He's quitting 30 Rock! He's leaving the country! He's challenging Kim Basinger to a duel by rapier! He's replacing Rosie! He's devoting his life to parental alienation awareness! He's had a stroke! He fired his agents at CAA because of Dora the Explorer! Alec Baldwin reveals the truth today at 11 a.m. on the most important episode of The View, ever, and we're here live-blogging for those of you unlucky enough not to have TV in your offices. (God, what do you do during the NCAA Tournament? Horror!) A minute-by-minute blow-by-blow is coming your way, so join us after the jump, hit refresh frequently, and try not to be disappointed in our poor live-blogging skillz.
[10:22] Just warmed up with Alessandra Stanley's think piece about talk show hosts from this morning's Times. We had no idea that on Wednesday, as Barbara denied having anything to do with Rosie leaving The View, Rosie leaned over and plucked something off Barbara's lip. That's brilliant.
[10:38] Listened to the voice mail again. Totally depressing and sad. He sounded like he was raging to avoid weeping. Must get over it! Super psyched for The View!
[10:44] We just refreshed the live blog, forgetting that unlike every other live blog we've ever read, this one won't update unless we actually write something. Still sort of new at this.
[10:58] Rachael Ray's high-fiving her crowd! It's almost time!
[11:02] Eyewitness News StormWatch? It's raining, ABC7! We know!!
[11:04] We come to The View, already in progress. It's a story about a 10-year-old transgender kid who is not in any way related to Alec Baldwin. We do get to hear Barbara Walters ask her parents, "Does your daughter feel like a freak?"
[11:12] Baldwin: "I got a huge bouquet of flowers from Don Imus."
[11:14] Baldwin looks... not great. He's a little unshaven, a little blotchy. He's already turning this into a mandate on parental responsibility — he mentions that people who had had parents berate or abuse them have sent him "blistering" e-mails.
[11:18] According to Baldwin, "everybody who works in tabloid media" are people who have been abused and "are filled with self-hatred and shame, and the way they deal with that is they destroy other people." Baldwin specifically claims that "the guy who is responsible for this coming out" falls into this category. We assume he means the owner of TMZ.com, rather than himself?
[11:22] We're somewhat amazed at how pugnacious he is. He apologizes for taking his anger out on the wrong person, but that's it — the rest of this segment is him explaining how Kim Basinger, in his view, is screwing him over in their custody battle. "We spent two blissful weeks together," he says of him and his daughter, "and she goes home and the mother unplugs the phone and we don't talk for ten days."
[11:26] Also, he keeps referring to Kim Basinger and Ireland only as "the mother" and "the daughter."
[11:27] Back from commercial. Baldwin claims that other famous people have called him saying "God, if they taped what I said to my kid..." Name names, Alec!
[11:29] "I don't want [the cast and crew of 30 Rock] to get hurt, so I've asked NBC to let me out of my contract on the show." Surely the cast and crew appreciate Alec's concern.
[11:30] As previously reported, he wants to devote himself to the cause of parental alienation.
[11:33] "I have a dream to go out this door and do something else with my life." Baldwin goes on at great length about all the fathers who e-mail him about their mean ex-wives, and those fathers' new wives who tell him that the ex-wives are "bleepin' bleep bleep bleeps." Barbara gently coaxes him back on-topic: "Of course, the most important thing is your daughter..."
[11:35] Woah, vitriol alert. Baldwin says his daughter told him that the way he wakes her up in the morning — gently talking to her, rubbing her hair — is in stark contrast to her mother, who opens to door and yells, "Get the hell outta that bed right now!" The audience laughs nervously. That was awful to behold.
[11:39] But overall, kind of refreshing — because Baldwin didn't try to spin anything. Whether he's right or not, you have to grudgingly respect a guy who never goes back on his view that his ex-wife is a total "bleepin' bleep bleep bleep," no matter how much trouble he gets in. He wasn't conciliatory. He apologized "if others were offended by what happened," and he's sorry and sad for his daughter, and he admits it was wrong to yell at her, but there's a complete and utter rage under that unshaven face that showed through in this interview. Yikes.
[11:42] Rosie gives Alec a hug, tells him she loves him. We feel sad and wish our wife and daughter were here right now to give us a hug. Final verdict: Alec Baldwin seems like a slightly worse person than we thought he was, and we respect him slightly more than we did before.