Topic: Media Research Center
Clay Waters takes pains to separate art from artist in a July 19 MRC TimesWatch item, running to the defense of "The Passion of the Christ" as something wholly separate from Mel Gibson. Waters was complaining that New York Times columnist Frank Rich went after "not just the artist but his artistic achievement, 'The Passion of the Christ,' the bloodily authentic 2004 portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ directed by Gibson."
Waters offers no comment on the racist, violent Gibson tapes that have been released, but he denounces Rich's description of "The Passion" as "sadomasochistic," calling such a description a "slur."
Weirdly, Waters also avoids comment of Rich's observation that "The Passion" is "nakedly anti-Semitic, to the extreme that the Temple priests were all hook-nosed Shylocks and Fagins with rotten teeth." Is that because Rich has a point that Waters doesn't want to admit?
Waters' insistence on separating art and artist in Gibson's case contrasts with the MRC's treatment of Roman Polanski, convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old girl. For instance, Waters' boss, Brent Bozell, denounced critics for committing the sin of judging Polanski's latest film on its merits rather than the director's personal life.
Bozell also huffed that "the Beautiful People" in Hollywood believed that Polanski "had too much 'empathy' as an artist to be bothered" to be held accountable for his crime. Waters, however, seems to believe the same thing about Gibson.