When Does Homophobic Hate Speech Get A Pass? When It’s Alec Baldwin. Where’s The Liberal Outrage?

If we won't tolerate that kind of incendiary hate-speak from other public figures, why should we from Alec Baldwin, liberal or not? In fact, we shouldn't. Image @AceShowbiz

If we won’t tolerate that kind of incendiary hate-speak from other public figures, why should we from Alec Baldwin, liberal or not? In fact, we shouldn’t. Image @AceShowbiz

I like Alec Baldwin as an actor and comedian, but the issue of ‘liberal hypocrisy’ regarding his behavior has been thrown down so, OK… I’ll take it on.

This is not a story about a star being unfairly maligned by the media; it’s a story about bad behavior and the offensive vernacular of venting. Some will brush it off as a ‘much ado about nothing’ (the go-to dismissal from readers who don’t look beyond the headline to see a bigger point being made); others will make note of how notable Baldwin is on certain social issues; still others will carp about ‘political correctness’ and how we’ve become a culture of verbal nit-pickers. But, frankly, if we’re going to call out Republicans for slut-shaming women, Westboro Baptist Church for slut-shaming soldiers, Taylor Swift, and practically everyone else on the planet, or certainly Paula Deen for couching frustration, anxiety, and bad management skills in the crude language and behaviors of racism, we can’t ignore a liberal who seems far too ready to toss around loud, loutish homophobic slurs when his temper gets piqued.

It seems The Man Most In Need Of Anger Management, Alec Baldwin, has once again lost his civility over what some might call a fairly trivial matter. As is frequently the vent method of the irascible Mr. Baldwin, he turned to social media to publicly explode at a British reporter, George Stark, after the Daily Mail ran a story (which has since been taken down) sensationally titled: “Alec Baldwin’s pregnant wife Hilaria TWEETS about Rachael Ray and anniversary gifts during James Gandolfini’s funeral.” Before much discussion could  ensue about whether or not this ‘earth-shattering’ event actually occurred (purportedly it did not, but I’ll get to that in a minute), Baldwin took to Twitter to web-thrash the errant reporter with everything he had in him, particularly the buzz-words of classic homophobic hate-speech:

Alec Baldwin tweets

“Toxic little queen”… “lying little bitch”… suggesting how much the man would “dig” a foot up his ass? Wow, that’s tellin’ ‘im. And so classy. Odd that Baldwin would tweet this vitriol from his foundation’s Twitter account (which has now also been taken down). Odd, too, that smart people would try to spin this. But they are. They’re saying Baldwin is a champion of the LGBT community, one who deserves a little leeway… just like Paula Deen has close friends who are black and Republicans love their women?

We all understand a man defending his spouse. When a reporter suggests your fairly new and very pregnant young wife is doing something as crass as tweeting about superficial matters during the funeral of a friend and beloved star, it’s not hard to guess a man might get mad. Particularly a man like Baldwin; particularly when it turns out the reporter got it wrong. From CatsPolitics at Storify:

Twitter timestamps all tweets, and the way that these timestamps show up vary in the way a Twitter user accesses the site. I use Echofon to access Twitter on my iPhone. I am also in NYC. All the screenshots below were taken last night from @HilariaBaldwin‘s timeline. They show the time that she actually sent the tweets, and they show that Daily Mail UK got it wrong.

(If you want to know the minutia of those now-infamous tweets, click the Storify link above and have at it.)

But the point here, at least from this writer’s perspective, isn’t about whether a ‘tabloidesque’ writer wrongly reported the tweeting activity of a celebrity’s wife (he did, that’s bad; the story was taken down, that’s wise; the writer/paper could offer an apology, which they should); it’s about how a man – not once, not twice, but several times – used Twitter to post vile, insulting threats and insults in the language of homophobia. If we will not tolerate that from other public figures, why would we tolerate it from Alec Baldwin, liberal or not? In fact, we shouldn’t.

Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture for Media Research Center, told FOX411 he doubts Baldwin’s endorsement deals would be impacted by his tweets.

“This is the kind of incident that shows the hypocrisy of the liberal media. Paula Deen says something bad decades ago and has her whole career destroyed,” he said. “Alec Baldwin fills his career with embarrassing moments – saying awful things to his daughter, getting kicked off an airplane and now, the ultimate PC sin, anti-gay comments. And his career will continue unharmed.” [Fox News]

While his point about Deen’s comment from “decades ago” conveniently leaves out the fact of her contemporary and very misguided behavior on the job more recently, his point about liberal hypocrisy – at least in regards to Alec Baldwin – has merit.

Anderson Cooper, CNN’s openly gay anchorman, shares the sentiment, tweeting the following:

Cooper tweet

He’s right… they would be. In fact, we’d be doing that right here at Addicting Info. Which is why we’re doing it right now with Alec Baldwin… it’s only fair. As is the view of the very “biased and balanced” Andrew Sullivan, who had this to say:

This is not just hate speech; it’s a specific call for other people to physically attack a gay man. It’s a call to violence against a specific person, which, last time I checked, was a crime. He’s a pro-gay liberal, so he may get a pass for this. He shouldn’t.

No, he shouldn’t. And as much as I hate to share perspective with Breitbart about anything, they’ve also got a point about the Baldwin brouhaha:

GLAAD, the organization dedicated to defending the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, acted swiftly after learning of Alec Baldwin’s latest homophobic rant.

The group allowed Baldwin to use its web site to apologize and/or attempt damage control, essentially shouting, “you’re already forgiven.” Here’s the group’s official response to Baldwin’s apology over his hateful Tweets directed at a British journalist:

“Alec Baldwin is making it clear that the intent behind his tweets does not excuse his language, especially at a time when there were 11 incidents of violence against gay men in New York City just last month. As we all work to end such senseless acts of violence, allies like Baldwin are right to use these moments to reinforce support for the community and LGBT equality.”

Compare that to the group’s reaction when director Brett Ratner said, “rehearsal is for fags” during a press interview. Ratner lost his coveted gig producing the Oscars and subsequently went through a GLAAD-approved re-education process culminating in a PSA shoot on behalf of gay rights.

GLAAD’s response to Baldwin does seem a tad inconsistent. While his apology to the organization for the Stark tweets comes off as sincere, backed by a history of bona fides on behalf of LGBT issues, isn’t it time for the bellicose star to either get help managing his public and very aggressive temper tantrums, or, at the very least, learn how to rage without reverting to offensive verbal triggers designed to cut the deepest? Frankly, and as much as I like the guy’s work, I’m finding his recurring displays of threats and ugly vitriol wearying, inexcusable, and erosive to any sense of public good will.

So to Anderson Cooper, Andrew Sullivan, Dan Gainor, Breitbart, and any others calling for consistency on issues of hate speech of any kind, here’s a liberal writer at Addicting Info calling out Mr. Baldwin, and offering a few, hopefully useful, suggestions:

We all get angry at times, Mr. Baldwin, but we don’t all go to social media to scream like bigoted, violent thugs. We don’t all make scenes as if we’re the only humans on earth who’ve been wronged or had a spouse mischaracterized. Frankly, we, your viewing public, have been too often regaled with your petulance and pugilism and, frankly, it’s gotten old… very old. It’s not acceptable for anyone to behave that way – not a religious conservative, not a radio hate-monger, not a cooking star, and certainly not a high profile comedic actor.

You’re a smart guy, Baldwin; raise the damn bar. If you can’t start speaking, tweeting and writing in a manner that’s consistent with your charitable and socially responsible acts of good will, go get some real help to assist you in learning how to better manage your pie hole. Because if you can’t find more productive and positive ways to make your points, your points and how they’re made will ultimately define you. And given the tone of your more notorious tweets, and various other well-publicized rants, well… you don’t want that.