This is the editorial in which Alec Baldwin burns bridges, bids farewell to New York, and tries to explain to us mere humans how hard it is to be famous. The irony seems to be that Baldwin decided to offer a lengthy rant about how the media has destroyed his ability to live in New York. You know what the media loves? Quotes. Lots of them. That they can print out and refer to as need be. How will I say goodbye to the media? By offering something that can create a media firestorm. This will provide content for all of the 24-hour cable networks and fillers on local news. Aces, Alec.
To save the rest of you from having to read this I’ll give you the CliffsNotes: His behavior is everyone else’s fault.
Okay, longer CliffsNotes.
There’s a lengthy tirade about the paparazzi as Baldwin bemoans the loss of anonymity in New York City because everyone has a camera. He also talks about the failed play he had been so excited about in 2013. Apparently he had to deal with the “entitled” Shia LaBeouf, who dared to question why Alec didn’t have all of his lines memorized. The nerve of the young film star to behave in such a way led to him being fired from the production. There’s also a great amount of column space spent complaining about Harvey Levin of TMZ. The latter is to blame for Baldwin’s paparazzi issues. It’s his fault that Baldwin’s daughter was hurt by the recording of him calling her… what was it? Ungrateful little pig? Yes, that’s clearly Harvey Levin’s fault. He also seems to have issues with Anderson Cooper, whom he refers to as a member of the “Gay Department of Justice,” responding to the issues of homophobia.
“In my rage, however, I called him a “toxic little queen,” and thus, Anderson Cooper, the self-appointed Jack Valenti of gay media culture, suggested I should be “vilified,” in his words. I didn’t feel bad about the incident… At the time, I didn’t view “toxic little queen” as a homophobic statement. I didn’t realize how those words could give offense, and I’m sorry for that.”
Really, Alec? You didn’t see anything wrong with the term “toxic little queen?” None of that struck you as homophobic? And Anderson Cooper, one of the few people who is out in the media isn’t allowed to take issue with what was said? Clearly there’s some need for a “Gay Department of Justice” when celebrities who proclaim to be a great supporter of the community after being “awash in gay people, as colleagues and as friends” still think certain terms are okay to use.
Then he goes on to complain about the treatment of Obama and how he, Baldwin, had such lofty aspirations for politics. He lays out the general platitudes all politicians offer, explaining that he would put the people first and lower taxes. Despite dropping comments about the obscene amount of money he makes, he complains that the rich are top in New York and that he would have changed that. Darn, we’ll have to leave the destruction of NYC to the current politicians.
The section on MSNBC is actually quite interesting. Clearly there’s no love lost there as he equates them to being nothing but boring and toxic, while under valuing the few people who are too smart to work there.
“I think Rachel Maddow is quite good at what she does. I also think she’s a phony who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera that she seems to have on the air.”
The only person he seems to like from MSNBC was Martin Bashir:
“Later, when Martin Bashir resigned, I was disappointed. Bashir brought a depth of experience and polish that I imagined might help get MSNBC to a higher place, content-wise.”
You can see why he doesn’t run a network. Nothing says polish and high brow content like suggesting someone defecate in the mouth of a Conservative woman. If you read anything from this, read the section on MSNBC. Naturally the conversation returns to the topic at hand, how his actions were blown out of proportion and earned negative media coverage:
“Every time people throw this mud on me, there are very serious consequences in my life.”
Oh, he’s the victim. There were absolutely no inciting incidents that led to the massive loss of respect. It’s the media’s fault that restaurant owners no longer want a picture of you for their walls or why no one says “Hey I love your movies” on the street anymore. Who’s fault is this? Conservatives.
“Even the U.S., which is so preposterously judgmental now. The heart, the arteries of the country are now clogged with hate. The fuel of American political life is hatred. Who would ever dream that Obama would deserve to be treated the way he has been? … But this is Roger Ailes. And Fox. And Breitbart. And this is all about hate. It’s Hate Incorporated.”
This from a man who thinks that Bashir would have brought class and stability to cable news and is halfway through an editorial filled with backhanded compliments and flat out insults. Clearly Baldwin is interested in cultivating a less judgmental, loving world. In conclusion:
“I probably have to move out of New York. I just can’t live in New York anymore. Everything I hate about L.A. I’m beginning to crave.”
I would point out that there are a lot of options, state-wise in between California and New York… but then again I wouldn’t wish that upon any state. And so we come to the end of this fond farewell:
“There’s a way I could have done things differently. I know that. If I have offended anyone along the way, I do apologize.”
The apology at the end would probably have more weight to it if he didn’t make half hearted apologies throughout the rant, quickly following them with the explanation that he’s sorry because of what it’s done to his life. Personally I could do without Baldwin. I enjoyed season one of 30 Rock, It’s Complicated was a great movie but I found that to be true because of Meryl Streep and Steve Martin. Speaking of Streep and Martin, can anyone tell me of the top of their heads where either of those actors live? When you last saw them out in public, not at an award show or movie premier? How about Tom Hanks or Julia Roberts? Interesting that there are bigger paparazzi targets that we never see on TMZ. Maybe Alec Baldwin should address his next letter to them.
As for us mere humans, you know the ones facing unemployment, loss of health care, and debt, we’ll have to get by without another celebrity telling us how hard it is to make do with living in LA instead of NYC. How will we get by?