Frank Rich: Mel Gibson "Threatened To Kill Me And My Dog - And I Don't Even Have A Dog"...

Covering pop culture icons can be as treacherous as writing about political giants.

Rich re-learned this lesson when he tangled with Mel Gibson, the famous actor, Oscar-winning director of "Braveheart" and the director of the controversial movie, "The Passion of the Christ."

Rich wrote in his Sept. 21, 2003 column that his "capital crime was to write a column on this page last month reporting that Mr. Gibson was promoting his upcoming film about the crucifixion, 'The Passion,' by baiting Jews. As indeed he has."

Pretty controversial stuff, I said admiringly to Rich. "Only because," he quipped, "he threatened to kill me and my dog - and I don't even have a dog. I thought that what he said was childish."

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