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Oliver Stone: Media Maven

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Oliver Stone must love kittens and puppies and rainbows. What other kind of person could possibly see some good in everything and everyone, like Adolph Hitler? Stone apparently thinks the monster of the twentieth century has gotten a bad rap and the reason why is a real hoot.

His comments to the Sunday Times of London were stunning:

"Hitler was a Frankenstein but there was also a Dr Frankenstein. German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support...Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30m."

Stone's explanation for all the "attention" paid to the holocaust was simple. "The Jewish domination of the media," he said. "There's a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has fucked up United States foreign policy for years."

I suppose the systematic segregation, imprisonment and murder of millions of people, based solely on their ethnicity needs to be put in context for Stone. He points out that while six million Jews were exterminated, Hitler, he continues, was also responsible for the deaths of twenty-five to thirty million Russians. Silly me. I should have realized that to make one abomination seem not so bad you simply need to compare it with another abomination. I have a number of friends whose families were in those death camps and many lost loved ones in the atrocities that occurred behind those barbed wire fences. I wonder what they'd say to Stone, if they had the chance?

Maybe Stone thinks we owe Hitler an apology for showing him in a bad light. This guy should forget filmmaking and open a PR firm. Still, I am not alone in my shock and disgust for Stone's comments. After understandable uproar, Stone issued this apology for his comments, which were viewed by many Jewish groups as anti-Semitic:

"In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret," Stone said in a statement released by his publicist. "Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry. The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition of people committed to the remembrance of this atrocity -- and it was an atrocity."

I guess he just misspoke. It happens all the time. By the way, I certainly support Oliver Stone's prerogative to say anything he wants. It is, after all, his right under our coveted First Amendment. It is also my right to voice my disdain. Perhaps Stone's next project should be a buddy film. Let me suggest "Adolph and Me." Maybe Mel Gibson is available for the lead.