Anderson Cooper isn't one to hold a grudge. He just tweets and moves on!
Alec Baldwin, not so much...
"I didn't speak out against him. I sent maybe two tweets expressing an opinion," Cooper clarified today on The Howard Stern Show when Stern asked about the CNN anchor's seemingly outraged reaction to Baldwin's use of anti-gay slurs on several occasions.
"I like Alec Baldwin, I think he's incredibly talented," Cooper, who is openly gay, insisted. "I think he's incredibly smart. I've got nothing against the guy. I don't want the guy to have a career that gets negatively impacted. I want him out there working. I love watching Alec Baldwin do stuff. I think he's genius in what he does and his comedy...and a really good actor. I saw him on Broadway recently."
Referring to "the first time" that Baldwin shoved his foot in his own mouth, when the actor tweeted that a certain Starbucks barrista was an "uppity queen" back in 2011, Cooper said that he let that one go.
"I was like, ‘You know what? Fine, maybe he just made a mistake,'" he recalled to Stern.
"But then he calls somebody else a 'toxic little queen' and then says that he'd like to shove his foot up the guy's ass but the guy would probably enjoy it too much," Cooper continued, referring to Baldwin's tweeted beef with a Daily Mail who reported (incorrectly, it turned out) that Alec's wife Hilaria Baldwin had been tweeting during James Gandolfini's funeral.
"And then [he] said, ‘Oh, I didn't know that queen was an anti-gay slur,'" Cooper said. "Which, OK, maybe I can believe that, although I don't think that's true, but then how do you explain saying you'd like to put your foot up the guy's ass but he would enjoy it? Which seems to be some reference to what he believes this guy's sexual preference is."
Stern suggested that maybe it would have been better if Cooper had called Baldwin up personally, instead of tweeting at the time: "Why does#AlecBaldwin get a pass when he uses gay slurs? If a conservative talked of beating up a 'queen' they would be vilified."
"Maybe I should've," Cooper acknowledged the point. "I don't know him. I'd met him once, I think...and I know he was on this show and he seemed to think that I said he should be vilified, which I never said. I said that, if he was a conservative, he would have been vilified, but he sort of got a pass...Then when he called the person 'a c--ksucker,' and then said he didn't know that ‘c--ksucker' was something that was an anti-gay...I mean, what adult does not know that calling a guy a c--ksucker is..."
Cooper was referring that time to Baldwin's most recent gaffe, when he was caught on video calling a paparazzo a c--ksucker, but denied the more egregious charge, which was that he had called that pap a f---ot." Baldwin insisted he called the man a "fat head."
After the third incident, the veteran newsman tweeted, "Wow, Alec Baldwin shows his true colors yet again. How is he going to lie and excuse his anti-gay slurs this time? Just read Alec Baldwin's latest excuses. They are actually so ridiculous they are funny."
Stern admitted that he uses the c-word in question "all the time," adding that he most definitely does not mean it in that particular way.
Cooper, giving Stern a pass considering the shock jock's usual repertoire, put it this way: "When you want to say something and the worst thing you can possibly think of to say to something, which is what this situation was, to talk about a sexual act between two guys as being the worst thing you can possibly think of, that seems to indicate…
"But I never said he was homophobic," Cooper concluded. "I have no idea what's in his head, so... I was surprised at how upset he seemed to get for some reason at me, and he said something in New York magazine recently about me again, like out of the blue…
"I got no beef…I sent my little two tweets six months ago, I'm done."
In the Feb. 24 issue of New York, Baldwin called Cooper "the self-appointed Jack Valenti of gay media culture," referencing the late former Motion Picture Association of America president who came up with the movie rating system still in place today.
But with Cooper saying that he has "no beef" with the man, once again the ball is in Baldwin's court.