Anderson Cooper's war of words with Alec Baldwin continues.
Baldwin, seemingly indicating the future of his MSNBC show was uncertain due to his using homophobic language toward a paparazzo, had tweeted mockingly about Cooper's ratings. And last night, Cooper convened a panel on his CNN show to discuss the paparazzi incident, during which Baldwin was heard to call the photographer a "cocksucking fag." Said Cooper of Baldwin's subsequent denials that he had said "fathead" and that he was unaware that "cocksucking" was a slur:
"My point is anybody can say anything they want [...] but then don't lie about it afterward and claim you don't know this was an antigay slur. I don't know how old he is, in his 50s or whatever, but if you attain that great age and claim you don't know calling a guy a 'toxic little queen' is an antigay reference or calling someone a 'c-sucking fag'... that's just a lie. I mean, come on!"
Cooper drew out the idea that homophobic slurs are uniquely OK in American society -- after all, he noted, Baldwin hasn't suffered the sort of consequences that Paula Deen did. Said Cooper: "If Alec Baldwin had yelled the N-word at that photographer, or yelling an anti-gay slur -- it'd be over!"
The CNN anchor and the "30 Rock" star have traded barbs, as was the case this summer when Cooper criticized Baldwin's calling a reporter a "toxic little queen" and Baldwin mocked the manner and pace at which Cooper had come out of the closet. If past precedent can be trusted, Cooper's critique of Baldwin's language is not likely to be the end of the story.