Can't we forgive Alec Baldwin? He's given us so much
By Stephanie Zacharek (Salon)
Under Fire, an Actor Lashes Back With a Plan
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
For the good of viewers — and readers — Alec Baldwin must not leave “30 Rock.”
(New York Times)
The reaction to Alec Baldwin's repellent phone message to his eleven year old daughter Ireland prompted swift and understandable outrage in the media. I still have a problem with Kim Basinger or her lawyer leaking it (who else would have benefited?) but it's done and done and Baldwin sure looks bad.
But surprisingly and perversely at least two trustworthy tv columnists have spoken in his defense. Remember, I said perversely.
Stepehanie Zacharek says (basically) that we should forgive him just because he's such a fine actor.
Alessandra Stanley, noting that in the course of his damage control Baldwin promised to write a book on parenting, said ironically that Baldwin is a failure on talk shows and thus would be the same in print. So let him act for God's sake and spare all of us the embarrassment of reading his would-be tome.
They're both saying the same thing--he's too good an actor, especially on 30 Rock, to lose.
Speaking to these columns, a winger said that Don Imus deserved such high-power media friends. But Baldwin is no Imus. Imus was a hater disguised as comedian. He got what he deserved, at least by my lights.
But Baldwin is a boozy troubled man who was apparently trapped in the marriage from hell just as his wife was. If the divorce reflects the marriage both of them have equal amounts of my pity. But from what I can tell neither have done well by their daughter. Otherwise the divorce would have become official long ago.
I admit to being a long time fan of Baldwin. He's one of my two or three favorite actors except when he's called upon to be heroic. Heroic he ain't. Dark is what he is. He was great on Sat Night Live numerous times (remeber him as the chief surgeon at the Los Angeles Hospital for Breast Enlargement and Penile Enhancement--the only hospital you could get into following a massive earthquake?) and he was great in any number of films, most recently The Cooler.
I wish Badlwin and Basinger the best. I wish it even more for Ireland.
I just can't believe that a man as intelligent as Baldwin--however frantically they threw together his apology tour--hooked up with tv's favorite sociopath Dr. Phil.