Tonight, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, MSNBC planned a primetime lineup that included the special JFK: The Day That Changed America, The Kennedy Brothers: A Hardball Documentary, 50 Years of Guns — a docu in which Al Sharpton profiles guns in America decades after Kennedy’s murder — and a “very enlightened and well-researched” edition of Up Late, “dealing with John Kennedy’s assassination,” according to that show’s host Alec Baldwin. But after Baldwin went on another homophobic slur-spewing against a photographer earlier this month, his well-researched show on the JFK assassination has been replaced by one of the cable news network’s Lockup programs, as part of what Baldwin has described as a two-week-and-possibly-forever suspension of his program.
“Whether the show comes back at all is at issue right now,” Baldwin wrote in his blog after his show’s first week off the air, setting the stage for its non-return. “[If] the show dies, its fate ends up being no different than the vast majority of start-up TV programming, and so be it,” he wrote — though that all-about-the-ratings-like-any-other-start-up storyline grew less pat when the fill-in Lockup clocked an even smaller number than Baldwin’s show.
While cable news networks including MSNBC spend the week walking up to the anniversary of JFK’s untimely death, Baldwin attended a tech conference Wednesday in San Francisco to jokingly profess his love for a man, in the hope of, once again, recalibrating his image — this time after a video clip caught him tearing into a photographer with at least one gay slur and possibly two, though Baldwin denies uttering the second one and says he did not realize the first was a slur. After asking a member of his entourage to stand up, Baldwin told him: “I want you to be my lover, Matt. I love you, Matt. I love you in that way.” The Associated Press reports Baldwin’s bit got a big laugh from the conference crowd.
MSNBC has been very quiet since Baldwin announced his Up Late With Alec Baldwin was being taken off the cable news network for two weeks. That, after the entertainment website TMZ posted a video of the hot-tempered Baldwin’s latest rant. That includes a state of mum-ness in re whether the program, which had sunk about 40% in ratings in its brief five-week life, will return.