Harsh Alec Baldwin Claims He Didn't Want the 'Harshly Political' Image of MSNBC

Alec Baldwin granted an interview to Politico’s Patrick Gavin about his new MSNBC show. Television is turning out to be much tougher than his public-radio show. He seems to revolting against the rules, like wearing an earpiece because that’s “so artificial.” He even sounds like he’s revolting against what MSNBC is, underlining he was reluctant to sign on for a show.

"I wasn’t that wild about that idea because MSNBC — which I’m a fan of — it had a certain stamp that I wasn’t sure I wanted to wear," Baldwin said. "It is this harshly political thing and, regardless of my own politics, I wasn’t sure I wanted to dine out on that." Baldwin’s imagining that he’s not some raving Olbermann. He’s going to do a PBS show like Charlie Rose:

He doesn’t want a flashy set. “Instead, he’d love to have something akin to Charlie Rose’s simple setup [guest in front of a black background], but don’t expect that either. ‘I wanted to do that, and MSNBC is not going to do that,’ Baldwin said.”

Once again, it appears like Baldwin wants to be something that’s unlike his harshly political persona on Twitter, or his reputation for harshly treating paparazzi. It appears like Baldwin, like Eliot Spitzer, is looking to an interview show as something that might just make him more appealing as a political candidate in New York.

It's quite clear from his no-earpiece rule that Baldwin's show is going to be pre-recorded and not live. Who wants to see how Alec might have an outburst live? Baldwin is aiming for the kind of show he would like to be interviewed on, something better than all the “very frustrating and unsatisfactory” celebrity interviews he’s endured.

“It was either just dull, or they ask me the same stuff or someone just clicked on the Internet and asked the Top Five things on Google. It was a very tedious format, and the entertainment press is just the worst of all. Ninety percent of them are just going through the motions. They don’t really care. … I want to do a show that was more like how I would like to be treated if I were the guest on a show.”

Because everyone knows Baldwin is a big believer in the Golden Rule.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis