Ask yourself this. If Osama bin Laden's name could be written in on ballots in our presidential elections, would he have received more votes (a) before 9/11 or (b) after?
The correct answer is of course (b). Illustrating what? That in our politics and culture, celebrity and success are the key to, well, celebrity and success, regardless of how the celebrity and success are achieved. (What talk show host on the planet would turn down Osama—or, for that matter, Hitler, if he were alive—as a guest? ... Which puts me in mind of Jon Stewart’s immortal spoof of a Larry King interview with Hitler. "And what's next for Adolf Hitler?" "Well I'll be doing Politically Incorrect next Thursday…" [I would have used Katie Couric rather than King--but, same difference.])
So, I think Mel Gibson's career will not only not be hurt for long, it'll benefit. He'll go on the talk shows and talk about the agonizing soul-searching he's doing (poor guy… Just as with the whole Passion controversy, the subtext will be that he's the victim, he's the one suffering...and the sub-subtext will be that that's what the Jews do—go around laying guilt trips on everyone). He'll come of it more visible, more famous, more bankable, more sympathized with (excuse the clumsy wording), and more anti-Semitic than before.
From a Reuters story: "But his comments surprised few in Hollywood, which two years ago wondered whether Gibson 'would ever eat lunch in this town again' for making 'The Passion of the Christ,' a film that triggered debate over whether it was anti-Jewish before it opened. Once in theaters, 'Passion' became a runaway hit and Gibson was back at the top of Hollywood filmmakers. …. Film historian David Thomson said Gibson has 'been stepping over the line for several years. But the key thing is that he makes money for people and he will not only continue to eat lunch in this town but he will buy lunch.'"
By the way: How come, unlike in the movies, there's never a cliff, steep hillside, or lake handy when I need to get rid of a car (with or without a body in it)?