The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

28 March 2006

Sean Hannity, Alec Baldwin, WABC, New York City

WABC MELTDOWN

Alec Baldwin And Sean Hannity In Radio Cockfight





After an ugly on-air meltdown between actor/ guest host Alec Baldwin and caller Sean Hannity Sunday evening, New York radio fans are wondering: was this a planned stunt?

Whatever the intent, the end result was one Hollywood elitist taking his marbles and going home mid-performance. In radio, that just isn't kosher.

Phoning in during the show was Hannity and friend Mark Levin, the latter offering only personal insults for Baldwin.

Hannity, on the other hand, began by grilling the actor on why he apparently refuses to appear on the former's nationally syndicated talk show.

With nastiness on all sides, things quickly went south.

With talk radio so boring these days, the Radio Equalizer is torn: was this cockfight a rare return to edgy, compelling programming? Or was it merely a two-bit street brawl that should have been taken to a nearby alley?


Upon listening to the WABC broadcast, we're left with these nagging questions:


--- Why was Baldwin, with no real talk radio experience, allowed to co-host a show? Hannity referenced a deal reached between the actor's agent and ABC Radio.

--- Merely because he's famous, why would that make him qualified for his own program? Unless this was a publicity stunt, it appears ABC isn't any smarter than Air America.

--- Was a visit to Hannity's show part of Baldwin's deal? Did he chicken out?

--- As gutter-level as much of this long segment came across, Hannity has never sounded more passionate, even fiery. We liked that.

--- Why did the station allow both Hannity and Levin to call in at the same time? In addition, minutes later, why were they able to return for a second round of shouting?

--- Why Baldwin's short fuse? Several callers were on his side. Storming out of the station seemed childish.

--- Once everybody was finished fighting, weekend host Brian Whitman seemed disoriented and a bit unsure how to continue his show.


In today's editions, New York City newspapers were quick to jump on the story. From the New York Post's John Mainelli:


The activist actor, who was road-testing his own potential talk show, called Hannity a "no-talent whore" and an "incredibly ignorant boob from Long Island.

Hannity called Baldwin - a favorite punching-bag for conservatives - on the air just as he was beginning his show, and that's when the fur started to fly.

"At first I thought this was a joke," Baldwin told his co-host, Brian Whitman.

Hannity, furious that Baldwin allegedly broke a promise to appear on his show before Whitman's, wasted no time ripping into the liberal activist.

"Welcome to WABC, considering you were supposed to come on my program last week and you didn't show. What happened?" Hannity demanded.

"Why would I want to come on with a no-talent, former-construction-worker hack like you?" Baldwin answered.

"Are you the reckless, third-rate Hollywood actor who said our vice-president, while we're at war, is a terrorist? Are you the guy?" Hannity asked.

"No wonder you didn't come on my program and defend it, you gutless coward."

"I challenge you [to] come on my program, to say on my program that our president is a mass murderer. You don't have the courage," Hannity said.

The fiery exchange continued until WABC's yappy Mark Levin, who'd also called in, asked Baldwin why ex-wife Kim Basinger is "so p--ed off at you."

At that point Baldwin bolted from the studio, cutting his planned two-hour audition in half.


Later, Baldwin wrote about the experience for the Huffington Post:


After some back and forth between myself and Hannity, most of it predictable, Levin made a comment connected to my divorce proceedings. I turned to Whitman, who knew that I was due to depart the show no later than 8:30 PM New York time anyway, and told him I had to go.

I thought that Levin, whoever he may be and whatever code he does or does not operate by, had crossed a line and I was under no obligation to continue in that vein.

Hannity, a McCarthy-esque figure in American media, but without McCarthy's influence or audience, spent most of his on-air day gloating that he had put me in my place and indicating that I had slurred construction workers with my call for him to return to that (his former) profession.



While we agree Levin was out of line, Hannity's shots were similar to Baldwin's, meaning no apology should be necessary.

Because ABC's reputation is one of play-it-safe radio, we don't believe network suits intended for any of this to occur.

As for the actor, because he stormed out mid-show, he can kiss any future talk hosting aspirations goodbye, forever.

ALSO: TVNewser has info on the one-night-only "Hannity On Broadway" performance.

Expose The Left has the Hannity & Colmes segment where this WABC meltdown was discussed.

Riehl World View has a link to the audio and more commentary. Welcome Michelle Malkin readers.

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again!

Hannity image provided by Pete at IHillary for the Radio Equalizer. Baldwin photo: New York Post

16 Comments:

  • Alec has called for the stoning to death of Henry Hyde (and perhaps others, it wasn't entirely clear from the tape), followed by going to "their" houses and killing their wives and children.

    It's all about the boundaries for Alec. How's that movie career been? Since SpongeBob SquarePants, that is.

    By Blogger eLarson, at 28 March, 2006 17:25  

  • We liked that.

    Who is we? Do you think you're more than one person, Baloney?

    By Blogger Mr. Kite, at 28 March, 2006 18:05  

  • If it wasn't a pre-planned assault by the three WABC hosts, Whitman sure as hell knew what was gonna happen once Levin's name popped up as a caller right behind Hannity. Those two definitely were in cahoots. Allowing Levin on the air alongside Hannity ended the possibility of a real back and forth between Hannity and Whitman's alleged "co-host." Whitman totally lost control of his show.

    That said, I was laughing my butt off Sunday night when the fireworks kicked in....

    By Blogger TC, at 28 March, 2006 18:26  

  • Listen for yourself if you care

    http://movies.crooksandliars.com/Whitman-Baldwin-Hannity-Levin.mp3

    By Blogger Robert, at 28 March, 2006 18:43  

  • I was kind of wondering when this subject was going to be discussed!

    If you asked me, Baldwin turned yellow like his politics when Hannity and Levin called.

    And elarson, the stoning to death of Henry Hyde comment I think was a few years ago when "Mr. PETA Hamptons" was on Letterman--I think.

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 28 March, 2006 18:51  

  • Realistically, it should have been Hannity Vs Baldwin. Adding Levin into the mix was like throwing napalm into a fire.

    Now, I guess some like Levin, but I haven't been too impressed with how hardcore he is on the few occasions I have heard him.

    It would have been quite enough for Hannity to put Baldwin on the spot, at which point Baldwin would do like every other lefty: go wonkers and refuse to discuss anything other then their feelings.

    By Blogger William Teach, at 28 March, 2006 19:02  

  • Levin is more CabinBoy than Chris Elliot, and that is pretty amazing since Elliot is doing a character.

    By Blogger WHT, at 28 March, 2006 21:15  

  • Liberal hollywood idiots (like Baldwin) can't string two sentences together if they're not scripted. Hannity would have ripped the wimp a new one had he stayed on the air and continued the debate. Thats why none of these pussy hollywood libby types go on any right wing show, they will be ripped apart and shown for the fools they really are.

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 28 March, 2006 21:31  

  • And elarson, the stoning to death of Henry Hyde comment I think was a few years ago when "Mr. PETA Hamptons" was on Letterman--I think.

    Conan O'Brian. Either way, not funny. Just like this bit.

    By Blogger eLarson, at 29 March, 2006 10:15  

  • If you want to play in the sandbox with the big kids you need to grow a spine. The only worse offence than to walk out would be dead air. It should NEVER happen, ever. Stand up, defend your position and move on.
    The idea that he was booked to do hannity as a condition then punked out is made even more plausable by Baldwins actions. As for the construction worker comment, well lets just say he's got some set, too bad he didn't bring them along to do New York Radio.

    By Blogger DaMan, at 29 March, 2006 13:07  

  • If you want to play in the sandbox with the big kids you need to grow a spine. The only worse offence than to walk out would be dead air. It should NEVER happen, ever. Stand up, defend your position and move on.
    The idea that he was booked to do hannity as a condition then punked out is made even more plausable by Baldwins actions. As for the construction worker comment, well lets just say he's got some set, too bad he didn't bring them along to do New York Radio.

    By Blogger DaMan, at 29 March, 2006 13:08  

  • Speaking of construction, wasn't Harrison Ford working as a carpenter back in 76 or so?

    By Blogger eLarson, at 29 March, 2006 14:33  

  • Don't know who Mark Levin is? Check him out here: Mark Levin Fan
    Great unofficial website created by fans of the great one.

    By Blogger Rich in MT, at 29 March, 2006 16:00  

  • "Conan O'Brian. Either way, not funny."

    eLarson:

    Had to be one of the two--my bad on picking the wrong one.

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 29 March, 2006 19:04  

  • Why is he still in this country when he said he would be leaving if Bush were elected? Now that he's un-enamored construction workers across the fruited plain, I hope he doesn't plan on building any time soon. In reality, I'm embarrassed for him. Surely his career is ruined. Anyone who gives him good press will be in the crosshairs as well. When will these "intellectuals" learn that even a fool is perceived as wise if he just keeps quiet. They just can't keep quiet! Heh heh!

    By Blogger rich glasgow, at 30 March, 2006 01:42  

  • This is an ego centered 20 million a picture actor who is out of touch with lowly construction workers right? These are the types who tell us working folks to pay more, while they don't donate anything, and tell us conservatives how greedy we are for wanting to keep our pay...hey Alec, my husband is a lowly construction worker. A typical democrat, living high on the hog like Obama, and telling the working class to pay more so they can give our money away. Look at what he and Obama donated of their pay last year compared to working class lowlys...what a shame he is allowed on this planet.

    By Blogger Scarlett, at 09 February, 2012 17:07  

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