Shortcuts: Borat's Hebrew, Mel's Latest Problem, Rabbi Guns for Rosie

By Gabriel Sanders

Published September 22, 2006, issue of September 22, 2006.

Rumor has it that Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat is quite the polyglot. According to an item posted on The Hollywood Reporter’s Risky Biz blog, throughout Cohen’s soon-to-be-released film ‘Borat,’ the character speaks not Kazakh, as one might expect, but Hebrew — even when engaging in antisemitic tirades.


Speaking of antisemitic tirades, it’s been nearly two months since Mel Gibson made his — and its ripples are still being felt. According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, a request has been filed with a library in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, asking that a poster of Gibson’s 1995 epic “Braveheart” be removed from the institution’s walls. The library board is considering the request.


Rosie O’Donnell seems to have helped Rabbi Daniel Lapin find his soft spot for gays. O’Donnell made headlines after a September 12 episode of ABC’s “The View,” on which she said that for those living in America, “radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam.” The pronouncement prompted Lapin, a radio host best known for his support of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” and for his close ties to the Christian right, to write an open letter to Jewish leaders. “Jewish organizations have always aggressively protested bigotry and hate,” he wrote. “We believe it our duty to protest all injustices, not merely those perpetrated against us…. Had [O’Donnell] said, ‘Homosexual activists are just as threatening to America as radical Islam,’ or had she told her TV audience, ‘Black males are just as threatening to America as radical Islam,’ it is extremely likely, considering our record, that we would have sprung to the defense of the insulted groups. And we would have been right to do so.”

We await with bated breath Lapin’s next condemnation of anti-black or anti-gay bigotry.



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