The blogosphere has been churning all day over Fox host John Gibson's comments on his radio show yesterday about the death of Heath Ledger. To recap: Gibson played the "I can't quit you" clip from Brokeback Mountain; said, "Well, I guess he found a way to quit you," to much laughter in the studio; then followed up with a barrage of the sort of tasteless banter we have come to expect from these shows. "I don't know why a 28-year-old guy is thinking about death," Gibson said disparagingly, referring to a quote from an interview Ledger gave in 2007 in which he said his daughter caused him to "look at death differently." "Maybe he was a deep thinker," a female co-host chimed in. "Maybe he was a weirdo," Gibson said. He laughed, then played another clip from Brokeback, in which Ledger's character says, "We're dead," several times. The clip made its way to Gawker, Newshounds, and other blogs, who dug up clips of Gibson's remarks about Brokeback Mountain ("I just think most people do not want to go into a darkened room with a tub of popcorn and munch away watching two guys get it on," among others), and now GLAAD is leading a protest against Gibson and Fox. The Intelligencer hears that Gibson will address his remarks on his television show, The Big Story, at 5 p.m. Watch this space for updates.
UPDATE, 6 p.m.: Indeed, Gibson closed out The Big Story tonight by reading an apology: "I have received many complaints regarding my comments on my radio show about the death of Heath Ledger," he said. "I'm sorry that some took my comments as anti-gay and insensitive. I am aware that Ledger has a family, and I am sorry if I offended them and those who knew him, but most of all I am sorry for the loss of a young man I understand was a fine actor and human being. Once again, to those offended by my comments, I'm sorry." Will this be enough to keep the wolves at bay?