Alec Baldwin says he was “shocked” when he was criticized by openly gay CNN anchorman Anderson Cooper over Baldwin’s Twitter tirade earlier this month in which he attacked a British journalist.
The attack was widely reported and also widely criticized for what many felt were homophobic slurs — Cooper included.
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Baldwin talked about Cooper’s reaction in an interview with Howard Stern on Stern’s Sirius XM radio show, according to this story on the Hollywood Reporter Web site.
In the interview, Stern seemed like he was trying to goad Baldwin into saying something controversial about the CNN news star.
When Stern first raised the subject, Baldwin struggled to provide an answer. “Anderson Cooper decides to, to, to, to –,” Baldwin reportedly stammered.
Then Stern said, “He attacked you!”
To which Baldwin replied: “Whatever word you want to use, I’m not going to say ‘attacked,’ ” Baldwin said, adding, “That was the one that shocked me the most.”
He needn’t have been so shocked. Cooper has been vocal about instances that he perceives as gay-bashing and bullying, including incidents in which public figures or characters in TV shows and movies use the word “gay” as a pejorative, or worse.
Many people felt Baldwin’s tweets were homophobic. The “30 Rock” actor’s Twitter attack was aimed at a British newspaper journalist who reported that Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria, was blithely and thoughtlessly posting tweets during James Gandolfini’s funeral in New York. Baldwin retaliated with tweets that said, “I’m gonna find you, George Stark [the correspondent], you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna f***…you…up,” and “[I’]d put my foot up your f***ing a**, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much.”
Homophobic or not (and we tend to agree with those who felt they were), Baldwin’s tweets were certainly undeniably nasty, and he quit Twitter — again — after the hue and cry arose over this diatribe. He also denied that the statements were homophobic.
Cooper posted a tweet of his own on the subject: “Why does #AlecBaldwin get a pass when he uses gay slurs? If a conservative talked of beating up a ‘queen’ they would be vilified.”
Stern asked Baldwin what he would say to Cooper the next time their paths cross. “Nothing, actually,” Baldwin said.