7:00 Good Morning America teases the second part of Diane Sawyer’s Mel Gibson interview: ”He says even drunk, he knew the words came from inside him… Today, how does he think they got there?” I wish Diane could’ve also asked him why my sister’s retreiver Riggs, named after Mel’s character in Lethal Weapon, has recently taken to rolling around in bear poop.
7:18 Diane’s recapping! Yesterday: Mel admitted his comments sounded anti-Semitic. He wants his wife of 26 years to forgive him. Many viewers wrote in asking GMA to explain the difference between a real alcoholic and someone who’s just had a few drinks — which Sawyer says they’ll be doing over the next few weeks. Note to my editor: I will not be getting up at 7 a.m. to liveblog those segments.
7:31 Mel’s explaining that he doesn’t think Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Why did he say that then? ”Maybe it was just that very day that Lebanon and Israel were at it.” Then they cut to a shot of a tank firing. An editor at The Daily Show just got a woody.
7:32 Since he was a kid ”in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and now in the new millennium,” Mel’s been worried about the Middle East sucking us into some hole, who would push the button, and whether he would see his grandchildren grow up. I’ve just been thinking about whether it’s wrong that I would totally still watch Bird on a Wire on cable right now.
7:34 Passion of the Christ footage. (Put down your breakfast.) Mel says, perhaps, his anger came from the ”very brutal, sort of public beating” he underwent throughout the year before the film came out. Apparently, his rights were violated ”as an American, as an artist, as a Christian, as just a human being” by the people who called the film anti-Semitic without even seeing it. He was upset because no one ever apologized. Now would be a good time for Diane to bring up the South Park episode.
7:36 Diane’s actually doing well. She just asked him if you can say anti-Semitic things and not be anti-Semitic. ”I don’t know the answer to that question. Because one changes from day to day. And there are different forces exercized on you… And people every day say things they don’t mean, and things they don’t feel, they may feel them temporarily.”
7: 37 Mel says he heard that a woman who read his first apology ”wept with relief.” It took him a few days to realize that people actually thought that he might be a ”goose-stepping maniac.” I don’t know what a ”goose-stepping maniac” is, Mel, but I love the coinage.
7:38 They show a clip of Diane’s interview with Mel from three years ago, when he refused to get into a discussion about his father’s belief that the Holocaust was, well, ”mostly fiction.” Visual confirmation that Mel is now shattered.
7:39 Diane wants to know how we bridge bigotry and intolerance. Mel’s answer: ”Have dinner.” ”Talk?” Sawyer says. ”And hear,” Mel adds, with some wild hand gestures. Colbert Report, you guys catch that?
7:40 Diane quotes Mel, to Mel: ”Pain is the precursor to change.” He admits he’s been ”quite ashamed,” and that he wants to heal himself and anyone who had ”hard wounds” from something he may have said. His final words: ”This is the last thing I want to be is that kind of monster.” I have nothing snarky to say to that.
7:41 Diane’s wrapping up: She says Mel did this interview now because he doesn’t want this issue to be used later to publicize the ”Disney film” he has coming out later this year. Having her not mention the title Apocalypto was smart, Mel. Assuming that we won’t be mentioning ”this issue” in our coverage of the movie (and its box office performance), however, is dreaming.