After he defended Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) as a “modern, high-functioning man” in a Huffington Post column, ’30 Rock’ funny man Alec Baldwin took to Twitter to criticize his critics, calling them by the oh-so-sophisticated and eloquently descriptive term “d-bags.” But he reserved a top title for conservative commentator and Weinergate whistleblower Andrew Breitbart, calling him “the D-Bag-In-Chief.” Breitbart’s not offended, though, The Daily Caller reports.
“He’s a comedic savant,” Breitbart told TheDC of the actor. “He is perfect in the realm of comedic acting yet he falls short in all other human endeavors.”
Though Breitbart didn’t take Baldwin’s jab personally, the right-wing powerhouse expected more of the Emmy Award winner.
“I expect more from him, it’s sort of a bleh insult,” Breitbart said. “I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have a room of ‘30 Rock’ writers working for you.”
Credit to Breitbart for his skillful handling of Baldwin’s childish tweeting. He managed to so simultaneously compliment and insult Baldwin that he neither alienated those who appreciate the actor’s comedic skill (at least, he didn’t alienate me and Baldwin makes me laugh more than I care to admit) nor did he let Baldwin off the hook for immaturity. In other words, Breitbart made mincemeat of the man, who, in arrogance, assumed he had something to add to the story over and against the conservative journalist who kept the news cycle humming for the past two weeks with a salacious tidbit that turned out to have more significance than some (myself included!) initially suspected. What would Baldwin have had Breitbart do? Sit on the story? Weiner’s bulge-broadcasting was never an appealing piece of news, but every successive day confirmed it as true and relevant.
As Gwen Ifill over at The National Journal put it, this was a hard week to be a news snob.
I could blame Anthony Weiner, the New York congressman whose spectacular, Twitter-fueled political implosion was impossible to ignore.
I could blame the cable networks, who, absent the Weiner story, had little else to fill 24 hours with, aside from fires and the Casey Anthony trial. …
Or I could blame no one. News is news. And we don’t simply stop covering it because we find it personally distasteful. If that were the case, most of us would close up shop indefinitely.
Instead, we have little choice but to take note of “The Story Everyone is Talking About,” and search for ways to find a larger lesson in it.
Ifill’s still looking for an answer to the deeper meaning of the Weinergate scandal, but I think she hit on it in her first sentence. It doesn’t pay to be snobbish about this stuff. Had Baldwin but had the sense to see it, he would have recognized it was a hard week to be a Hollywood snob, too. That’s the thing about Breitbart: He’s arrogant and he’s intelligent, but he’s the anti-elitist, the anti-intelligentsia. And that’s why, on some level, he’s more successful even than Baldwin believes himself to be — because he’s free to follow the truth, wherever it takes him.