The speed with which people attacked Baldwin as a bigot is alarming and tragic. The man deserves an apology.
A story being pushed earlier today by Fox News and other celebrity news outlets reports that Alec Baldwin called a black reporter a “coon”. The story alleges that Baldwin yelled racial slurs at New York Post reporters. (The New York Post is also owned by Fox News head Rupert Murdoch.) Since then, the story has exploded on Twitter. People are calling Baldwin a bigot and demanding that he be blacklisted by Hollywood.
All day the comments on Twitter have attacked Baldwin mercilessly as a bigot and a racist.
Now audio has surfaced of the altercation. United Press International and TMZ are reporting that Baldwin did not use racial slurs of any kind. TMZ who has info about the tape has cleared Baldwin. They say:
New info on the audio tape of the confrontation between Baldwin and the Post photog. Sources tell us … there is NO mention of a racial slur on the tape. And, we’re told, the initial story — that Baldwin allegedly said “I want to choke you to death” — is incorrect. We’re told in fact Baldwin said, “I want you to choke to death,” which is exactly what Baldwin claimed he said.
Was Baldwin set up? Did Murdoch’s people try and pull a fast one? If so, they’re losing their touch. Another indication that Murdoch’s right wing media machine is faltering in the glare of internet fact checking and ever more diverse media channels. But I wouldn’t put any of it past Murdoch, who has long had it in for Baldwin, a vocal and self professed liberal.
On a personal note. I met Baldwin when he was helping raise money at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Paul Newman’s camp for kids with life threatening illnesses. I can tell you for a fact, he’s a decent, down to earth guy. He had a few beers with the volunteers and hung out. Like a regular guy.
And at this point, it looks like the man deserves an apology from the whole damn internet.
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Read more by Mark Greene: “Brad Pitt, Approaching 50, Meet Some Idiot at the National Enquirer”