Given the extraordinary media attention that was paid to fictitious claims of racism at Tea Party rallies, it is amusing to see the press avert its eyes from repeated incidents of anti-Semitism at Occupy Wall Street protests, even as Democratic politicians endorse the “movement” almost unanimously and without qualification.Instapundit says:
In a movement attacking “greedy bankers” and “the 1%”? Inconceivable!This makes me want to bring up something I wrote after I saw Michael Moore's movie "Capitalism" back in 2009:
I think Moore is seriously motivated by Christianity. He says he is (and has been since he was a boy). And he presented various priests, Biblical quotations, and movie footage from "Jesus of Nazareth" to make the argument that Christianity requires socialism. With this theme, I found it unsettling that in attacking the banking system, Moore presented quite a parade of Jewish names and faces. He never says the word "Jewish," but I think the anti-Semitic theme is there. We receive long lectures about how capitalism is inconsistent with Christianity, followed a heavy-handed array of — it's up to you to see that they are — Jewish villains.And, unsurprisingly, "Michael Moore is giddy over Occupy Wall Street."
Am I wrong to see Moore as an anti-Semite? I don't know, but the movie worked as anti-Semitic propaganda. I had to struggle to fight off the idea the movie seemed to want to plant in my head.
ADDED: I see that the blog I don't link to has linked to this post and caused a commenter to say:
I don’t, can’t, won’t, and woulnd’t, read Althouse – even on pain of death.Beautiful. Smear me. Don't even check to see what I wrote about "The Passion of the Christ." I'll Google it for you (though apparently you'll never read this). There's this, from January 11, 2005:
But I’d bet that as much as she screams about anti-Semitism here, and in Michael Moore’s films, she was lustilly cheering the anti-Semitic parts of Mel Gibsons snuff film about Jesus.
Michael Moore and Mel Gibson have more mutual admiration than you might think:Oh! It's Michael Moore again. Isn't that funny?!
Asked if he had seen Mr. Gibson's film, Mr. Moore lighted up.
"I saw it twice," Mr. Moore said. "It's a very powerful film. I'm a practicing Catholic. My film might have been called 'The Compassion of the Christ,' though. The great thing about this country is the diversity of voices. When we limit the voices, we cease being a free society."
When Mr. Gibson walked to the press room lectern, he and Mr. Moore seemed delighted to meet each other.
"I feel a strange kinship with Michael," Mr. Gibson said. "They're trying to pit us against each other in the press, but it's a hologram. They really have got nothing to do with one another. It's just some kind of device, some left-right. He makes some salient points. There was some very expert, elliptical editing going on. However, what the hell are we doing in Iraq? No one can explain to me in a reasonable manner that I can accept why we're there, why we went there, and why we're still there."
But I'm looking for stuff about "The Passion." There's this on March 15, 2004 (a couple months after I started blogging:
Read "Hollywood Rethinking Faith Films After 'Passion'" in today's NYT...And on July 31, 2006:
The movie's box-office success has been chewed over in studio staff meetings and at pricey watering holes all over Hollywood, echoed in interviews with numerous executives in the last week. In marketing departments the film is regarded as pure genius; its director, Mel Gibson, is credited with stoking a controversy that yanked the film from the margins of the culture to center stage, presenting it as a must-see.If only someone had filmed that. I would pay to see the edited footage of those meetings! "Chewing over" the popularity of the crucifixion! "Pure genius" to "stoke a controversy" about anti-semitism as a publicity stunt! What else could we do that would be like that??
Mel Gibson, you are discredited forever.And December 5, 2006:
... A lot of [my commenters] are defending Gibson and complaining that people are criticizing him because he's considered right wing. I note that doesn't explain my position, which has nothing to do with his politics, whatever they're supposed to be.... Gibson... has revealed something loathsome about his mind that affects our interpretation of the works of art that sprang from that mind. In particular, it changes "The Passion of the Christ," which had to be defended at the time of its release from charges that it is anti-Semitic.
If "Apocalypto" is a great work of art, I want Mel Gibson to get full credit for it. Am I taking back what I said last summer, in a post titled "Mel Gibson, you are discredited forever"? Not really. The point there was that what we know about the artist's mind belongs in our interpretation of his work. For that reason, what we learned about him had a very damaging effect on the meaning "The Passion of the Christ," which had already aroused suspicions of anti-Semitism.And, for the record, I've never seen the movie "The Passion of the Christ," which came out before this blog started.