It has taken more than two weeks, but Newsmax's James Hirsen has finally gotten around to reporting on the hateful, violent phone calls of his friend, Mel Gibson.
Hirsen leads his July 20 "Left Coast Report" with the Gibson story, albeit narrowly focusing on the possibility of Gibson facing domestic violence charges. Hirsen makes no effort to describe the contents of the phone conversations that have been released; instead, Hirsen highlights claims that "experts concluded that the audio was edited" and a photo of Gibson's ex-girlfriend circulating on the Internet "has been altered." Hirsen also makes sure to note that Gibson’s estranged wife "said he never was abusive to her or acted in a violent way toward their seven children throughout almost 30 years of marriage."
After pointing out that Gibson "has no serious conviction on his record" and that the probable outcome for him would be "probation and counseling," Hirsen does something shocking -- he discloses his relationship with Gibson:
Note: Mel Gibson is a business associate and friend. My sincere hope is that he will receive fair treatment in the media and the courts. I hope, too, that he receives the best available assistance for the personal issues with which he is dealing.
As we've detailed, Hirsen and Gibson have a longstanding relationship dating back at least several years, and this is the first time he has disclosed it at Newsmax.
Hirsen does more defending of Gibson in a July 20 Newsmax interview, in which he asserts that the Gibson heard on the videotapes "is not the person that I know." Hirsen goes on to predict a comeback. From the accompanying article by Jim Meyers:
“For the moment, all the experts are proclaiming his career over,” Hirsen says.
“But he has his own studio. He is autonomous, so it’s not going to stop his work. It may stop certain people from working with him for some time, but that has to do with what actions he takes in the future.
“He has received a tremendous boost from people like Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Downey Jr., and mostly people who have had some sort of relationship with him and his family and know the man, as opposed to those who are judging him strictly by the stories and the tapes.
“He’s been in the business a very long time and there are tons of people who have worked with him and know him. That person on the tape is not the person that I know or that other people who have worked with Mr. Gibson know. He has a long history of being a tremendous family man, a good father, a generous person, easy to work with, with all kinds of positive attributes.”
Hirsen adds, "I think we have not heard the other side, and I think we need to wait and hear the other side of the story."
Newsmax does include excerpts of the Gibson tapes in the video, and the article notes that Hirsen "considers himself a friend of Gibson." As in his "Left Coast Report," Hirsen highlights claims that the tapes are edited and the picture of the ex-girlfriend is altered.
Hirsen also asserted that Gibson "has a long history of being a tremendous family man, a good father, a generous person, easy to work with, just all kinds of positive attributes."
So Hirsen is still defending his buddy -- just as he did when Gibson went on an anti-Semitic tirade. As we detailed, Hirsen insisted that Gibson had apologized sufficiently for the "untoward statements."