Need a way to distract people from your wife’s strange accent-appropriation scandal? A tweet calling for hanging President Donald Trump will do.
On Friday, Alec Baldwin made history as the first “Saturday Night Live” presidential impersonator to say he dreamt that the president he impersonated was executed.
The 62-year-old actor — whose career was revivified, to a certain extent, by his Trump impersonation — took to the social media platform just days after the president’s latest impeachment to say he had a dream.
Unlike the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., his dream was limited in scope.
“I had a dream Trump was on trial for sedition,” Baldwin said.
“And outside the courthouse, a noose was hung from a makeshift scaffold.
“The noose was made of recycled Covid masks.”
I had a dream Trump was on trial for sedition.
And outside the courthouse, a noose was hung from a makeshift scaffold.
The noose was made of recycled Covid masks.
— AlecBaldwin(HABF) (@AlecBaldwin) January 16, 2021
As of Monday morning, the tweet was still up and Baldwin still tweeting, indicating he hadn’t been locked out of his account.
Not that these are the biggest problems with the tweet, but Trump wasn’t impeached for sedition, nor is it a crime for which the death penalty can be applied. Furthermore, recycled COVID masks seem like they’d be difficult to make a sturdy noose out of, although I’ll admit I’m not an authority in the field. Perhaps Baldwin has been doing his research.
This didn’t get as much love in the comments as Baldwin was probably expecting, but there were some people who ran along with his edgy tone.
Sometimes dreams come true
— L B (@ellaimbotwitt) January 16, 2021
That’s all of our dream.
— Iron Maiden Rulezzz (@Mike_Saenz) January 16, 2021
Most of the responses were a bit more like this:
Guess you’re not feeling Biden’s unity message
— Master of Coin (@Isles26John) January 17, 2021
Alec, this Tweet is so edgy. It really showcases your clever wit, and comic Twitter genius, and re-establishes your Anti Trump bona fides. A real tour de force. Twitter Hall of Fame Alec.
— Patrick Henningsen (@21WIRE) January 18, 2021
I had a dream Alec Baldwin was actually a mediocre actor.
— Nick (@bruiserbuckeyes) January 17, 2021
And some got the point:
I have a dream that Twitter will face the inevitable legal and corporate consequences of the double standard that causes them to leave Tweets like this in place while censoring others.
— David Holbrook (@davidvholbrook) January 17, 2021
The man Baldwin played in those “Saturday Night Live” sketches is, I don’t need to tell you, permanently booted off of Twitter because the social media platform said he was threatening and inciting violence with his posts.
Tens of thousands of accounts, meanwhile, were purged in the wake of Trump’s banning, ostensibly because they were connected with the outré QAnon conspiracy theory.
Twitter told the Daily Caller News Foundation it would “take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content.”
Even if we’re to trust its explanation, Twitter is apparently willing to chase down accounts — no matter how small or insignificant — that amplify content about a ludicrous conspiracy theory on the basis it could “lead to offline harm.”
A tweet by the man who played Trump on “Saturday Night Live” saying he dreamt about the death of the actual Trump at a time of heightened tensions is apparently no big deal, however.
This is part of a pattern for the actor, too. In December, Baldwin tweeted with hypotheticals about what would happen if the president refused to concede.
“Pepper spray? Cuffs?” Baldwin wondered. “A knee on his neck, cutting off his oxygen? Does he wheeze ‘I can’t breathe.’
“Just whale away on him like a piñata? Rodney King style? The thug who has destroyed the country. What does he deserve?”
Who arrests Trump if he refuses to concede?
Who drags him out?
Pepper spray? Cuffs?
A knee on his neck, cutting off his oxygen?
Does he wheeze “I can’t breathe.”
Just whale away on him like a piñata?
Rodney King style?
The thug who has destroyed the country. What does he deserve?
— AlecBaldwin(HABF) (@AlecBaldwin) December 20, 2020
Again: Tweet still up, no action by Twitter.
As for Baldwin, I suppose the bright side is this refocuses attention off a minor scandal involving his wife.
Hilaria Baldwin, born Hillary Hayward-Thomas, had long passed herself off as a Mallorca-born Spaniard with a thick accent, presumably because exoticism sells when it comes to the wellness-and-parenting lifestyle accouterments she’s been hawking. She was so Spanish that, during an appearance on NBC’s “Today,” she appeared to forget the English word for “cucumber.”
Woke Twitter subsequently outed her as a Boston-born American whose family may have had a home in Mallorca but little other attachment to the island.
On one hand, that got wider coverage, with The New York Times interviewing Hilaria Baldwin (an interview that couldn’t have gone more awry if conducted by Hilaria’s worst enemy, it’s worth noting) and NBC News publishing an opinion piece slamming her for appropriation. The unspoken context behind these articles is that maybe — just maybe — Alec Baldwin knew about his wife’s grift.
Neither outlet has seen fit to report on Baldwin’s tweet, though. Maybe they don’t monitor Twitter?
On the other hand, Baldwin dreaming of hanging the man he’s impersonated on “Saturday Night Live” seems a bit more problematic than his wife’s foray into Dolezal-ism.
This isn’t just Hilaria passing herself off as a Spaniard to further her career as one of those execrable social media influencers who begins paid content with sentences like, “What if I told you you could clean and kill 99.9 percent of common bacteria like E.coli or Salmonella with just tap water? Sounds impossible, right?” I’d believe you if you added — how do you say in English? — cucumber to the mix:
That is funny. Baldwin saying he dreams of the president being hung isn’t.
In 2019, he agreed to take anger management classes as part of a guilty plea to harassment in a case involving a parking space spat, according to The New York Times. He might want to audit the course again, because it doesn’t seem to have stuck.
As for Twitter, it’s curious what it considers “behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm.” Donald Trump and QAnon loons: Yes. Alec Baldwin: No.
The fact Baldwin’s tweet hasn’t even been deleted for a breach of Twitter’s terms of service is telling, inasmuch as it again confirms what conservatives have been saying about the platform: When it comes to political speech, it has no set terms of service, just vague rules that are unevenly applied in a manner that strongly suggests the company’s sympathy with the speaker plays a critical role in how he’s policed.
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