Alec Baldwin could’ve given Dog some tips
Don't you just hate when reality gets in the way of "reality TV"? There was Duane "Dog" Chapman, a guy who has become a millionaire letting us follow him around while he rounds up criminals in one of TV's most successful "reality" shows. You'd think by now he'd sort of assume that everything he did was being recorded in some way, either by friends or the many enemies he must have created over the years as a self-made comic book-like crime-fighting hero. You'd think he'd been around law enforcement (on both sides of the prison bars) long enough to have a "Spidey sense" about whether someone he's talking to is wired.
Or you'd at least think that after seeing actor Alec Baldwin get nabbed calling his 11-year-old daughter a "thoughtless little pig" in a taped phone call, Chapman would be smart enough not to rant at his own son over the phone. Especially if he's going to call his son's black girlfriend names that would make David Duke wince.
But, no. It turns out that Dog Chapman is -- and I mean this in the kindest way possible -- an idiot. He might also be a racist, since he set the Guinness World Record for "Most Uses of the N-word in Eight Minutes -- Celebrity Division." (He broke the previous record held by, I believe, "Seinfeld" actor Michael Richards, by about 14 N-words.) Whether Chapman is a racist will be determined by a distinguished panel of celebrity blowhards who have all been caught in their own racial or cultural meltdowns: Bill O'Reilly, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and, possibly, Don Imus. It doesn't look good.
Dog isn't going to get much support at home in Hawaii, either, where, thanks to his wife, Beth, good will among the local media has evaporated. (I was a big supporter of Dog when his show first aired. But when I simply mentioned in a recent column some of the legal problems the Chapmans were having as a result of their "instant" fame, I got a personal call from their lawyer.)
Unlike Imus and Richards, who made their racial remarks trying to be funny, Chapman's N-word tirade was far from comic. And it seems to shine a chilling beam of light into the dark private world of the Chapman household and office.
"We use the word n---- here," Chapman says on the tape. The "we" part is rather alarming. Like it's just part of a day in the life with the Chapmans: "We do the laundry. We eat lunch. We use the word n----. We vacuum." He tells his son on the tape he doesn't want to see the fact that "we" use that word end up in the Enquirer and then see his career go down the toilet. The I-word -- irony -- doesn't quite capture the fact that that is exactly what is happening.
What happens next in these N-word meltdown reality shows is fairly predictable. Don't be surprised to see Dog posing with various black notables, asking for forgiveness. And Beth on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show" lashing out at the media in that angry, victimized, self-righteous way that seems to always happen when instant celebrities see the financial train leaving the station without them.
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