In Defense of Alec Baldwin

I knew it, as soon as a woman I work with handed me the news story to read: Sean Hannity, ever the righteous person that he is, would be all over the leaked voice message left allegedly by Alec Baldwin to his 11-year-old daughter, Ireland.

“Shocking”, I believe is what Hannity called it. I call it quite normal. It’s not right to go off on a child that way or anyone for that matter, but certainly people do it all the time. No one is without their faults, Alec Baldwin isn’t and neither is Hannity.

But before I spin this one around on Hannity–whose show I’d avoided listening to for over two months until today–I want to put out the idea here that this may not be Alec Baldwin at all. It could be, but then again, it may not. Baldwin has a lot of enemies. He’s proven to be something of a pompous windbag and in a town filled with them–Hollywood–there’s a lot of revenge to be had. I can’t say I’d be surprised if it were Baldwin, but I’m not entirely certain it was him. Let’s not forget that this could be fodder for Hannity’s show or that of the Righteous Indignicator’s buddy Marc Lavin (sp.).

Now back to Hannity. Let’s not forget that Hannity supports at least two things that make him fundamentally hypocritical on the issue of Ireland Baldwin. The first is that he supports hitting children. He’ll call it spanking, but it’s not just that. Occassionally, Hannity likes to talk about how good it was that his father used to “straighten” him out. We’re talking about his father smacking the shit out of him. Let’s be honest, please. Grizzled people call up his show sometimes spouting off about the crazy liberal notion that hitting one’s children is detrimental to their relationship with them and Hannity takes their side. So, would Sean Hannity have a problem with Alec Baldwin flying to Los Angeles to “straighten” his 11-year-old daughter out? Only because it give him ratings to do so. I’m sure some of his biggest listeners beat their kids and call it spanking or discipline occassionally.

The second thing Hannity supports that makes him a hypocrite of the first order is the United States’ use of force in Iraq. Okay, for those of you who read this blog, you certainly wonder how I can tie the two together. I can and I will: How does one claim to support the sanctity of children when he has supported policies that have lead to the deaths of many children by aerial bombings? Not really sure I follow Hannity on that one.

A family therapist on Hannity’s show whom the host apparently thought would agree with him raised a good point, which is that Baldwin’s childish reaction may be a sign of his lack of maturity and abundance in narcissism but not an indicator that he does not love his daughter. Conversely, the therapist pointed out, Baldwin does come across as hurt, deeply wounded that his daughter would not return his calls.

I would never advocate for a person to relate to their kids in such a way but for Sean Hannity of all people, a man who supports state sanctioned murder and child hitting, to go after Alec Baldwin (if indeed the man on the other end of the phone was Alec Baldwin) for this is pretty sanctimonious.

I agree with the sentiments of Trey Parker and Matt Stone–creators of South Park and Team America: World Police–that Baldwin is a windbag and very pompous. He’s also likely what I call a “show liberal”, a person who has to show off his liberalism in a self-righteous, indignant manner. This is likely all true. But he also does good things too. Baldwin just provided free tuition to a poor girl who was deployed to Iraq with the Army. Although that doesn’t do much to end the war, it was a good gesture.

Meanwhile, Hannity will milk this one for what it’s worth, as he always does. The voice on the phone, screaming in frustration will get replayed on his radio show, Hannity and Colmes and Hannity’s America. If the voice turns out to be someone other than Baldwin, he may end up eating crow.