TMZ, the New York Post, and their ilk have had a lot of fun with Alec Baldwin over the years. A lot of fun. But the embattled former 30 Rock star has had enough, he says in a new New York Magazine cover story: he’s quitting public life. Just think how much the tabloids are going to be missing: They don’t have Alec Baldwin to kick around any more.
The last year has been rough on Baldwin professionally. Privately, it’s been a time of great joy, as he and his wife, Hilaria, welcomed a baby daughter. But even that blessing has been marred by several highly-publicized incidents with paparazzi whom Baldwin says have crossed the line and instigated confrontations. One of those confrontations resulted in accusations that Baldwin had uttered a gay pejorative, leading to his being branded a homophobe by several high-profile out media personalities. As a result, his newly-launched MSNBC talk show, in hindsight, was doomed to failure. Throw in his less momentous but even more fascinating Broadway pissing match with the formerly famous Shia LaBeouf, and Baldwin has had enough. In a 5,284-word confession that is half apology, half Nixonian diatribe, Baldwin settles old scores, makes new enemies, and announces that he’s probably done with New York. “There’s been a shift in my life,” he says. “And it’s caused me to step back and say, This is happening for a reason.”
On the way out the door, he slams a multitude of famous people for incompetence, phoniness, or outright stupidity. If Baldwin is sincere in his intention to retire from the spotlight — at least in the sense of participating in public discourse, both important and frivolous — his final blast was a corker. But I suspect his growing list of enemies will respond, denying him the final word.
1. Rachel Maddow
What Baldwin said: “Another [MSNBC employee] told me, regarding the ‘toxic little queen’ comment, that Rachel Maddow was the prime mover in my firing, as she was aghast that I had been hired and viewed me as equivalent to Mel Gibson. Another source told me, ‘You know who’s going to get you fired, don’t you? Rachel. Phil will do whatever Rachel tells him to do.’ 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.” READ FULL STORY