Mel Gibson has done it to himself again, in spades. Just when he was finally starting to chill down Hollywood Jews over his 2006 anti-Semitic tirade, now he has to spend several more years trying to convince African Americans that he didn’t actually mean it. Radar claims to have “heard the tape,” so when does the mp3 file go online?

On the other hand: While I have no sympathy for Gibson and can only feel appalled by his racist broadsides as well as his stupidity in saying anything inflammatory to anyone that he’s in a contentious legal battle with, he was clearly sold out, most likely by former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva or someone acting on her behalf. It’s the same kind of thing that happened to Alec Baldwin when someone loyal to Kim Basinger sent out that tape of him yelling at his young daughter. Not everyone loses their temper and says venal stuff that they’re sorry about later on, but many of us have — let’s face it. Gibson did this to himself, but an ex-lover (or an ally of same) sending out a tape of a private rant is dirty pool.