Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Good:" Will Hunting

I understand popular celebrities have an obligation to not talk like knuckleheads, and to realize that whatever they say is going to be parsed. But does anybody really object to what Will Smith said here?

The Anti-Defamation League said Wednesday that it accepts Will Smith 's explanation that he never praised Adolf Hitler in remarks the star says were misinterpreted. A Scottish newspaper recently quoted Mr. Smith as saying: "Even Hitler didn't wake up going, 'let me do the most evil thing I can do today.' I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good.' "

The quote was preceded by the writer's observation: "Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good."

After Web sites posted articles alleging that Mr. Smith believed Hitler was a good person, the actor issued a statement Monday saying that was an "awful and disgusting lie" and calling Hitler "a vile, heinous vicious killer."

Emphasis added. Does anybody care to argue Hitler was deliberately doing "evil?" Or that saying someone thinks he is doing good is the same as saying he is good? At any rate, I'm glad the ADL left it at that, but I have to wonder about people who objected in the first place.

The reporter's paraphrase seems to be the problem.