We’ve hit “rock” bottom. No, not the debt ceiling debacle or Obamacare. It’s much worse.
Alec Baldwin has threatened (again) to leave show business.
Upset at the paparazzi, he stated he may exit stage “left” in order to protect his family. And ultimately we are to blame. “This country’s obsession with the private lives of famous people is tragic . . . it is so clearly a projection of people’s frustration about their government, their economy, their own spiritual bankruptcy . . . you have no voice in Washington.”
Although Baldwin’s psychobabble is indecipherable, since he’s a Hollywood actor — everything he says must be true.
Which leads us to the real reason for Baldwin’s troubles: himself. Typical of one who exudes monumental arrogance, Baldwin fails to see that he is not just woefully inconsistent, but worse, hypocritical.
Baldwin is the ultimate phony. During a recent rant, he reportedly hurled a homophobic slur at a cameraman, not the first time Baldwin has crossed that line.
After first denying it, he played the murky I’m-not-exactly-sure-what-I-said line. But it was clearly offensive enough for CNN’s openly-gay Anderson Cooper to tweet, “Baldwin has shown his true colors again . . . How is he going to lie and excuse his anti-gay slurs this time?” Numerous gay-rights groups also condemned Baldwin, including one that called on him to "end this pattern of anti-gay slurs," the GLAAD organization said.
Kudos to them for calling Baldwin out, because, ironically, the very media that Baldwin lambasts has given him a free pass, clearly a double-standard if one happens to be a liberal. Since Baldwin is an unabashed leftist, too many in Hollywood and the media look the other way when he utters inexcusable slurs. But woe to the right-leaning actor or politician who does the same, as calls for his head would lead every national newscast.
Mel Gibson is a good example.
That hypocrisy is exactly why the left has such a difficult time connecting with average Americans. When one of your own does something out-of-line, he needs to be hammered and publicly reprimanded. Doing so demonstrates a principled stance that earns credibility, but turning a blind eye destroys integrity.
Ethnic and homophobic slurs are unacceptable no matter who says them, but as one who, in front of the media spotlight, no less, professes to embrace diversity and gay-rights, Baldwin’s continued insults to those communities make his sins that much worse.
Maybe that’s why his new show on MSNBC has been shelved for several weeks, and possibly forever — not just because of his insensitivities, but because Baldwin’s lack of credibility seems to have led to a lack of followers. The numbers speak for themselves: He lost a massive 41 percent of the highly-sought adult audience (aged 25-54) in the last month.
So is Baldwin leaving show business, or is it leaving him?
Let’s get this straight. Baldwin owes his lucrative career to the cameras, yet he’s contemplating leaving the industry because … he’s getting his picture taken?
Ultra-sensitive actors like Baldwin need to get over themselves and grow up. You don’t like the paparazzi taking pictures of you and your family? Tough. That’s part of the gig, which, by the way, pays more than most would earn in a hundred lifetimes. The nature of show business has always been life in a fish bowl, and that won’t change. So either deal with it, reap the immense rewards and don’t complain, or shut up and walk away permanently.
But these actors can’t have it both ways. They can’t parade themselves and their families in front of the cameras whenever convenient, yet pillory the very entities that make them rich and famous by crying that their “privacy” is invaded.
It’s a free country, and the paparazzi have a job to do. So long as they don’t break the law, its time for celebrities to stop bashing and accept that dealing with them is a big part of the job description.
For all of Baldwin’s complaints about the paparazzi, his actions only intensify their interest in keeping tabs on him. They (and we) don’t really give a hoot about an increasingly washed-up actor, but the possibility of catching Baldwin making a fool of himself on tape — and yes, uttering bigoted slurs — is downright irresistible.
If he would simply smile, talk (not scream), every time he sees photographers, they wouldn’t badger or bait him nearly as much. But all Baldwin does is fan the flames. The problem isn’t the paparazzi. It’s the person Baldwin sees in the mirror.
We needn’t worry too much longer, because when Chris Christie becomes president, Baldwin will undoubtedly be moving (back?) to France.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.
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