30-Rock-star Alec Baldwin lashed out at gay news anchor Anderson Cooper in an unrestrained radio rant.
Baldwin said on the Howard Stern radio show yesterday:
'Anderson Cooper has a job to do. And that job is to try to reinforce his credibility in the gay community after the fact that you couldn't get him out of the closet for 10 years with a canister of tear gas. Now he's the sheriff. Now he's running around writing everybody a ticket!'
Baldwin was responding to a question from Stern about being criticized by Cooper for calling a reporter who said his wife was tweeting during James Gandolfini's funeral a 'toxic little queen'.
'Why does Alec Baldwin get a pass when he uses gay slurs? If a conservative talked of beating up a "queen" they would be vilified.'
'My ill-advised attack on George Stark of the Daily Mail had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone's sexual orientation. My anger was directed at Mr. Stark for blatantly lying and disseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at our friend's funeral service. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize.'
Gossip columnist Perez Hilton recounted the spat on his website last night. As he sees it, Baldwin's 'sheriff' comment was out-of-line.
'Anderson was just calling it like he saw it, which doesn't make him the sheriff, it makes him a guy with an opinion,' said Perez Hilton.
'We'd think you of all people would know a thing or two about THAT, Alec!'