Dave Itzkoff’s N.Y. Times takedown piece on Alec Baldwin reads like a Stalinist comintern critique about the shortcomings of someone who’s fallen out of political favor. Itzkoff’s case is that Baldwin lacks the moral authority to skewer Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live because (a) he’s either been supportive of or hasn’t sufficiently condemned accused abusers like Woody Allen, James Toback and Dustin Hoffman and (b) he’s questioned the characters and motives of Dylan Farrow and Rose McGowan.
There are no effective “yes but” rebuttals in Hoffman and Toback’s cases, but Baldwin’s defense of Allen has been rational, factual and tough-minded. Say it again: Any fair-minded assessment of the facts behind the Allen-Farrow case leaves room for considerable doubt.
Baldwin is an angry guy, for sure, and hardly a member in good standing of the #MeToo vanguard, but Itzkoff has basically gone after Baldwin not for anything he’s done, but for something he thinks. The underlying message is “it’s time to put guys like Baldwin out to pasture because all crusty boomer-aged dinosaurs have to be marginalized and discredited.” Just as those 18th Century Parisians whose views didn’t sufficiently align with those of Maximilien Robespierre needed to go to the guillotine.
The point was made in Itzkoff’s piece by TV writer Nell Scovell, who said that Baldwin’s support of Toback and Allen “smacks of overlooking and underestimating women while overvaluing the men.”