Alec Baldwin versus the New York Post

Taunted over a stalker case, the "30 Rock" actor goes on yet another Twitter tirade about the tabloid

By Mary Elizabeth Williams
November 30, 2012 9:40PM (UTC)
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(Joe Seer via Shutterstock)

It's like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of blowhardiness: two great, dependably outraged forces in one overwrought, excited (and inevitably deleted) Twitter rant. Oh, Alec Baldwin, you're like Trump with better politics and hair. Don't ever change! And who was the object of his Irish temper? Why, none other than New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser, a woman whose charm and compassion can be summed up by the fact New York Magazine describes her as "Madame Defarge." 

It's an emotional time for Baldwin, with "30 Rock" now careening toward its ending and a strange stalker case hanging over his head. But that didn't stop Peyser this week from banging out a unique defense of Baldwin's alleged stalker, Genevieve Sabourin. Sabourin, who is accused of sending harassing emails and showing up uninvited at Baldwin's homes, was arrested recently for allegedly violating an order of protection issued last spring. (She was released soon after.) But in Peyser's version of events, "Alec toyed with Genevieve’s womanly affections, treating her to a one-night stand like some kind of cheap whore. Now she wants to expose him for what he is: a cad … Hey, Alec, she says you slept with her! Deal with it, creep."


Like Cookie Monster faced with a box of Oreos, Baldwin found that kind bait irresistible, launching into a ten-tweet tirade against the Post. It was, for Baldwin, a remarkably restrained response, one in which he observed, "Everyone who breathes air knows the Post is the worst newspaper in human history. But shame on them for politicizing a criminal case … and shame on the morally bankrupt partisan trash Andrea Peyser. Peyser spits on the DA and all women in one, poorly written, ultimately unmemorable column."

Baldwin and Peyser have a longstanding, very public, and seriously weird history. Back in April, Baldwin tweeted, "You won't find a writer more casual with the truth in all of journalism than Andrea Peyser." Peyser responded with a long, strange attempt at sarcasm directed at her "supersized … soul mate." This past summer, they were at it again, when he tweeted, "Andrea Peyser, you are as bad a writer as you are filled with self-hatred," and she filled a column calling him "a ripe and bloated age 54" and boasting she was "his greatest frenemy."

But Baldwin, who rarely needs an excuse to get mix it up, has frenemies like Kim Kardashian has shoes. This is, after all, the man who, a year ago, got himself kicked off an airplane over his refusal to stop playing Words With Friends. Words With Friends. In June, Baldwin went berserkers on a Daily News lensman who was snapping the actor and his fiancée while they were picking up their marriage license at City Hall. Baldwin then followed up with one of his epic Twitter rants, hashtagging that "#allpaparazzishouldbewaterboarded." Dammit, why couldn't this have become another "30 Rock" ripped-from-reality plotline for Thursday's wedding episode? And in between both of those incidents, he went to Cannes and called Harvey Weinstein a "douchebag." Somewhere, Charlie Sheen is thinking, "That guy has rage issues."


Yet in contrast to his famed meltdowns of recent memory, this latest rant seems remarkably subdued. Plus, it's about the Post. That's why it's surprising he deleted all but one of his tweets, the innocuous observation that "Most women I know insist that women enjoy equal rights and inherit equal responsibilities in all things." Has Baldwin changed his mind? Does he no longer believe that the Post isn't "the worst," or that Peyser isn't "morally bankrupt partisan trash"? One thing's for sure – he's not getting soft. He may have rethought his opinions on the Post and Peyser, but he's still got plenty of vitriol. He tweeted Thursday that "The taxis in NYC are terrible. And the T&L Commission is a disgrace."

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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30 Rock Alec Baldwin Andrea Peyser New York Post Twitter