I’ve always been on the fence when it comes to the paparazzi. On the one hand, if you’re famous enough to where people want desperately to take your picture, shut the fuck up and console yourself with the giant pile of money you very likely sleep on every night. On the other hand, yes, the paparazzi can be a very special kind of invasive vermin, sometimes dangerously so, and when they begin targeting your family you’re within your right to raise hell about it.
The problem with Alec Baldwin, first of all, is that he’s a pompous asshole who doesn’t consider himself a movie or television star as much as he does an “actor,” which means that he’s sincerely convinced himself that he’s curing cancer or something rather than reading a bunch of lines somebody else wrote for him. This means he really does think of it as an intrusion and an insult when people don’t take his art seriously and just demand pictures of him because he’s some dipshit on TV. Second, he’s inexplicably too dense to realize that the very reason photographers provoke him these days is precisely because they know how he’s going to respond and that’s the money shot they’re looking for. Third, yeah, the man has major anger issues.
I’m usually willing to forgive people who say awful things they don’t mean in anger; I certainly won’t immediately call for a pound of flesh from them to repair anyone’s wounded sensibilities. But by now it’s pretty clear that Alec Baldwin keeps reaching for the same insults over and over again every time he gets pissed at somebody — and those insults are stridently anti-gay.
Today, on the same day that Baldwin saw his stalker and harasser pronounced guilty and sentenced to seven months in prison, he also lost his shit on a couple of paparazzi who tried to get shots of him and his family outside of their Manhattan apartment. During this little confrontation, in which Baldwin tried to chase down the photographers, he appears to have called one of them a “cocksucking fag.” Baldwin of course took to Twitter to deny it, saying the word he used was “fathead.” As in “cocksucking fathead,” which is an insult I’m sure you’ve heard or may have used yourself many, many times in the past.
The thing is, Baldwin always seems be coming back against people who piss him off with homophobic or racist insults. I really do think the question needs to be asked why, say, MSNBC is willing to give him a pass. I wouldn’t be arguing for NBC network to pull Baldwin off 30 Rock because of his ongoing affinity for making hate speech his go-to id release for the simple reason that he was playing a character on 30 Rock and his personal behavior wouldn’t be as closely tied to a sitcom as it is to a talk show. Not simply that but a talk show on a news outlet that purports to be staunchly progressive and therefore against the kind of shit that comes out of Alec Baldwin’s mouth whenever he loses his temper. Keeping Baldwin around without any kind of, at the very least, reprimand seems more than a tad hypocritical on MS’s part. Hiring him in the first place was questionable, but now that he’s actually on-air and still yelling “fag” at people in the middle of the street, it’s officially MSNBC’s problem.
If he were anybody else but Baldwin, MS’s hosts would probably be eating him alive right now. Instead, it’s now completely fair to run headlines that read “MSNBC Host Chases After, Curses at Paparazzo.”
Again, not saying I can’t understand why photographers and columnists determined to get a rise out of him and make him angry actually do get a rise out of him and make him angry. The problem is the places he can’t stop himself from going to when he unleashes that anger.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.