Alec Baldwin despises Donald Trump but couldn’t be more like him


For his raucous depictions of Donald Trump’s ego, belligerence and obstinacy on “Saturday Night Live,” Alec Baldwin famously won an Emmy. At the time, this feat seemed rather impressive — Baldwin, one commenter wrote, had managed to create a series of “expertly crafted portraits of the inner boob behind the blowhard.”

Today, though, one is left wondering if the performance needed “crafting” at all. Perhaps, just perhaps, Baldwin was not actually acting

How else, other than as a Donald Trump-esque attempt to bend reality to his will, might we see Baldwin’s ongoing refusal to accept that he played any meaningful role in the terrible accident on the set of his now-suspended movie, “Rust”? After a long investigation into that case — in which the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was killed, and another crew member seriously injured — a ballistics team at the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded that Baldwin had been handed a working revolver with a live round in its cylinder, and that when he cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger, the gun fired with calamitous results.

Baldwin has blasted Donald Trump as a "maniac" and "a National socialist tumor," but he fails to see the similarities between himself and the ex-prez.
Baldwin has blasted Donald Trump as a “maniac” and “a National socialist tumor,” but he fails to see the similarities between himself and the ex-prez.
Getty Images

Nobody reasonable — including the technicians at the FBI — has argued that Baldwin hurt anyone on purpose. Indeed, outside of the political fringes, Baldwin has been routinely portrayed as one of the victims in the tragedy. And yet, just like his nemesis, Donald Trump, this hasn’t been good enough.

Why not? Well, because, just like Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin seems to have a near-pathological desire to appear unmarred. And so, in the hope that enough bluster can render him whiter than the driven snow, Baldwin has begun to insist upon a wholly implausible account of what happened on that day.

Despite firing a gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (center) in an accident on the set of "Rust," Baldwin (on her left) insisted that "I didn't pull the trigger."
Despite firing a gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (center) in an accident on the set of “Rust,” Baldwin (on her left) insisted that “I didn’t pull the trigger.”
Josh Hopkins/Instagram

“The trigger wasn’t pulled, I didn’t pull the trigger,” Baldwin told ABC recently, before adding that “someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”

I didn’t do it. Someone else is responsible. I don’t know who did it, but I know it’s not me. Sound familiar?

Describing the incorrigible 11-year-old hero of her cherished “Just William” books, the author Richmal Crompton observed that “it is a great gift to be able to lie so as to convince other people,” but that “it is a still greater gift to be able to lie so as to convince oneself.” One suspects that Alec Baldwin has this latter talent in spades. Intact firearms do not just “go off” when their hammers are pulled back, and the one that Baldwin used while filming Rust is no exception to that rule. The FBI’s report found that the weapon Baldwin once held in his hands “could not be made to fire without a pull of the trigger while the working internal components were intact and functional.” In response, Baldwin’s lawyer claimed that the report had been “misconstrued.” 

Translation: Alec Baldwin could stand in the middle of New Mexico and shoot somebody, and he wouldn’t lose any confidence in his immaculacy.

Of course, Baldwin sees no irony in the parallels between himself and the former president, whom he has lambasted in the past as a “National Socialist tumor” and “a maniac” who should be buried in “a Nazi graveyard [with] a swastika on his grave.”

After claiming forces were "out to get" him in a radio show appearance with Chris Cuomo, the actor also vowed that, "Things for me are going to get better, cleared up.”
After claiming forces were “out to get” him in a radio show appearance with Chris Cuomo, the actor also vowed that, “Things for me are going to get better, cleared up.”
YouTube/The Chris Cuomo Project
Baldwin, who won an Emmy portraying the former president on "SNL," has lately been blaming the media and collapsing into incomprehensible hypotheticals. Remind you of anyone?
Baldwin, who won an Emmy portraying the former president on “SNL,” has lately been blaming the media and collapsing into incomprehensible hypotheticals. Remind you of anyone?
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

In fact, speaking to Chris Cuomo this week, Baldwin gave his Trumpiest performance to date. He blamed the media (check!); he insisted that shadowy forces were “out to get” him (check!); he claimed that he and his friends alone knew the truth (check!); he collapsed seamlessly into incomprehensible hypotheticals — “what if Barbara Bush fell into ice?” (check!); and, as was inevitable, he predicted that his future held nothing short of full exoneration, followed by a gentle passage into the warm, sunlit uplands of his countrymen’s hearts. “Things for me are going to get better, cleared up,” Baldwin promised Cuomo. “I am 1000% sure.”

All that was missing was a “Bigly.”

Charles C. W. Cooke is a senior writer at National Review.



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