Left-wing actor Alec Baldwin just can't stay out of trouble. The most recent example of that is his calling a photographer who was following him and his family “a c**ksucking fag." That incident caused MSNBC to suspend his Friday evening Up Late interview program for at least two weeks and there are reports that his show may be canceled entirely.
Baldwin's angry behavior was the topic for discussion on Monday night's edition of the Cable News Channel's AC 360 Later program, when gay panelist Andrew Sullivan accused the actor of being a “homophobic bigot” and unexpectedly claimed: “If a conservative said that, they would be finished.”
Sullivan began the discussion by stating:
When you use the term “c**ksucking fag” to another human being. in rage and anger, to put that person down, you are thinking of the worst thing that you can say to that person to demean them and to debase them in public in front of you.
And that is, I'm afraid, a textbook case of being homophobic. It is the most homophobic thing you can do to actually yell at another human being, to try to put them down in public as a “fag.”
Those sentiments were somewhat echoed by host Anderson Cooper interrupted to point out that Baldwin had tweeted that he used the word “fathead” instead. Cooper was unconvinced, however, stating that he believed “even if that is the case, the first word he used is obviously, to use it against another guy is clearly an anti-gay statement.”
“He said about that guy, about a UK journalist,” Cooper stated, “I'm going to find you, … you toxic little queen, and I'm going to f**k you up,” and then he said he wants to put his foot up the guy's backside, but he “would probably enjoy it too much.”
Sullivan agreed: “I'm sorry, but that is textbook schoolyard homophobia. It's disgusting bullying, and it's about telling that person they're an inferior human being because they're gay.”
The former ardent George W. Bush supporter and independent web publisher continued:
Now look, I'm in favor of anybody being able to say whatever they want, and I'm certainly behind hate-crime laws, and I'm not a thought police guy. I just don't think you can say that in public and then claim that you're pro-gay or you're a big progressive liberal. I mean, come on!
If a conservative said that, they would be finished.
Cooper agreed with Sullivan and stated that anyone who behaves that way in public shouldn't “lie about it afterward and claim you didn't know this was an anti-gay slur.”
"If you attain that great age," he said of the 55-year-old Baldwin, "and you don't know that calling a guy a 'toxic little queen' is an anti-gay reference, ... that's just a lie, and for him to say: “Oh, I was informed of this afterward,' oh come on!”
The CNN host also commented that the use of a slur against a racial or ethnic group would have been met with even greater instant backlash.
"If Alec Baldwin had yelled the n-word at a photographer or a Jewish slur, it'd be over," he noted, "but the f-word is a word kids are called in school every single day; teachers often don't do anything about it."
Meanwhile, the New York Post has claimed that Baldwin's two-week suspension is likely to become permanent, according to reporter Emily Smith.
Baldwin "would only show up at work an hour a week to prep for the show, and when he did turn up, he was in an angry mood, red-faced, and shouting at all the staff,” an MSNBC source told Smith.
“Beyond his being a nightmare, Baldwin didn't keep his promises to MSNBC president Phil Griffin,” Smith said. The actor had pledged to bring in top political and entertainment names for his hour-long Friday night show and didn't deliver on that promise.
“Then there were his ratings,” she added. “According to Deadline.com, Baldwin’s last show hit a demo low, pulling in only 101,000 viewers aged 25 to 54 against 395,000 total viewers -- a 41 percent drop from the 172,000 viewers 25 to 54 who watched the Oct. 11 debut.”
While Baldwin may receive some comeuppance for his outburst, nothing yet appears to have happened to his MSNBC colleague Martin Bashir who made television history last week by saying, in a prepared statement, that he wished someone would defecate in the mouth of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and then urinate on her.
We can't help but agree with Sullivan that a conservative person could never get away with such public expressions of anti-gay hatred as Baldwin has repeatedly done. He should also admit the obvious truth that no conservative could ever get away with wishing the infliction of forced coprophagia on any Democratic politician.