Mel Gibson | John Mayer | Janet Jackson

Mel Gibson: Diane Sawyer Can't Save Him

Diane Sawyer tried to save Mel Gibson Friday morning, but even her tender mercies didn’t work. The part 2 interview with Gibson on “Good Morning America” only dug his hole even deeper.

In part 1, which aired Thursday, it seemed like Sawyer might be doing the corporate bidding of Disney, which owns ABC and is hoping to rehabilitate Gibson for the Dec. 8 release of his movie, “Apocalypto.” The film is told only in ancient Mayan, making it a poor commercial prospect.

But if Thursday was the wind-up, Friday was the knockout punch. Sawyer jumped right in on the subject of Gibson, anti-Semitism and his father’s beliefs. Before it was over, Gibson had done himself in. Sawyer simply let him talk and talk and talk. Nothing Gibson said made sense, and the more he tried to explain himself, the worse things got.

And most importantly: Gibson still refuses to address his father’s position as a Holocaust denier. This, I think, will be what haunts him. No matter how many times he claims to be “ashamed” of what he said on the night he was arrested in Malibu for drunk driving, the overriding sense is that he shares his father’s beliefs.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Hutton Gibson “was a featured speaker at a conference sponsored by the Barnes Review and the American Free Press, both of which regularly carry anti-Semitic articles and reprint writings by Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders. In his speech, Mr. Gibson reiterated his belief that the papal throne has been vacant since 1958.”

There are even more questions about the private church Mel Gibson built in Malibu. Mel Gibson, according to federal tax documents, has spent millions building Holy Family church in Malibu for a small group of parishioners who don’t follow the Vatican II rulings of the Catholic Church.

Gibson is proud of it, too. Remember, he told the police on that night, July 18, that he “owned half of Malibu.”

Gibson has also reportedly funded a church for his father in Pennsylvania, a 300-mile round trip drive from Gibson Sr.'s home in West Virginia. The church is connected to the California-based World Faith Foundation.

John Mayer: No 'Superfly'

Contemporary folk rock singer John Mayer is in trouble with the family of the late Curtis Mayfield.

Kirk Mayfield, the late R&B great’s son, wants Mayer put on notice publicly. The singer’s latest single, “Waiting on the World to Change,” Mayfield believes, is uncomfortably close sounding to his father’s classic, “We’re a Winner.”

Indeed, one listen to “Waiting” and it’s pretty obvious that the music is pure Mayfield. Even Mayer’s performance of it sounds like Curtis, who was famous for “Superfly,” “I’m So Proud,” “People Get Ready” and many other classic songs.

Of course, this kind of thing seems to be happening a lot lately. I told you last week that John Legend lifted the music from “Stormy,” by the Classics IV, changed the lyrics and pretended he wrote a new song called “Save Room.”

This used to be called plagiarism. Now it’s called “sampling.”

Mayfield, I’m told, is also listening closely to the new Legend album, which may contain a sample of his father’s work.

But Mayer, at least, hasn’t contacted the Mayfield estate for use of “We’re a Winner.” That, says Kirk Mayfield, won’t be tolerated.

On a completely separate note, I always thought Mayer had somehow appropriated the voice of Michael Franks, a popular but never successful singer of the late '70s whose biggest hit was “Popsicle Toes.”

Janet Jackson Tanks; Chazz Cranks

Janet Jackson’s “20 YO” album is officially a bust. The album dropped 77 percent from its first week to its second, and has sold fewer than 500,000 copies. This isn’t good news for Janet, whose contract with Virgin EMI is now over.

Janet, it seems, has suffered from a lot of bad advice and the fact that she shares her manager, Johnny Wright, with Justin Timberlake, who’s done appreciably better with his album …

Dito Montiel’s ”A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” goes into more theaters around the country this weekend. Don’t miss the many terrific performances, including those by Chazz Palminteri and Dianne Wiest as Robert Downey Jr.’s parents. This is a real indie film, not just a small film with a big distributor. Don’t miss it, whatever you do …

And check out Shia La Beouf, who stars in “Guide” and then makes a big impact next month in Emilio Estevez’s “Bobby” …

I’m told Rosie O'Donnell got a huge ovation from the crowd on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden when she took her seat for the Barbra Streisand show …

Condolences to Sol Kerzner: his son, known as Butch, died in a helicopter accident on Wednesday in the Dominican Republic. Butch Kerzner, 42, ran Kerzner International Holdings, which operates the Atlantis Hotel and Casino in the Bahamas, among its many resorts. The worst tragedy in life is for a parent to lose a child, and the Kerzners were particularly close …