Two men — two high powered superstars of their respective fields — get in trouble.
The first, is Al Gore.
Next up is Mel Gibson.
What interests here is the media reaction to their respective cases.
Need it be said that just about anybody who has heard the Gibson tapes is appalled? Yow. This is a man who appears to need serious — big time serious — help. Quite irrespective of what’s left of his career, to talk as he has on this tape — to anyone, let alone the mother of his child — is…well, words fail.
But quite aside from whatever fate will befall Mel Gibson, something curious happened here. What all of us know to this minute about Mel Gibson in this particular situation comes from the release of an obviously private tape recording. Whoever made it is beside the point. It was a private phone call. It was taped. It was obviously provided to the media. And bam! With the speed of a shark spotting prey, this private tape was everywhere.
In the Gore case you have no private tape. In fact, no private anything. What you have is a police report — which is to say public property — from the Portland, Oregon Bureau of Police. Saying on this quite official report, which bears the names of more than one police detective — that a massage therapist has made an allegation of, in the words of the report, “SEX ABUSE III”
The quite private tape of actor Gibson was reported before you could say Lethal Weapon. The quite public police report of Al Gore……sat…and sat…and sat…with the Portland Tribune “investigating” and saying when the National Enquirer scoops them years later — that would be years later — that they couldn’t seem to prove anything. They needed to verify, they needed this, they needed that. Etc., etc., etc.
Was there a solitary reporter in the Gibson incident who had proof of anything beyond unbelievably bad behavior on a private tape? Obviously no, or we would be hearing about it by now. No one spent a micro-second detailing anything. There was no Gore-like police report. They just took a private tape and ran with it.
What’s at work here are two men who have been reported to have done something seriously wrong. Both are famous, both powerful. The allegations — domestic violence for Gibson and “Sex Abuse III” for Gore — if true, are a serious career problem for each. Quite possibly more than that for Gibson.
Yet there is one, tiny discrepancy here in terms of the media.
Mel Gibson is no “conservative” in the political sense of the word. He is well known as a very “conservative” Catholic — which is to say to the extent he is identified for his views and not his films, the identification is for his religious faith.
Mr. Gore, obviously, is identified for his liberal political views and is a famous left-leaning environmentalist.
One case is made public at light speed. The other sits untouched for years, and when eventually exposed to the light is handled with kid gloves if at all by the mainstream media.
Both incidents are, however, news on the face of it. Yet only one was instantly reported as such. Why might that be?
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