Psychiatrists call it “denialism” —an obstinate refusal to face the existence of painful facts. I’d call it “narcissistic gaslighting.” But hey…I’m no shrink.
Either way, Alec Baldwin is suffering from something. He now claims that a report by the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau on the tragic shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins “exonerates” him. It does not. Not even close. Which invites the question: was Alec dropped on his head as a baby? It’s an honest question.
A simple reading of the report makes it obvious that Baldwin and his lawyer are misrepresenting its contents for public posturing. The OHSB report does not absolve Baldwin of criminal culpability, as he claims. The bureau is a regulatory body, not a law enforcement agency with criminal prosecuting authority. The district attorney might not bother to even read it. The D-A’s office is conducting its own independent investigation. Prosecutors will decide whether Baldwin committed a crime, not OSHB.
If anything, the report makes matters worse for Baldwin. It depicts a reckless and out-of-control movie set where safety was utterly disregarded. Everyone involved knew it, including Baldwin who served as both a producer and actor. There were at least two gun mishaps prior to the fatal shooting. The entire production was on notice that there was a dangerous situation involving the weapons being used.
Nowhere in the report is Baldwin cleared of wrongdoing. Yes, the report found that the assistant director failed to properly check the gun before handing it to Baldwin. But that doesn’t somehow “exonerate” him. The standard in the film industry requires the actor to always double-check the weapon the moment he receives it. This is spelled out in the rules enacted by his union, Actors’ Equity. Thus, Baldwin had his own separate and independent duty of due care to protect the safety of others on the set.
By failing to check the gun himself prosecutors may conclude that Baldwin breached the accepted industry standard. In a potential criminal case against him, this could constitute recklessness that rises to the level of involuntary manslaughter. That’s a fare cry from an “exoneration.”
Baldwin also argues that the gun went off on its own. That defense is legally irrelevant. If the firearm contained a blank it wouldn’t matter whether it misfired. But instead, there was a live round in it. If Baldwin had examined the cylinders, the barrel, and the supposed blanks as required…he would have discovered the lethal round. Halyna Hutchins would be alive today.
All of this was entirely preventable. So, it will be up to the district attorney to decide whether Baldwin should be charged.
FAUCI AND THE CDC
Anthony Fauci must have slept through basic civics in high school. He seems to think that the Centers for Disease Control is above the law and that judges should have no say in whether the government agency can legally mandate masks, even if it violates the law or Constitution.
Upon hearing that a federal judge struck down the CDC’s COVID-19 travel mask dictate, Anthony The Great opined that “this is not a judicial matter.” Those who were awake during civics know that’s ludicrous. To comprehend such an obtuse statement, you have to appreciate the man’s frame of mind.
In Fauci’s twisted world, doctors are Gods, and the CDC can issue orders with impunity to control every aspect of our lives. But if we’ve learned anything from this pandemic it’s that public officials got a lot wrong. Many of Fauci’s pronouncements over the last two years turned out to be incorrect. They were retracted or reversed. Much of what the CDC did was not based on science or supported by evidence.
Fauci seems enamored of his power and celebrity. He has an ego as big as all outdoors. He’d walk a mile for a camera. Certainly, the CDC has the authority to create and enforce public health policies. But those policies must be lawful when imposed on people. They must conform to the constructs of the law. Time and again, the CDC has abused its powers by issuing restrictions…only to have them thrown out by the courts as violating the rule of law.
For once, Fauci might try to think with that brain of his. He could begin by digesting the well-reasoned 59-page opinion by U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle. She lays out the relevant statute and explains in detail how the CDC did not comply with the law and, therefore, exceeded its authority.
This is the third time the Biden Administration has been found by the courts to have mangled the law in its authoritarian zeal. The eviction moratorium was struck down. The vaccine mandate was struck down. Now the mask mandate has been correctly struck down.
If this were baseball, these knuckleheads would be called out on three strikes.