Five Meltdowns That Don't Look So Bad Next to Mel Gibson's

Reconsidering Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin—and even the Watergate tapes

By Joal Ryan Jul 14, 2010 1:17 PMTags
E! Placeholder Image

How bad, ugly and worse are the Mel Gibson tapes?

So bad that certain celebrity implosions we thought were epic we now think are nothing.

Let's see who—and what—are off the hook:

Tom Cruise's Couch Jump: In retrospect, what did the man do that was wrong? Say he was in love? Emphatically? (Oh, if only Gibson was guilty of being so smitten…) Sure, while on he was on a roll, Cruise stuck his nose into Brooke Shields' business, but he apologized and, by all appearances, made up with her. And we'll give him some credit for still being with Katie Holmes (and vice versa).

Alec Baldwin's "Rude" Voicemail: We are not here to defend the 30 Rock star for calling his daughter a "rude, thoughtless pig." We are here to remind that words among loved ones can become—how should we say?—heated. We'd say the same about Gibson's "words" with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, except there's heated, and then there are domestic-violence-probe-inspiring infernos.

Tiger Woods' Sexting: Next to Gibson, Woods is a prince, albeit a prince who bragged about getting "rough" and doing other unprintable things to purported mistress Joslyn James, per text messages attributed to the golf star's thumbs. Oh, all right, Woods is just a plain horny dude, which, as we are now reminded, is far up the evolutionary ladder from "I'll put you in a f--king rose garden" and assorted racial slurs.   

John Mayer's "Sexual Napalm:" We always thought the Grammy winner took an unfair hit for his comment about former girlfriend Jessica Simpson. Was it terribly gentlemanly? No. Was it terrible? No. Mayer meant it as a compliment—you know, that thing Gibson seemingly isn't fond of handing out to the mother of his youngest child.

President Nixon's Watergate: Are we really suggesting that the Gibson tapes are worse than the ones that brought down a presidency? Yup. Oh, sure, in his tapes, Nixon could be heard dropping the N-word, uttering Jewish conspiracy theories and pondering aloud about the upside of Roe vs. Wade ("There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white."), but, hey, at least we got All the President's Men and Nixon out of the deal. 

We're not sure Gibson's going to be working in Hollywood enough to give us that sort of payback.