The double-edged sword called the Internet spreads and then debunks myths at head-spinning speed. So despite attempts on all sides to erase the evidence, we know with absolute certainty that actor Alec Baldwin experienced yet another one of his infamous Twitter meltdowns last week.
What makes this particular spectacle noteworthy is that this time, he was scolded by an unlikely personage: fellow liberal (and CNN marquee broadcaster) Anderson Cooper.
This episode began when the Daily Mail‘s George Stark did something I’ve done more times than I care to admit (even with help from an online time-zone calculator): He apparently miscalculated the time stamp on some frivolous Tweets by Alec Baldwin’s wife Hilaria and reported that she’d thoughtlessly sent them out during the funeral of Sopranos star James Gandolfini.
It would have been tacky if it were true. However, it looks like a Hollywood big shot actually was being classy for once, and Alec Baldwin took to Twitter to defend his wife’s honor“albeit in his patent-pending, totally unhinged Alec Baldwin way.
“I’m gonna tweet at your funeral,” Baldwin typed at Stark, calling on his thousands of Twitter followers to “straighten out” the reporter.
“I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen,” he continued, “And I’m gonna f***…you…up.”
Baldwin added, “If [sic] put my foot up your f***ing ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much.”
“Did someone say ‘ass’?” one imagines Anderson Cooper calling out, all Auntie Mame-like.
Kidding. But of all the people”and they were legion“who rushed to condemn Baldwin’s nasty tantrum, it was Cooper’s reaction that stood out, and not just because the de facto “face” of CNN is as kneejerk a leftist as the ever-angry actor.
It’s because, as everyone knows (and knew full well before he “bravely” “came out” of the closet in 2012″hell, I’m sure it was obvious when he came out of the womb in ‘67), Anderson Cooper is gay.
Now, Anderson Cooper is no Walter Cronkite. (Then again, some might quip, neither was Walter Cronkite….)
In “Cold Civil War” America, no single broadcaster plays the same national voice of authority role Cronkite supposedly did, if only by default. (Kids: In those days, we only had three big networks on something called “the dial.” Long story.)
And obviously, Walter Cronkite wasn’t the photogenic, soft-spoken gay son of a Vanderbilt.
It’s that “gay” part that matters for our purposes. Cooper’s open-secret yet non-flamboyant homosexuality helped him “win” Middle America, or at the very least, it failed to tweak its blood pressure too much.
Why does #AlecBaldwin get a pass when he uses gay slurs? If a conservative talked of beating up a “queen” they would be vilified.
This is pretty rich coming from Cooper, who’s never expressed remorse for popularizing the tasteless “tea-bagger” nickname for Tea Party sympathizers in 2009. (“It’s hard to talk when you’re tea-bagging,” Cooper had “joked,” knowingly, in a rare display of bitchy vulgarity.)