Thursday, January 24, 2008

fox news host makes insensitive remarks about heath ledger

In case you somehow missed it, 28-year-old Australian actor Heath Ledger, best known for his groundbreaking role in the Oscar-winning drama Brokeback Mountain, died in his Manhattan apartment on Tuesday.

After hearing the news, the classy-as-ever John Gibson of Fox News decided to mock Ledger's death on his broadcast.
Opening his radio show with funeral music yesterday, Fox News host John Gibson callously mocked the death of actor Heath Ledger, calling him a “weirdo” with a “serious drug problem.”

Playing an audio clip of the iconic quote, “I wish I knew how to quit you” from Ledger’s gay romance movie Brokeback Mountain, Gibson disdainfully quipped, “Well, he found out how to quit you.” Laughing, Gibson then played another clip from Brokeback Mountain in which Ledger said, “We’re dead,” followed by his own, mocking “We’re dead” before playing the clip again.

Later on the show, Gibson speculated that perhaps the actor killed himself because he had "a serious position in the market" or that he had seen "the Clinton-Obama debate."

Think Progress has uncovered that in 2006, Gibson called Brokeback Mountain "a gay agenda movie."

On Morning Joe, a political talk show on MSNBC hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, Gibson's comments were condemned and called "callous" and "totally out of line."

"So, if you make a movie, this is now -- it's not that if you are gay, then your death is a punch line. If you make a movie about being gay, that's a punch -- your death becomes a punch line. ... This is -- I don't know who syndicates this guy, but that is absolutely stunning," Scarborough said.

"I don't know how you stay on the air after doing something like that, quite frankly," Brzezinski added. "I don't know who would listen to you."

Scarborough was also outraged by the "incomprehensible" and "sick" attacks, because the cause of Ledger's death, which may have been drugs or alcohol, is something that many Americans themselves have been touched by.

Ledger was also a young father. His daughter Matilda was born in 2005.

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