Alec Baldwin’s program on MSNBC, Up Late with Alec Baldwin, has been suspended for two weeks (two episodes). The show had been on the air for only five weeks before the suspension was announced.
It was cued by Baldwin, the notoriously liberal and violently-tempered actor, hurling what is considered an anti-gay slur at a paparazzo for taking pictures of him and his family in public on the tails of a court trial with which Baldwin is involved.
He called the photographer a “c-cksucking f-ggot,” according to reports and to the video footage.
But Baldwin came out with an incredible defense on Twitter. Over a series of tweets, he wrote, “If @TMZ asserts that I used an anti-gay epithet, I will sue them. Acoustic analysis proves the word is fathead. Fathead.”
Yeah, a “c-cksucking fathead.” That makes sense.
He continued: “Anti-gay slurs are wrong. They not only offend, but threaten hard fought tolerance of LGBT rights.”
Alec Baldwin, meet Alec Baldwin. New York Magazine has a nice summary of past instances of your use of anti-gay slurs.
In 1992, Baldwin called a horse-drawn-carriage driver a “f[-]ggot” for supporting the expansion of carriage rides outside of Central Park. In September of 2011, Baldwin referred to a Starbucks barista as an “uptight queen.” In June of 2012, Baldwin called Daily News editor-in-chief Colin Myler an “English Queen.” In June of 2013, Baldwin called Daily Mail journalist George Stark a “toxic little queen” who would “dig it” if Baldwin stuck his foot up his [butt].
But of course he believes “anti-gay slurs are wrong,” wink.
I’m not going to come to the man’s defense—he most definitely used an anti-gay slur. But I will say this: so what?
I know, I know, if a person on the right as famous as Baldwin had said anything like Baldwin said, he’d be fired, not merely suspended for two weeks. Furthermore, that one man’s anti-gay slur would indict the entirety of the right wing, whereas a left-winger’s transgression is an isolated incident. I know.
But we feign outrage when liberals do these things, when in reality we’re just posturing. We take advantage.
Ben Shapiro, editor-at-large of Breitbart.com, has started a new website for conservative activists, called Truth Revolt. I receive their newsletters, one of which, recently, called for MSNBC to “Drop Bigot Alec Baldwin.”
Bigot? Toward homosexuals? Baldwin may not like homosexuals, but he is not “utterly intolerant” of them, as per the definition of “bigot.” He wouldn’t be in Hollywood if he refused to tolerate them. Using an anti-gay slur doesn’t mean you’re anti-gay any more than using unscientific terminology in casual conversation or in heated exchanges means you hate science.
My concern is not with what words people use, nor, in fact, with what attitudes people have toward others. Attitudes are just opinions and, in themselves, are harmless. But it has become politically correct to make a show of shock and outrage, and this is where my concern lies. We make a public display of being offended, using another person’s politically incorrect words to prop ourselves up. A wise tack in the short run, perhaps (if completely artificial and undignified), but unwise in the long run, because the more society acts upset over certain things, the more expectant of that outrage society will become.
This is how political correctness cements itself, and conservatives are aiding its advancement over society by not simply shrugging when someone does something politically incorrect.
A much wiser strategy in battling the left, I believe, would be to say, “You know, I don’t care that [some liberal] said [something], but I would like to point out that if a conservative had said it, the left would be in a dumb furor.” That way conservatives won’t be caving in to political correctness by indicting someone for his words, but they’d still be indicting the left for their double standard.