Tuesday, March 28, 2006

And In This Corner...!

"I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me." ~ Dave Barry

I have said before I don't usually read the e-mails that Newsmax sends me. They are too right wing. I am right wing, too, but when I read the news, I want it unvarnished and non-partisan so I can make up my own mind.

Yesterday, however, when I was home for lunch, I checked my e-mail and found this intriguing line in the subject line of a Newsmax e-mail:

"Alec Baldwin v. Sean Hannity in Radio Donnybrook"

I had to open that one!

It seems Alec Baldwin, the actor, was a guest on a WABC radio program that airs on Sunday nights, with the host, Brian Whitman. While on air, and discussing various Liberal issues with which the actor was concerned, and taking phone calls from listeners, Sean Hannity called.

I understand that Mr. Baldwin is exploring the possibility of becoming a talk radio program host, and this was an opportunity the network afforded him to see what he could do. The following is part of what was said:

HANNITY: Alec, I wanted to give you an official WABC welcome considering you were supposed to come on my program last week and you didn't show up. What happened?

BALDWIN: No, I wasn't supposed to come on your program, Sean Hannity.

HANNITY: No, actually you were supposed to come on the program because a deal was made with your agent that if you were going to come on with Brian, first you'd come on with me.

BALDWIN: I wouldn't dream of coming on your program, Sean Hannity. I'm here with Brian. I'm here with a really talented broadcaster.

HANNITY: [Crosstalk] that you are, you don't tell the truth.

BALDWIN: Why would I want to come on the show with a no-talent, former construction worker hack like you?

HANNITY: Are you the guy that said of our vice president, while we're at war, while we're leading troops in harm's way - are you the reckless, third-rate Hollywood actor who said that Dick Cheney is a terrorist? Are you the guy . . .

BALDWIN: Yes I am.

HANNITY: ... Who said to stone Henry Hyde to death? Are you the guy who said our president is a CIA mass murderer? I wanted you to come on the program and defend that, you gutless coward.

BALDWIN: At first I thought this was a joke. But you can hear all the acid venom spewing hatred. It is Sean Hannity.

The exchange got even hotter when Mark Levin joined in.

LEVIN: We've only just begun - are you 40 or 50 pounds overweight now?

WHITMAN: Oh, C'mon now . . . .

HANNITY: Once and for all you need to be challenged. You want to call our vice president a terrorist - fine. You want to talk about stoning people to death, say it on my program. If you want to be irresponsible and call our president a mass murderer while he's at war leading troops in harm's way ...

BALDWIN: And what are you gonna do about it, Sean Hannity?

HANNITY: You don't have the courage to answer questions.

BALDWIN: And what are you gonna do? And what are you going to do about it, Sean Hannity. If I come on your program, what are you going to do?

LEVIN: He's going to show that you have a two digit IQ - that's what he's gonna do.

BALDWIN: What are you going to do?

LEVIN: I just told you - you've got a two digit IQ.

BALDWIN: And who's that - who's your little cabin boy there with you.

LEVIN: I'm not a cabin boy, butt-boy.

BALDWIN: What are you doing there, cabin boy? ... I now dub you Sean Hannity's cabin boy.

LEVIN: And you know what you are? You're "Brokeback" Alec.

The confrontation continued to spiral out of control, with Whitman intermittently trying to make peace and Baldwin repeatedly urging him to move on to other callers.

BALDWIN: Listen, Sean - you incredibly ignorant boob from Long Island ...

HANNITY: Oh, ouch, Alec.

BALDWIN: No, no, no, you've spoken, let me talk, Sean. Cause you've been spewing your ...

HANNITY: You're a third-rate Hollywood egomaniac.

BALDWIN: You're a no-talent, ignorant fool from Long Island. You should go back to building houses in Hempstead.

LEVIN: Why was your [former] wife [Kim Basinger] so pissed off at you, anyway?

WHITMAN: Now, c'mon guys.

BALDWIN: OK. We're done. [Gets up and leaves the studio]

WHITMAN: Come back. Come back. Alec? They're gone. Alec? Alec has walked out of the studio. Alec, please come back.

Now, doesn't that sound like two 6 year olds fighting over who got the biggest half of the chocolate bar? It certainly doesn't sound like grown up professional people.

OK. I've said it before. Sean Hannity can sometimes be rude and mean spirited himself. And he was this time, as well. What really infuriates me about him is, he continues to insist that only Liberals are like that. They are for the most part, in my opinion, but so is he. Hannity makes the assertion that Liberals are mean spirited in such a way as to imply that he doesn't do the same, but he most certainly does, as this transcript clearly shows.

I think it hurts your reputation when you lower yourself to the level of an abusive opponent. That's why I at least try to stay respectful when discussing ideology with those with whom I vehemently disagree. And yes, ER, sometimes I am not successful.

To be fair, Hannity did start off politely. Baldwin drew first blood.

On the other hand, Mark Levin makes no such claim. He is unapologetically rude. But he is funny. I listen to Levin's show every night, if there isn't too much static. The only stations that I can get that carry his show while making my nightly run are WABC out of New York City, and WMAL, out of Washington DC, which is probably a little over 100 miles from where I am when his show is on. I don't know how far New York is from me but it is quite a bit further than Washington.

If any of you can get Mark Levin's show on your local stations and haven't listened to him yet, you really should listen to him at least once. Yes, he is rude to Liberals, but he is a brilliant man. And, as I said, funny. For instance he announces that the phone number to call in on is 1-800-381-3811, and the special line for Liberals is "One eight hundred three eighty one, thirty eight eleven". Same number. He just says it differently.

Anyway, I listened to Hannity's show and he played the recording of the argument, but it was hard to understand at times because he played sounds of the theme from "Psycho" and the sound of a baby crying during the argument. I wanted to hear Levin's version of the event but it was not a good night for long distance radio. Too much static.

Overall, I thought the whole thing was too funny not to share.

Update: I was re-reading this and it reminded me of a great line from one of my favorite movies, "My Favorite Year" Here is a brief description to put the line in context:

Alan Swann, a 1950's "Swashbuckler" movie star, is drunk, and decides to repel down the side of a high rise condominium in New York City by fire hose. In his drunkeness, he slips and finds himself dangling several stories above the street. Two wealthy indutrialists are enjoying cocktails and conversation on a balcony during a fancy cocktail party, immediately above where Swann is hanging. Got the picture? The conversation goes like this:

"Remember that actor...What is his name?...Oh Alan Swann, that's it!"

"Yes, what about him?"

"Well, I think he's beneath us."

(here's the line) "Of course he's beneath us. He's an actor!"


Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I will have to disagree with you a little on this.

I am a fan of Rush, Sean and Mark Levin. But in my opinion Rush and especially Mark Levin can be rude at times although ususally justifiably so. Sean is usually very nice and sometimes too nice in my opinion. Alec Baldwin was being a total jerk here and Sean just got a few jabs in. Mark took it over the top but thats Mark Levin. Thats part of his persona and why you like him because he's over the top.

With all that said Alec Baldwin is one of the meanest, mean-spirited, hate-filled people I have ever heard talk. Remember he was the one who advocated stoning Henry Hyde during the impeachment hearings. He has absolutely no desire to listen to reason and to be honest I have to wonder what Kim Basinger had to endure being his wife.

Poison Pero said...

I'm not a Hannity fan.....I don't think he sucks, but I don't waste my time on him, Rush or O'Reilly.

Prager, Medved and Hewitt are much more insightful, and they aren't party hacks.

After a hard day at work I listen to Savage, who is often over the top, but I admit he is where my instincts are at........The other three bring me back from my Savage highs.

KRLA has all of them, along with Bennett and Ingraham.

And on Sunday night, Lorez is on.
I know Rush is the King, and Hannity is popular, but those of you looking for more than silly banter and RNC BS should look into these other talkers.

There is never an excuse for listening to O'Reily......The guy is terrible (TV and Radio).
Oh, as far as Baldwin goes, I hope he gets a show......I'm all for exposing Liberal insanity.

Lone Ranger said...

That's one thing that bothers me about Hannity. It is so easy to pick apart liberal "logic," why lower yourself to their level? Let them engage in the name-calling. I love it on the rare occasions when a liberal leaves a comment on my blog or sends me an intolerant e-mail. I sometimes post it just to tear apart their argument or mock them. Mocking is ok. Name-calling is not. One of my favorites is here

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I'm not a fan of Sean Hannity, for much of the reasons you gave. He's one of those popular conservatives that frustrates me. He's the epitomy of using talking points to argue with, hardly ever saying anything substantial and specific to rebutt a good point made by a liberal guest. And when he gets rude, for no good reason, I just wince because he's representing MY SIDE!

O'Reilly is another FOX man who frustrates me, in part because he likes to fancy himself an "independant"-thinker and above the fray between Repubs and Dems.

Liberals like to use them, Coulter, and Rush as conservative punching bags, and I find these people difficult to defend.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I did my own take on this and linked to your post too!!

Mark said...

I listen to Hannity everyday. I like his show, but he doesn't suffer Liberals too well. (Who does, really?)

But it is too easy to pick apart Liberals arguments then to resort to sinking to their level and insult them back. When he does that, he makes Conservatives look bad, and empowers the Liberals, who actively look for evidence that Conservatives are hatemongers.

We know we aren't, and so do the Liberals, but if they can find a Conservative that proves their point...

Well, lets just say, Hannity didn't do the base any favors by sinking to Baldwin's level.

drlobojo said...

I listened to this exchange.
My first and last impression is "professional wrestling".

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Sorry, one more comment on this.

To be honest I'm not getting this. Baldwin advocates Henry Hyde being stoned, calls Cheney a terrorist and Bush a mass murderer. He attacks Sean right off the bat in their discussion. And Sean is mean because he calls Baldwin a 3rd rate actor. I'm not getting it. And besides Baldwin is a 3rd rate actor!!

Erudite Redneck said...

Hoo hoo. I love that LR gives press to Robin Meyers.

Dr. Meyers is the pastor of the crazy lefty church I go to. Indeed, his is a voice crying in the wilderness.

Small dang world, LR.

Cracks me up that you think you dismantled, or even came close to touching, Dr. Meyers' rhetrotic and the truth therein.

Erudite Redneck said...

Oh, of course, I think Hannity, like the law, is an ass.

tugboatcapn said...

I occasionally listen to Sean, but he is not my favorite righty-right Talk Show Guy.

My favorite is Tony Snow.

Sean can be a little too abrasive for my tastes, but he is usually right on target with his ideas and opinions. (Except for the Port Deal Issue... He dropped the ball on that one.) (Big time...)

In this situation however, I believe that he was well within his rights to call in and ask why Baldwin did not live up to an agreement that Sean obviously believed that they had.

And Baldwin reacted immaturely and badly.

But then again, this is the sort of exchange which passes for political debate in America lately.

The Righty-right guy asking questions, and the Lefty-left guy trying desperately to shout him down by repeating the same nonsense phrase over and over, at an ever increasing volume, and then disengaging the arguement and running away.

If I've seen it once, I've seen it a thousand times.

No surprizes...

Jim said...

Love "My Favorite Year"!

Good post. Hannity started out nice in the same way Dracula would start out nice.

I dispise Hannity. He is an ambush artist, and I can't think of a factual agrument to his name.

He personifies "partisan hack."

old soldier said...

"...rhetrotic and the truth therein."

ER, your redneck is overshadowing your erudite traits. The majority of the definitions for “rhetoric” when combined with “truth” become oxymoronic. Even when combined with the kinder definitions, “truth” becomes the persuader, not “rhetoric”. …or was that your point?

Erudite Redneck said...

I think you can make truth more palatable for the unwilling to hear, by using a little rhetoric. Truth outs. But like medicine it doesn't go down easily sometimes. Maybe I see rhetoric like a sugar coating on a bitter pill. The sugar tricks the tastebuds into accepting the pill. Maybe rhetoric can do the same for hard truth.

But then, what would an erudite redneck know? :-)

Erudite Redneck said...

Besifdes, I don't see how the definitions for rhetoric fail to mesh with talking truth.

1. the art or science of using language in prose or verse. 2. the effective use of language in oratory to influence or persuade an audience. 3. the study of the theory and principles of effective communication.


Mary said...

Whenever a "debate" degenerates into name-calling, all parties involved look bad, no matter which side throws the first verbal punch.

Name-calling is emotional. Discussion is much more informative when clearer heads prevail and it remains rational, steering clear of negative names.

That said, we can't completely divorce ourselves from our emotions. Sometimes, talk gets heated. Things snowball. It gets personal. We say things we regret. It's part of being human.

I think that both Hannity and Levin wanted Baldwin to address the things he has said about Bush, Cheney, Hyde, etc.

Instead, Baldwin personally attacked Hannity. Levin attacked Baldwin for attacking Hannity and on it went.

I don't like the personal attacks.

However, I do think that one is responsible for one's statements.

Strip the name-calling away and what's left is a failure on Baldwin's part to defend his words, calling Cheney a terrorist and urging the stoning to death of Hyde and his family.

Marie's Two Cents said...

I like Sean Hannity, and after everything Alec (The Nutjob) Baldwin has said about everyone from the President to the Troops to Hyde, he had it comming.
I agree with Chatterbox poor Kim Basinger.
I like the younger Baldwin better anyway.