In the weeks leading up to the release of The Passion of the Christ film over two years ago, Tim Rutten, media columnist for the Los Angeles Times, wrote no less than six hyperventilating columns that dealt almost exclusively with breathless concerns over anti-Semitism in Mel Gibson's film. At one point, Rutten attacked Mel Gibson as "a little brat" and "an unwholesomely willful child playing with matches." Yet when the blatantly anti-Christian and anti-Catholic The Da Vinci Code was released a few months ago, Rutten's reaction was a ho-hum and a yawn; far from a concern, Da Vinci is "only a movie," asserted Rutten! Bigotry, anyone? Of course. As we've catalogued before (here and here, for example), anti-Christian and anti-Catholic prejudice is alive and well at the Los Angeles Times.
With this as a backdrop, it was no surprise to see the shameless Rutten juice Gibson's arrest to plaster Mel anew in his latest column (Saturday, August 5, 2006). Especially brazen is Rutten's implication that cheerleaders of Gibson's The Passion of the Christ have been exposed as supporters of anti-Semitism. This is a shameless and ugly column, folks.
Amid Rutten's baseless allegations and dubious inferences, Rutten takes issue with a remark that Dr. William Donohue, president of The Catholic League, made during an August 1, 2006, segment on MSNBC's Scarborough Country. Rutten, in his dishonesty, doesn't provide the full quote, but we will provide more context here. From MSNBC's web site:
DONOHUE: ... [D]id [Mel Gibson] make an anti-Semitic comment? Obviously, he did. It was irresponsible (inaudible) and he's apologized for it, as he should apologize for it. There's a lot of people who have made comments which are bigoted who are not necessarily bigots. I myself have said that there's nobody in the U.S. Senate who was a bigot against Catholics. However, I have pointed out numerous bigoted comments made by people, like Senator Schumer, for example ...
In reaction to Donohue's remark, "There's a lot of people who have made comments which are bigoted who are not necessarily bigots," Rutten responds with this line: "Really?"
It is this glib reaction from Rutten that exposes his bigotry and bias. As NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell has highlighted in his most recent column (August 4, 2006), scores of anti-Catholic and anti-Christian remarks have gone essentially unreported in the mainstream media. While fully sober, bigoted and hateful comments and skits have been spewed by the likes of Ted Turner, Bill Maher, Penn & Teller, Ian McKellen, Denis Leary, the New York Press, and Comedy Central's South Park creators. In addition, numerous television and motion pictures have been cited for their anti-Christian and/or anti Catholic bigotry. (Spend a real, not a bogus, 15 minutes here, Tim.)
Some questions for Tim: Are the above actors/public figures bigots as well, Tim? If so, how many of them have you plastered in the same manner as Mel Gibson? There is no question that Mel Gibson's slurs were offensive and contemptible. But where is the balance, Tim?
Tim Rutten would reap a hair of credibility if he would address episodes of anti-Catholic and anti-Christian bigotry in the same fervent manner that he's approached Mel Gibson.
Instead, in the midst of an effort to plaster Christians and a Hollywood actor as misguided bigots, Rutten actually exposes himself as one.