Give This To Alec Baldwin

Anna Nicole Smith Appears In PETA's "Gentlemen Prefer Fur-Free Blondes"

The paparazzi suck. However, Baldwin wants to use the law to rein them in:

[T]he press never turns the camera around on themselves. Least of all the tabloid press. My wife is a young mother with a newborn child. Yet reporters harass and hector her and our baby outside our home in ways that approximate a hockey brawl. It is shameful. And it should be illegal.

It is shameful – even vile. But it’s a free country. Alyssa sympathizes with Baldwin but has the same worry as me:

[A]s unpleasant as I find the conduct of very, very many celebrity photographers, I’m not sure Baldwin makes the case (or that anyone has, really) that inconvenience to celebrities justifies laws restricting the press, especially when other legal remedies are available for many of the concerns he expresses. New York City has laws making available restraining orders, handing out driving violations, and governing permitting for shooting film on city streets, all of which are potential avenues Baldwin and his peers could explore to make their lives more livable.

Among her other suggestions:

It’s undoubtedly unpleasant and anxiety-provoking to be pursued this way, but Baldwin is pursued not simply because he is famous–there are New Yorkers more famous than he–but because celebrity outbursts are a commodity. And if you provide them regularly, as Baldwin does, and as Jude Law and Kaney West have in the past, you become a reliable source of income. If Baldwin, who as a trained actor has better tools to put on false emotions than most of us do, simply went inert at the sight of a photographer, or if he and his wife traveled primarily by car and driver, they would almost certainly diminish their value to the people who presently harass them.

The AC360 Later panelists and I tackled the latest Baldwin blowup the other night – watch here. A reader’s two cents:

I was listening to a recent episode of Alec Baldwin’s podcast, Here’s the Thing, and was struck by his own statements about his relationship to papparazi and why he engages in the fights in the first place. It was in the episode with Jerry Seinfeld (which is an interesting one for a lot of reasons). I’ve run out of time to find you the timestamp for the part where Alec explains his outrageous behavior, but you’ll know it when you hear it. He really feels that he is on the side of justice. Nothing in there about why a person would need to use gay slurs in the line of perceived duty, but still, I think the man is a fascinating and complicated person.

(Photo: Model Anna Nicole Smith poses on Rodeo Drive as she unveils a poster to promote a new ‘Gentlemen Prefer Fur-Free Blondes’ ad for People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals in Los Angeles, California on December 7, 2004. By Carlo Allegri/Getty Images.)