Friday, April 20, 2007

In Defense of Baldwin

Once again the conservative hit machine is grinding against a beloved entertainer who has spoken truth to power, this time Alec Baldwin, who called it like it was last year when he spoke to the Huffington Post about Dick Cheney’s malevolence.

Now the non-story that these wingnuts are peddling is that Baldwin yelled at his daughter when she missed his call. These so-called ‘family values’ types, who were just clapping their Neanderthal hands a few days ago when the Supreme Court dealt women’s rights the biggest blow since the invention of pantyhose, are now up in arms because Baldwin tried to correct his daughter when she disrespected his authority as a parent. So much for family values!

It’s easy to get caught up blaming him, but did anybody even try to examine the facts of the case? No, that’s too difficult for the wingnuts. Instead they just spin it into “evil liberal hates daughter.” Well, if any of them had bothered to investigate what happened, they’d be holding up Baldwin as a model of restraint.

The key to the affair is this phrase:

“Once again, I have made an ass of myself trying to get to a phone,” [Baldwin said,] adding, “you have insulted me for the last time.”
What does Baldwin mean? We tracked down the location the call was placed from, and it becomes very clear what happened:

On the morning of April 11th Baldwin had to find a phone in New York. This is not as easy as it sounds, not with the recent price increases of pay phones. Remember, Baldwin works in television now; his days as Jack Ryan are long gone. So Baldwin searched high and low, until he found a phone in a seedy bar that would take a credit card. But when he swiped his credit card, he discovered that having used it to slather icing on his daily breakfast of ten sweet rolls that morning had ruined its magnetic stripe.

Baldwin had to beg the bartender to use the bar phone and type the credit card numbers in, but the bartender insisted that such a famous actor as Baldwin couldn’t get by without entertaining the clientele of retirees and the unemployable at ten in the morning. So Baldwin climbed up on the pool table and sang for them, but because of his weight the legs on the pool table broke. Angry, the bartender demanded Alec’s suit as payment for the pool table, leaving the actor standing in only his boxers and undershirt. Then one of the patrons, displeased because he made his living hustling on the pool table, dumped a pitcher of warm beer on Baldwin’s head.

So when Baldwin finally got the phone, he was dripping wet from warm beer in a dank bar in only his boxers and undershirt, with patrons hooting at him. To top it all off, his daughter’s not even there, clearly just to spite him because she knew all the trouble he went through. No wonder he was mad! It’s amazing that’s all he said.

And do they mention his fatherly parting to her? Not at all:
Before hanging up, Baldwin warned the child, “You better be ready Friday the 20th to meet with me.”
What fatherly love: he wants to meet with her. How many of us haven’t requested a meeting with our children? This is the Alec Baldwin that the knuckle-draggers don’t want you to see. They don’t care about the true story, just about sensational tabloid headlines.