibson, to my view, is that Gibson is aware of contradictory reports as to history about the Holocaust (and related years) but he does not indicate that he supports information that might DENY the Holocaust. This is an important distinction.
There was a great deal of population loss during the Second World War (and in the years leading up to U.S. participation in WWII) from among non-Jewish ethnicities and religions and many of those remain nameless and “uncounted” in history past and present, while the “numbers” as per Jewish accounts fluctuate, which could be due to a lot of reasons, among which I don’t automatically assume are nefarious motives as to why. But the important thing is, there’s the possibility that our current rendition of recent history is not accurate and some people would like to learn more about what may have been omitted from our history or perhaps overlooked or misreported. This does not include, however, “doubting” or “questioning” that the Holocaust occured nor any attempts to “minimize” the ugliness of what occured; it is, rather, accepting that the Holocaust occured, that it was truly horrible, and raises the question as to current reports which just may emphasize colloquialisms over facts.
The Holocaust was so horrible, to state the obvious, and such a hideous experience to learn of during and at the end of WWII, that I tend to think that the world overreacted into silence and assumptions about it. At least as to some areas, such as who perished there and why.
Millions of people who were not Jewish, nor Semite, perished and perhaps as many Catholics died at the hands of Nazi Germany as did Jews. Some claim the numbers of Catholics who died exceeds that by the Jews but for a long time, perhaps people were simply too horror-struck to ask for many details beyond what was immediately stated. And so history remains a gloss-over in these areas — at least there’s room to question what our current understandings are, how realistic and fully reporting they may have been accepted, or not — and the questions for further investigation are more than reasonable, given the proportions of suffering involved, along with the significance to our human, global civilization of further discovery.
This is an exceedingly difficult issue to explore and discuss, to state the obvious, but it’s something that many people wonder about and would like to see further clarified. Not to DENY the Jewish people their loss and suffering, but to value and commemorate the loss and suffering of those who may remain unnamed, if not as yet forgotten.
In these terms, to attempt to suppress any investigation about the loss of life at the hands of Nazi Germany (and in Russia at the hands of communist Bolsheviks, which is nearly overlooked in contemporary history, to a tragic loss for us all), to attempt to suppress further exploration about the populations who perished during the Second World War is evil. It reduces precious lives lost — who may or may not have been Jewish but who suffered and perished. And who deserve to be known to us today and commemorated. They lost their lives to nothingness and so there is no excuse to allow them to remain nameless by way of no discovery throughout time after.
I believe these statements in this interview with Gibson prove that those who malign him with the term, “Holocaust denier,” are wrong. It proves the accusers are not accurate. Gibson recognizes that the Holocaust occurred. He’s also recognizing that there is more investigation that needs to be and should be done to determine who perished during WWII at the hands of a fascist German Socialist Party dictatorship.
And, about these other lives lost who may as yet be unrecognized in collective history, the millions of persons who were killed in Russia during WWII is important to be investigated further and results of discovery allowed into history. People who attempt to manage historical information in an effort to avoid including certain problematic information are unsupportable.
Thus, I think there’s academic room here to explore what possible information may or may not have been withheld or “edited out” of history. Why deny THAT? And who would deny such and why would they, how were they motivated if so? These are important questions for our collective human history; and, the day that academic inquiry is considered inherently wrong is the day we no longer live in or respect a democracy.
The second disturbing article that DRUDGE hosts a link to this morning is another harsh and brutish one by Army Arched — harsh and brutish because it is harsh to read such brutality — recklessness, even — in a public venue by people assumed to be ethically minded to an honorable standard of behavior. Arched, instead, publishes a “Message to Mel from Larry” (Larry Gelbart), which was sent to Arched by Gelbart to and about Gibson, in which accusations and malignments (more of them) are made to and about Gibson.
Does not Mr. Gelbart have a stamp? Can Mr. Gelbart not call an agent/publicist/representative and get an address to which to mail a letter to Mr. Gibson? Or just send the “message” to an agent to forward? All these are certainly the professional options; so, instead, these elaborations by Gelbart and Arched (who writes, “Congrats, Larry” at the closing of Larry’s nonsense “to Mel”) are an attempt at theatrical performance. And they did a very poor job of that. The “message,” the message-writer (“Larry”) and the columnist publisher (Arched) communicate in deed and content a wanton destructiveness, an intention to do harm. I’d say this also represents ethical violations but in this issue, these times, I think certain interests in Hollywood have discarded the concept of ethics. Arched worries me. That he offends me is too reasonable a thing to write in this context but offends me he and his work do as of this collective point. I had higher expectations.