Alec Baldwin Explodes -- Or, The Puff Went Poof

by , Feb 26, 2014, 4:21 PM
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If you still think Alec Baldwin is a talented actor, and lest you retain some of the glow from the memory of his enjoyable role as Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock," let him disabuse you of that feeling.

Yup, in this week’s “as told to” cover story in the new biweekly New York magazine, (which is pretty great, by the way) the Angry One feels compelled to offer 5,000 words of  sadly delusional  self ‘splainin.

Not that we asked.

But he happily opens up about each one of his foul-mouthed, volcanic behaviors in the last two years, or at least the ones that were reported. 

And by the end, he feels so betrayed by his people and his city that he (sort of) promises to retreat from Manhattan and the media eye forever.

If only.

First of all, his timing is bad. We were really enjoying the silence. Instead, this is a perfect primer for other rich-and-famous celebs who see themselves as victims and feel compelled to share the pain of being them: Spare us your unique brand of Greatness.  You’ll only dig yourself in deeper.

Mostly it seems that Baldwin, the husband/father/philanthropist and all-around giver, wants to clear the air on the homophobia charges.

I’ll save you about a thousand words of deep, festering self-justification, and won’t go into every one, but basically his excuse is that he was protecting “MYWIFE!” And the mother of his child. (Just like that other pious husband, Michael Corleone, in “The Godfather.”) His wife’s privacy is sacrosanct. (Even though she tweets pictures of herself, legs akimbo in a cocktail dress and 4-inch Louboutins, pulling an upside-down yoga move on a hotel table in Spain.)

“I ended up attacking a reporter who wrote in the Daily Mail online that my wife was tweeting from Jimmy’s (Gandolfini’s) funeral. He was wrong—in fact, at a later time, she had retweeted items whose original time code matched the time of the funeral.”

Oh, I get it. That makes sense, and surely explains his fury in calling the reporter a “toxic little queen.” And also calling a photographer who came near his car a “cocksucking motherfucker.”

“Or whatever,” he adds. “When I have some volatile interaction with these people, I don’t pull out a pen and take notes on what I said.”

Duly noted.

What he wants to make transparently clear is that he has never, nor would he ever, use the word “faggot.”  However, this doesn’t stop him from more  amazingly gratuitous name-calling in this very piece, including berating Anderson Cooper as  “the self-appointed Jack Valenti of gay media culture.” 

Whatever that means.

He has insults for everyone who dareth protest. And like a five-year-old, he offers hollow, sham excuses for everything.

The reason “Orphans” on Broadway closed quickly was because his sometime fellow actor, Shia Le Bouef, had a “prison mentality” and therefore insisted on learning his lines early. (The little cretin!)

“I however, do not learn my lines in advance. So he began to sulk because he felt we were slowing him down.” But Baldwin wasn’t the one who got Shia fired, if you must know.

And here’s how he describes his interaction with the celebrated director of "Orphans,"  Daniel Sullivan:  “I was working with an older, more enervated Sullivan, who didn’t have the energy for any of this.”

It’s the same story with Baldwin's MSNBC show. He merely wanted to do a version of his radio podcast on TV, something rare, tiny and beautiful, and Phil Griffin, the idiot head of MSNBC, insisted that “TV, with its visual component, was different.” But being a go-along guy, Baldwin says,  “Okay, I would try it their way. “

(TV with a visual component? What are they, batshit crazy? )

In his morass of glacial non-self-awareness, I’m sure he had no idea that in attacking Griffin and the copter he flew in on, he is really describing NBC exec Jack Donaghy, the very character Baldwin played on “30 Rock.”  

Of course, this role as the cool, cruel, and smooth Jack has earned Baldwin love, money, awards and the biggest success he’s ever had.  The show was all about mocking the venal conventions of television, and NBC in all of its divisions (including Microwave Oven Programming) in particular.

Obviously, Baldwin doesn’t get the irony, and it’s rich.

 “Phil is a veteran programmer who knows well the corridors and chambers of television programming—and couldn’t give a flying fuck about content,” Baldwin writes.  “All he wanted to talk about was Giants tickets, Super Bowl tickets, restaurants, movies.”

Has Baldwin no memory of his own lines?  Jack was the guy who went out every evening in a tuxedo. (“What, am I a farmer?” he responded to those who thought it was perhaps a mite formal.)

Donaghy couldn’t be bothered with watching his own news shows:  "Typical liberal media. That's why I get all my news from Dick Cheney's website, dickviews.com."

With this piece, Baldwin has made himself even more of a pathetic laughingstock, and his gratuitous comments have hurt a lot of people. (His daughter Ireland, for one, can’t be thrilled that he described his new wife as “the most important person in my world,” second only to his new baby.)

In his mind, he is a tortured martyr -- mortally and morally wounded. When all he wants to do is give.

So why can’t New Yorkers see that and carry him around in a sedan chair? With his wife doing back flips and yoga poses behind him, of course!

Perhaps we won’t get the chance.  He claims we have forced him to consider moving to L.A., to a gated community.

I guess there will be an O.J. quality to seeing whom he can mow down in his Range Rover rage.

And really, Alec Baldwin, all we want to hear out of you is, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to give it anymore.

16 comments on "Alec Baldwin Explodes -- Or, The Puff Went Poof".

  1. Claudia Caplan from MDC Partners
    commented on: February 26, 2014 at 4:32 p.m.
    I really liked him on "Knott's Landing."
  2. Michael Deane from Modern Times Film Company
    commented on: February 26, 2014 at 4:45 p.m.
    Just goes to show you progressives have their own burdens to bare. Ok Baldwin isn't as vacuous as Ted Nugent or the corpulent Junior college failure Rush Limbaugh but he has certainly has a tendency to make an ass of himself and then constantly remind us of it. Still we could do worse. Our assholes are not quite as large or grotesque or merely as plentiful as the right wing ones...
  3. Gabe Samuels from Gabe Samuels, Media Consultant
    commented on: February 26, 2014 at 6:21 p.m.
    I wouldn't waste so many words to disabuse anybody who needed disabusing about the alleged brains of the exploding mouth. But that's just me.
  4. Tom Scharre from The Hunch Fund
    commented on: February 26, 2014 at 7:14 p.m.
    Wow, what did Alec Baldwin do to you, Barbara? When a man becomes an international parlor game of moral judgment based on a TMZ-provoked episode of unthinking anger, I believe he is entitled to try to tell his side of the story. You are free to belittle it, reject it, conflate it with other issues, whatever -- but to suggest his version is unwanted, unneeded & unjustifiable in every single detail is so mean-spirited. It denies him his humanity - however flawed that may be. You are a gifted writer, but I did not enjoy reading this. Peace.
  5. Dave Bell from time warner media sales
    commented on: February 26, 2014 at 7:45 p.m.
    Well written, now let's hope he rides off into the sunset and takes his unasked for agenda with him.
  6. Steve Ellwanger from Press Counsel Group
    commented on: February 27, 2014 at 8:52 a.m.
    The wonderful thing about freedom of speech is that we are free to ignore the speech of a--holes, Left and Right. Size is irrelevant.
  7. david m marks from self
    commented on: February 27, 2014 at 9:51 a.m.
    Relevant and superbly written, this expose' on Baldwin's egocentric manifesto was smack on! Baldwin's self indulgence, his schoolboy belief that he is somehow king of the new york sand lot is supercilious, at best, and causes the rest of us to run.For the love of all things New York, he was never the consummate new yorker. I suppose Baldwin reminds us all that comedians practice their jokes in the bedroom mirror You nailed it again, brought candor to the idiocy of his arrogance;
  8. Barbara Lippert from mediapost.com
    commented on: February 27, 2014 at 10:37 a.m.
    We will agree to disagree, Tom. If it were merely about a TMZ-provoked episode, that would be interesting. But it was one of 100. Yes, the paparazzi are out of control. And gunning for him, because he loves to play into the whole drama. He has repeated this cycle over and over again, starting with calling his daughter a "selfish little pig." Wasn't he going away after that? He is still tweeting things like, "I'd put my foot up your ass, but your would enjoy it too much," to the press. He just doesn't get it. And therefore, I find his "poor me" act --look what you've made me do!-- really infuriating.
  9. dave alpert from pmd
    commented on: February 27, 2014 at 2:27 p.m.
    Like many funny people - male and female - Baldwin has a nasty mean streak just below the surface. Does that make him a bad person or negate his work on progressive causes? I don't know. I really don't. But it's a question we have to ask about many people, both celebs, friends and family members. John Lennon - not comparing the two, just picking a good example to illustrate my point - was an incredibly angry man, was capable of extreme cruelty and was not a good father to his first son. Is this what we remember about him? Is this the most important narrative in his life story? JFK and RFK were obsessive womanizers with - presumably - little respect for their spouses, and Ted Kennedy was an alcoholic. Is this what we remember about them? Teddy was at least partially responsible for a woman's death and went on to be among the most respected Senators in history. Etc. Do we ride Alec Baldwin out on a rail because he is in some part still in the 8th grade emotionally? That is his problem - not homophobia. Ted Cruz is a homophobe. Bill Donohue is a homophobe. Michele Bachmann is a homophobe (married to a gay man, but a homophobe nonetheless). Alec Baldwin is an angry junior high school boy in the locker room after gym class.
  10. Dave Brody from TechMediaNetwork
    commented on: February 27, 2014 at 2:55 p.m.
    My family and I shall miss him reading musicological copy on WQXR during the New York Philharmonic's potty breaks.
  11. Terry Nugent from MMS
    commented on: February 27, 2014 at 5:57 p.m.
    Wasn't he supposed to move out of the country when W was elected? Had he done so, it might have been one of the few Bush accomplishments everyone could have agreed on.
  12. Maura Sheehy from writer
    commented on: February 28, 2014 at 12:07 p.m.
    Nailed it, as usual. Celebs have the right to privacy, paps are gross, but he's completely wrapped up in his own grandiosity--everything happens to him, should revolve around him, we should all listen to every feeling he has and build the world around his needs. Good luck with that, Alec.
  13. Barbara Lippert from mediapost.com
    commented on: February 28, 2014 at 2:54 p.m.
    Btw, didn't have room to include his description of "Jimmy" Gandolfini's funeral. "It hit me hard, since he's the father of a baby girl and he's younger than me." ME ME ME!
  14. Ruth Thomas from Second helping
    commented on: February 28, 2014 at 3:34 p.m.
    i am so mixed on this one...i like the actor Alec Baldwin so much that i dont want to hate him- but he's making it very hard for me-
  15. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2013ac.com network
    commented on: February 28, 2014 at 5:28 p.m.
    "Obviously, Baldwin doesn’t get the irony, and it’s rich." He doesn't get the irony because none exists. Ms.Lippert appears to think that actors become the roles they've played, and must forever-after assume and answer for the traits of that role, and never allow themselves to attack those who practice those traits in real-life. Now, that is a very weird observation on the author's part. On another note, I know a few paparazzi, and they are self-admitted jerks, who fully understand that their job involves extremely rude and dangerous behavior, all at the expense of their targets. And they simply do not care. Once they are crossed by angry celebs, they attack with even more zeal. Baldwin is right and both entitled and justified in his response.
  16. Jim English from FJC
    commented on: March 1, 2014 at 9:06 p.m.
    Thinking Alec got too close to Visigoth characters in Capital One ads. Too much rage.

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