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Idol Chatter

Okay, this summer’s drunken anti-Semitic rant was a P.R. faux-pas. But just as Mel Gibson overcame his more veiled anti-Semitic reading of the Gospel in “The Passion of the Christ” by coaxing support for the deeply Catholic film among evangelicals, he’s determined to overcome his Cuervo Nacht jabbering by showing his new film, “Apocalypto,” to minority audiences.

So far, to the wondering surprise of National Public Radio and the perturbation of The Los Angeles Times, his campaign is working. The Latino Business Association, a Los Angeles group, gave Gibson its Chairman’s Visionary Award. “If that’s all it takes to overlook its honoree’s notorious anti-Semitic ramblings this summer,” the Times’ editorial page announced, “the group is clearly a cheap date.”

The Times followed that crack, however, with an account of how much time and effort Gibson is willing to put in. Currying favor with Native Americans as well as Latinos, the director has done Q&A sessions at small screenings as far afield as Oklahoma City and Austin, Texas. Sure, Gibson has a habit of digging himself a deep hole. But it may not matter when you’re the hardest wooing man in show business.

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