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Adventures In Schadenfreude, Chapter 932

(AP Photo/LA County Sheriffs Dept.)
Ah, schadenfreude. Generally, when a public figure does something mortifying, there's a certain amount of glee with which the media covers it. And, most of the time, that's nobody's fault but the one who has mortified him or herself. As I'm sure you've noticed, Mel Gibson has really gone and done it now.

I just finished perusing through, God help us, the photos that are now circulating on news Web sites of Gibson, three sheets to the wind, posing for pictures with various bar patrons moments before his DUI arrest and subsequent anti-Semitic verbal tirade.

That's the latest development to follow the reams of analysis about Gibson's meltdown: Did he really mean what he said?In Vino Veritas? And furthermore, how drunk was Mel Gibson? (Answer: pretty drunk.) What's going on in the Mind of Mel, anyway? Newsweek's homepage has whole section on just that, including one article "in which we turn to the cinema to look for clues inside the mind of Mel Gibson" (which is actually pretty funny.) Is Mel Gibson an anti-Semite? Yes, says Christopher Hitchens. And the Boston Globe. Well, will this end his career? Some say he's done, others say he can still make a comeback. He's issued apologies, but how can Mel redeem himself? Experts weigh in.

Why oh why the blanket coverage (and the multitude of Mel puns)? That's an easy answer: we're all reading it.