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MSNBC pulls plug on Baldwin

by The Associated Press on November 27, 2013 10:25 AM

NEW YORK — Alec Baldwin has his Friday nights back. He and MSNBC said Tuesday they were ending his weekly talk show after the actor had been suspended for two weeks for using an anti-gay slur in a New York City street encounter.

MSNBC said it was a “mutual parting and we wish Alec all the best.”

“Up Late with Alec Baldwin” had aired only five episodes.

The first three attracted a little more than a half million viewers, but the last two dipped under 400,000 viewers.

The Emmy-winning former star of “30 Rock” had lost his cool in the New York City street encounter. He later tweeted that he did not realize the profane phrase he used was offensive to gays, but then apologized.

He later said that the incident took place as he tried to protect his family.

MSNBC suspended Baldwin for two weeks, a punishment that was due to end this Friday.

The encounter came during the same week a Canadian actress was convicted in New York of stalking Baldwin with calls, emails and visits over a two-year period.

Genevieve Sabourin was sentenced to six months in jail in addition to a month she’s already serving for her courtroom outbursts.

On the same day Baldwin was suspended, another MSNBC personality, Martin Bashir, made a graphic suggestion for how Sarah Palin should be punished for comments on slavery. Bashir apologized and MSNBC said it is handling the problems internally.

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NEW YORK — CBS has ordered “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan and her producer to take a leave of absence following a critical internal review of their handling of the show’s October story on the Benghazi raid.

The show relied on an interview with a security contractor who said he was at the U.S. mission in Libya the night it was attacked last year, but questions were raised about whether the source was lying.

A CBS internal report obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday found the network did a poor job vetting the story.

CBS Chairman Jeff Fager, who is also the “60 Minutes” executive producer, said he asked Logan and her producer, Max McClellan, to take a leave of absence.

The length of time wasn’t determined.

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NEW YORK — Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt and her “The Client List” co-star Brian Hallisay are the proud parents of a baby girl.

Hewitt’s publicist Sarah Fuller said in an email statement the couple is “thrilled” over Tuesday’s birth of Autumn James Hallisay.

The couple is also celebrating being newlyweds. Fuller says they were recently married but did not provide further details.

“The Client List” was recently canceled by Lifetime after its second season.

Hewitt and Hallisay played husband and wife.

Us Weekly first reported the news.

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LAS VEGAS — A judge in Las Vegas has rejected O.J. Simpson’s bid for a new trial.

The decision Tuesday means the former football star must remain in a Nevada state prison where he is serving nine to 33 years for armed robbery and kidnapping in a bungled attempt to retrieve personal items from two sports memorabilia dealers in 2007.

Simpson was sentenced to prison in 2008.

He’ll be 70 years old before he is eligible for parole.

Simpson’s current defense attorneys argued that his previous lawyers handled his case so badly that he should get a new trial.

Clark County District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell considered 22 claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and attorney conflict of interest, but decided in her 101-page order that the standard required for a new trial wasn’t met.

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