Comments on: anti-semitism or anti-disney? http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/ Blog, news, books Tue, 10 Oct 2017 06:01:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.2 By: Joseph Dunphy http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23320 Mon, 03 Sep 2007 00:53:41 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23320 Leah Guildenstern writes:

“I have to disagree with you on the “no sign of antisemitism”. Singling out any group for special treatment/expectations is a problem, even if the current statement is not overtly “bad” to the reader at that time.

In this case, the article seems to state that Jews are “responsible” for the violent movies and they should know better.”

A half-truth, if even that – quoting the allegedly antisemitic blogger:

“Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence? Recent European history alone ought to cause Jewish executives to experience second thoughts about glorifying the killing of the helpless as a fun lifestyle choice.”

Leah, don’t let the Ellis Island – imposed Celtic sounding surname fool you; I’ve probably been in Shul more times than you have. You and I both know that these words, issuing from the mouth of a rabbi, would hardly make anybody blink. Like any people, we have our history, the history will teach lessons, and we should learn from them. Why us more than others? Wrong question – why us less than others?

How can one be Jewish, and not have any thoughts about the Holocaust? Having had those thoughts, how can one not think of what happens when one ceases to feel empathy for one’s fellow man, a reaction that casual nihilism will encourage? That’s the question that somebody is asking, and the fact that this question has been responded to with personal attacks directed against the asker is shameful. Apologies are called for, but not from the man who has been fired, if this is all that he was fired over.

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By: Anonymous http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23319 Wed, 05 May 2004 17:43:41 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23319 For Immediate Release: May 5, 2004
For More Info: bob@democrats.com
http://democrats.com/disney

Democrats.com Announces Disney Boycott

Democrats.com, the leading web site for Democratic activists, today launched a boycott of the Walt Disney Company to protest its refusal to distribute Michael Moore’s new film, “Fahrenheit 911.”

The film is highly critical of Bush’s handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and his actions leading up the attacks. It links Bush with powerful Saudi families, including that of Osama bin Laden.

“As Americans, we are outraged that Disney would use its enormous power to censor Michael Moore, one of America’s most important filmmakers,” said Democrats.com president Bob Fertik.

“As Democrats, we are outraged that Disney would use its enormous power to prevent Americans from learning important and disturbing facts about George W. Bush, in order to keep voters from considering those facts when they vote in November,” Fertik added.

Participants in the boycott will refuse to purchase Disney products until the company agrees to distribute “Fahrenheit 911.” Those products include films, theme parks, toys, and TV networks. Activists can sign the boycott petition by visiting http://democrats.com/disney.

Disney forbids distribution of film that criticizes Bush – NYT By Jim Rutenberg

The Walt Disney Company is blocking its Miramax division from distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that harshly criticizes President Bush, executives at both Disney and Miramax said Tuesday.

The film, “Fahrenheit 911,” links Mr. Bush and prominent Saudis – including the family of Osama bin Laden – and criticizes Mr. Bush’s actions before and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Disney, which bought Miramax more than a decade ago, has a contractual agreement with the Miramax principals, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, allowing it to prevent the company from distributing films under certain circumstances, like an excessive budget or an NC-17 rating.

Executives at Miramax, who became principal investors in Mr. Moore’s project last spring, do not believe that this is one of those cases, people involved in the production of the film said. If a compromise is not reached, these people said, the matter could go to mediation, though neither side is said to want to travel that route.

In a statement, Matthew Hiltzik, a spokesman for Miramax, said: “We’re discussing the issue with Disney. We’re looking at all of our options and look forward to resolving this amicably.”

But Disney executives indicated that they would not budge from their position forbidding Miramax to be the distributor of the film in North America. Overseas rights have been sold to a number of companies, executives said.

“We advised both the agent and Miramax in May of 2003 that the film would not be distributed by Miramax,” said Zenia Mucha, a company spokeswoman, referring to Mr. Moore’s agent. “That decision stands.”

Disney came under heavy criticism from conservatives last May after the disclosure that Miramax had agreed to finance the film when Icon Productions, Mel Gibson’s company, backed out.

Mr. Moore’s agent, Ari Emanuel, said Michael D. Eisner, Disney’s chief executive, asked him last spring to pull out of the deal with Miramax. Mr. Emanuel said Mr. Eisner expressed particular concern that it would endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Mr. Bush’s brother, Jeb, is governor.

Continued http://tinyurl.com/ysjjz

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By: Paul http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23318 Tue, 16 Dec 2003 08:42:47 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23318 Simply put, I think anyone, black, jewish, or martian should be ashamed of producing a movie like Kill Bill. However, in this day and age you have to be a little crazy as a public figure to single out any religious, ethnic or lifestyle group that is not white, protestant and male.
Can you imagine him being fired for saying �WASP executives [who] worship money above all else� instead of �Jewish executives [who] worship money above all else�. Nope.
Signed – A person of color

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By: Kevin http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23317 Tue, 16 Dec 2003 02:17:51 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23317 I just started an anti-Disney Yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/why_we_hate_disney/

I am hoping for input from people regarding all things bad (and good) from Disney.

If you have personal experiences of being harmed by disney, I also host a support group at http://www.geocities.com/skews_me/supportgroup.html

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By: Matthew Saroff http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23316 Tue, 28 Oct 2003 18:29:13 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23316 I should proof what I right better.

“He criticized Eisner, WHO MAKES NO PROCLAMATION ABOUT HIS RELIGION IN HIS CAREER, because he IS Jewish.”

Should be, something to the effect of, “The fact that he makes Eisner’s religion an issue, despite the fact that Eisner makes no such proclaimation about his religion, is a double standard based on the religion of the subject. There is no clearer definition of bigotry.”

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By: Matthew Saroff http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23315 Tue, 28 Oct 2003 18:12:54 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23315 As what I hope is my final comment about this issue, I think that Easterbrook’s comparison of Gibson and Eisner, etc. is more proof of anti Semitism.

He criticized Gibson, WHO PROCLAIMS HIS DEVOUT AND INTENSE RELIGION TO THE DEGREE THAT HE HAS SPENT MILLIONS OF HIS OWN MONEY ON A MOVIE, for making violent movies.

He criticized Eisner, WHO MAKES NO PROCLAMATION ABOUT HIS RELIGION IN HIS CAREER, because he IS Jewish.

To criticize one for actions in contradiction with a public profession of intense faith is not the same as criticizing someone who is, by all accounts, commonly called a secular Jew.

The fact that Easterbrook seems to be unable to separate the two is religious bigotry.

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By: Lizard http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23314 Tue, 28 Oct 2003 17:59:25 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23314 If I walk up to my boss and begin to insult him, or his ancestry, I assure you, I will be fired. Nor would I have any right to expect otherwise. There is no such thing as a moral or legal obligation to pay money to people who are spitting on you. Freedom of speech means one does not need to fear arrest, imprisonment, torture, or execution for ones words — it does not mean that there are no consequences to speech whatsoever. (Want to speak and avoid consequences, or, at least, minimize them? Speak anonymously or pseudonymously, and accept the limited credibility as the price you pay for your boss not knowing what you think of him. Life is about tradeoffs and choices.)

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By: Adam Goldstein http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23313 Mon, 27 Oct 2003 16:49:24 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23313 How anyone could read that and not come away with a sense of anti-Semitism is beyond me. The recent comments out of Malaysia were much less offensive than this (the former I wouldn’t even call anti-Semitic–paranoid and indicitive of an inferiority complex perhaps, but not anti-Semitic).

You can translate the plain meaning of the paragraph–which, despite attemps here to obfuscate it, is clear on the face of the words–to any number of groups just by changing the hateful stereotype/historical event/modern event. The apologists on here should keep doing it over and over until they find one that offends them. (How this bunch of American white devils can justify religious bigotry after having been driven out of Europe in the 18th Century by religious persecution only highlights that they’re only concerned with perpetuating racism and claiming to own every human being who doesn’t eat mayo sandwiches on wonder bread.)

(Yes, that was sarcasm and an example.)

As a side note, it’s cute that he also assumes all Jews come from Europe. I suppose if you’re going to make one generalization, you might as well make a bunch. What a repugnant tool.

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By: Steve http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23312 Mon, 27 Oct 2003 03:52:27 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23312 Apparently one thing nobody here has yet questioned is Easterbrook’s premise. He laments “glorifying the killing of the helpless”.

If you’ve seen Kill Bill, you might have noticed that the only people being killed are a huge army of back-flipping superhuman evil Yakuza assassins, plus some other people who are even more deadly and nasty. Excuse me, helpless?!

So, if I get this right, he’s taking his tough moral stand so that some impressionable movie-viewer doesn’t walk out of the theater and start single-handedly challenging a zillion motorcycle-riding ninjas to a swordfight?

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By: Matthew Saroff http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23311 Sun, 26 Oct 2003 00:36:03 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23311 If, and we don’t know that this is the case, Eisner had Easterbrook fired, there are two possible reasons, depending on how he read what was written:

* That Eisner should be ashamed of himself for putting out something like “Kill Bill”.

* That Eisner is a money grubbing Jew, and his Jewish avarice that makes him put out films like this.

Any number of people have read what he wrote in both ways.

If it was done for the first reason, this is cause for concern.

If it was for the second, there isn’t. Even when acting more or less privately, as on a blog, throwing racial epithets at your boss is a legitimate cause for termination.

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By: Thomas Riedel http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23310 Sat, 25 Oct 2003 10:54:42 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23310 If all justice is subjective, try to ask yourself, by which standard should the bosses of Disney have judged Easterbrook’s statement? By the same moral standard they applied to the films of Mr Tarantino that are part of their product portfolio and thus, of their corporate culture and their corporate ethics? I think, Disney’s ethics are consistently the same when backing the films by Mr Trash and firing people who inquire about the ethical foundation of all this.

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By: Greg Thrasher http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23309 Thu, 23 Oct 2003 18:24:19 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23309 As a person of color I am not amazed at all by those here and in the media who is defending the hate speech of Easterbrook. What is tragic for me is witness such denial and deflection has so much passion and depth. What next holocuast and slavery denials on our network news shows……

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By: Courtney http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23308 Thu, 23 Oct 2003 06:10:47 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23308 While Easterbrook may not be an anti-Semitic person (whatever that means) , he did (perhaps unwittingly) use stereotypes. Trading in stereotypes is a dangerous game. Not only because stereotypes suffer from the generalization fallacy (which then leads to specious arguments built upon false assumptions), but because any use of stereotypes subtly invokes the historical oppressive canon for that group, bringing into the context whatever other false and harmful stereotypes the group has been pegged with. Thus, just one Jewish stereotype, however innocently made, brings with it the baggage of the ugly, purposeful anti-Semitism that has been used against the Jewish people for centuries, to devastating effect.

As an example of this phenomenon, Rush Limbaugh’s “innocent” comment about Donovan McNabb being overrated subtly tapped into an old racist canard about African Americans not being smart enough to play the position of quarterback. Limbaugh used a stereotype, and with it, invoked this harmful racist perception without having even mentioned it.

In his blog, Easterbrook imputes motives to Eisner and Weinstein based upon their religion. Out of context, this may seem pretty harmless. But you cannot ignore the context. This very tactic — imputing motives and characteristics to an individual based upon the individual’s religion, is exactly the strategy of those who purposefully seek to scapegoat and oppress groups.

This is not to say that this was Easterbrook’s purpose. Unlike Limbaugh, Easterbrook’s motives seem quite genuine. However, as a journalist, an educated individual, and a critical thinker, he has a responsibility not to trade in stereotypes no matter how tempting it may be. Even if there was a grain of truth in Easterbrook’s comments (which I don’t think there was), he cannot ignore the concomitant harm that accompanies the use of stereotypes. He should recognize this, and not hide behind the shield of non-intent. Just because he didn’t mean to be anti-Semitic, doesn’t mean that he wasn’t, and it also doesn’t excuse him for failing to recognize his dangerous use of oppressive rhetoric.

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By: James B. Shearer http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23307 Tue, 21 Oct 2003 17:42:11 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23307 Patrick Carroll states above that Easterbrook was an “at will” employee. Other commentary on this affair also seems to assume this. Is this known? I would have guessed he had some sort of contract with ESPN in which case “at will” doctrine would not apply. And even “at will” employees cannot be dismissed for “any reason”. There are various statutory and common law exceptions.

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By: adamsj http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23306 Tue, 21 Oct 2003 15:41:38 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23306 And here’s the link–judge for yourselves: Who Framed John Fund?. Or you can read this quote, which is enough to put to rest your misrepresentation of what Alterman said:

“In a signed affidavit, the woman in question–whose true age is 36, seven years older than was reported, and who was born Carolyn Anne Barteaux but carries a passport (a copy of which was provided to me by Fund) under the name Carolyn Anne Pillsbury and now goes by Morgan Francis Pillsbury–withdraws any accusations of physical abuse, accusations that resulted in Fund’s arrest. She also denies in the affidavit that they had ever planned to marry.

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, she acknowledges that she has “trouble distinguishing between reality and fantasy” and in a sworn deposition, she says she has a “borderline personality disorder. One of the symptoms of this condition is an inability to discriminate truth from fiction.” In that same deposition, in response to the question, “What lies had you told in the past?” she answers, “Too many to name.”

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By: adamsj http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23305 Tue, 21 Oct 2003 15:36:38 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23305 Matthew,

In much the same way that what Easterbrook actually said has been distorted in this thread by less-than-complete editing, you are misrepresenting Alterman’s argument. There was a lot more to it than “I never saw him beat his fiancee, so he must be innocent.”

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By: Matthew Saroff http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23304 Tue, 21 Oct 2003 15:17:00 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23304 BTW, I think that this rush to defend Easterbrook is part of an unspoken “Gentlemen’s Agreement” among columnists regarding the petty foibles of their colleagues.

(Yes, I’m being too cute by half with that turn of phrase)

That being said, a FAR more contemptible example of this is Eric Alterman’s defense of John Fund, where he concluded that he could never have beaten his former fiancee because he was a perfect gentleman when they shared a studio.

Columnists live in a very small world, and most of them all know each other, and they find it disturbing when one of their own reveals a personal demon.

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By: adamsj http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23303 Tue, 21 Oct 2003 12:09:42 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23303 Posted too quickly: Read that as “art which glories in turning human beings into meat”.

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By: adamsj http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23302 Tue, 21 Oct 2003 12:08:36 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23302 I wonder how anyone can justify making art about turning human beings into piles of meat.

I’m not a believer in anything but the human race, but that offends my ethics.

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By: Anonymous http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23301 Tue, 21 Oct 2003 02:50:08 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23301 I dunno… if I were Eisner or Weinstein, I would be pretty offended by someone implying that I didn’t learn enough from the suffering of my people and my extended family during the Holocaust. Offended enough to probably fire the sorry person who made the implication if he had the misfortune of being my employee.

I don’t feel too bad for Easterbrook as a result. Besides, he’s a senior editor over at The New Republic… it’s not just any blog. I don’t agree with that characterization of this issue, either.

Just my $.02.

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By: Devin Binger http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23300 Tue, 21 Oct 2003 02:40:15 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23300 Matthew Saroff,
Please don’t use misleading quotes like that. What you put as �Jewish executives [who] worship money above all else� Easterbrook actually wrote as “Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence.” I would like to being that quote with the phrase you quate as “Jewish executives,” but in fact I can’t seem to find where Easterbrook says that. I don’t know where you got it. In fact, Easterbrook is explicitly stating that he does not take issue with the greed of Jewish executives any more than with Christians, he simply hoped that with the memory of the Holocaust and the Arab-Israeli conflicts in mind, they would be more reluctant to encourage violence.

While it was unnecessary and prehaps racist for him to feel the need to point out that these executives were Jewish, he did NOT state that Jews, or even these particular Jews, were greedy. Please be more careful with your quotes in the future.

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By: Anonymous http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23299 Tue, 21 Oct 2003 00:19:07 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23299 As a quick followup, one should also remember that he has claimed that the ADL’s problems with Mel Gibson’s Jesus movie is an attempt to score some cash.

He said what he believed, he did NOT misstate himself.

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By: Matthew Saroff http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23298 Mon, 20 Oct 2003 23:51:30 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23298 I think that the person who put this best so far is Steve Gilliard (his blog is at http://stevegilliard.blogspot.com/).

Gilliard, who is black, had the following comment,:

“If I wrote a piece which described all white men as tools of the devil and despoilers of the black race, most of you would be pissed. You’d wonder why you supported my site if I could write something like that. Or you would think I was crazy. Either way, you’d be embarrassed for me.

When Gregg Easterbrook wrote a review of Kill Bill, the new Tarantino move, he wrote that Harvey Weinstein and Michael Eisner were “Jewish executives [who] worship money above all else”. He was then shocked to find out that ESPN fired him.”

What most disgusts me about all this is all the people who INSIST that he can’t be an anti-Semite, after all, they’ve known him for years (Eric Alterman for one).

It’s almost ALMOST as repulsive as when Alterman claimed that John Fund could NEVER have beaten his ex-fiancee, because he was SUCH a gentleman when they briefly shared a studio.

This is bovine scatology.

Easterbrook would have to give a Nazi Salute to be any more blatantly anti-Semitic.

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By: Manu http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23297 Mon, 20 Oct 2003 20:59:16 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23297 I don’t believe the major gripe about Easterbrook’s dismissal is legal. Being in the right about something doesn’t make it right.

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By: Patrick Carroll http://www.lessig.org/2003/10/antisemitism-or-antidisney/#comment-23296 Mon, 20 Oct 2003 17:56:13 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2003/10/antisemitism_or_antidisney.html#comment-23296 While I don’t think Easterbrook’s remarks demonstrate anti-Semitism, it is racist to for a Gentile to hold a Jew to a different standard on the basis of his religion, even if his intention was well-meaning.

And Eisner was within his rights to fire Easterbrook, whether it was for making racist remarks, or for criticizing Eisner. Easterbrook was an “at will” employee of ESPN, which means that he can be dismissed any time and for any reason.

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