Photo Credit: Jennifer Graylock/FilmMagic
You'd think Alec Baldwin was on a hockey team, from the amount of time he spends playing defense. On Monday, the 30 Rock actor used an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman to deny the latest rumors of his out-of-control behavior.
"You know, I would like to begin now an official campaign to get the New York Post nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for journalism," Baldwin joked.
The New York City paper reported last week that Baldwin manhandled and threatened a female reporter, who ambushed him on the street near his home in hopes of getting a quote. The actor was also accused of calling the accompanying staff photographer a series of racist names, and it seems that the accusation of racism is what galled Baldwin the most.
"The Post waited and waited patiently for 25 years and finally they tripped me up and exposed me for the racist that I really am," Baldwin sardonically told Letterman, after ticking off a few of his non-racist credentials (like working on minority voter registration and collaborating with the Kennedy Center for Human Rights in Africa).
The actor made a good case for himself, joking about the Post's agenda against him and adamantly denying that he'd ever used that kind of language. By the end of the interview, we were convinced that it was all a big misunderstanding.
And yet, we also had this crazy sense of deja vu. Perhaps because, back in June, Baldwin visited Letterman to laugh off reports of a different paparazzi confrontation. Or maybe we were thinking back to December 2011, when the actor visited Saturday Night Live to issue a faux-apology on behalf of American Airlines, after they ejected him from a flight.
After each of these TV appearances, we had the same thought: How could someone as charming as Alec Baldwin do these awful things? (Closely followed by a second thought: at least he has a sense of humor about it all.)
The problem is that these awful things keep happening. Sure, it's possible that the media has a vendetta against Baldwin, but we've heard that excuse enough from Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen to know that it doesn't really hold water. When a guy gets in trouble for his temper every six months or so, it can't all be a big misunderstanding. Baldwin may not have said what the Post printed, but we suspect he has more to do with the incident than he's letting on.
Let's face it, we've all known for a long time that Baldwin has anger-management problems. Remember that horrible voicemail that made us all hate him until Tina Fey made it okay to like him again? The guy is not somebody you want to tick off, and obviously, that problem is not fully under control.
Baldwin, though, is optimistic that we'll be able to see past the scandals. "The good news is when something like that happens, something that's so ugly and unpleasant, I think 99 percent of the people who see it say, 'that's not possible,'" Baldwin told Letterman. "Like they know you well enough, and you've worked hard enough... that they know it's not possible."