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Alec Baldwin And The Diminishing Value of Celebrity

Alec Baldwin And The Diminishing Value of Celebrity

MSNBC and actor Alec Baldwin have parted ways, after Baldwin uttered an anti-gay slur. Officially, the network and the star said it was a mutual decision.

That explanation would get an A-plus in a college course entitled The Art of the Spin. See more:

Perhaps the news world will begin to realize that all celebrities are not created equal. Just because Baldwin has starred in the movies and on television, it doesn’t make him a worthy news talk-show host. He has to get his anger under control, but that’s his problem.

The viewers’ problem is the way cable TV networks give so little care to finding appropriate news hosts. One of Jon Setwart’s secrets is that as angry and acerbic as the witty Stewart can get, he doesn’t emotionally spill over into sounding mean-spirited or bullying. Same with Stephen Colbert and SNL’s Weekend Update.

MSNBC should have questioned whether Baldwin could hold viewers’ attention with interesting and provocative chatter or whether he was ready to handle the responsibility. Likely, MSNBC spotted an easy opportunity to parachute in a major movie and TV star instead of someone else — like, say, a qualified journalist.

Say, that would be a radical idea! 

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