Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin at 'The Unavoidable Disappearance Of Tom Durnin' Opening Night this week. (Getty Images)

Yesterday the Daily Mail incorrectly reported that Alec Baldwin's wife, Hilaria, was Tweeting from James Gandolfini's funeral. It turns out the author of that article, LA-based George Stark, did not read the timestamps correctly, not taking into account time zones. But it was too late, gossip sites frantically picked up the story and Alec Baldwin took to Twitter in the heat of the moment to respond. Unfortunately, he did so with Tweets that included calling on his followers to "straighten out this f*cking little bitch George Stark," and calling him a "toxic little queen." These Tweets ended up becoming the new story, with many calling Baldwin a homophobe. Baldwin deactivated his Twitter, and hasn't spoken until now. Below is a conversation we had with him this afternoon.

How are you doing today? [laughs] You sound stunned that I’m calling you back.

I wasn’t sure if you wanted to avoid all this. To me, it’s not a question of avoiding all this. Number one, I’m never going to apologize for defending my wife, ever. You know when this guy…you know obviously my wife, after the funeral, retweeted things, so when you see those on there, the timeline of the tweets make it seem like she was doing it during the funeral, which is so outrageous because it just kind of dirties up the whole funeral procedure.

Jimmy was a friend of mine. He's not someone that I saw much of lately, but Jimmy was somebody that I had a very deep admiration for. The idea that somebody was sitting in a church tweeting about this and that during his funeral is really offensive. My wife didn’t even bring her phone into the church. She left it in our car with my driver. That’s number one.

Number two, the idea of me calling this guy a "queen" and that being something that people thought is homophobic…a queen to me has a different meaning. It’s somebody who’s just above. It doesn’t have any necessarily sexual connotations. To me a queen... I know women that act queeny, I know men that are straight that act queeny, and I know gay men that act queeny. It doesn’t have to be a definite sexual connotation, or a homophobic connotation. To me those are people who think the rules don’t apply to them. This guy could blatantly lie, I mean blatantly lie about my wife on the internet and there are just no rules that apply to him, but that’s outrageous to me.

What you realize is that’s the world that we live in. We live in a world where there’s no journalism anymore. I mean trained, I don’t expect everybody writing for Gothamist or The New York Times…even The New York Times I don’t expect those people to all be coming out of Columbia per se, but I expect them to make some attempt to get it right, which you can almost never count on anymore.

The third thing and the only other thing I have to say about this is it was a great lesson to me because I learned a lot when I was at Jimmy’s funeral. Jimmy’s funeral was like a really profound event. One thing about Jimmy Gandolfini was that he wasn’t on Twitter. You know? He went and did his work, he put his energy into his work. And what I realized was that these social media things, which in the last ten years people have been saying to me, “Hey man, you gotta have this. These are all tools. You’re better off having these in your back pocket." Twitter and Tumblr and Vine and Instagram and Facebook and Myspace, all these things are social media tools that we were all told we had to have, and what we’re realizing is that no you don’t! No you don’t. All this energy goes into these things, and for what? If I serve on Twitter as an aggregator, if I take a piece off the internet and say “read this piece from The New York Times about fracking, read this article on Slate about fracking, or Mother Jones” or wherever it might be, it doesn’t matter what the venue is, The Washington Post, anything, if I aggregate that material a la Huffington Post and I shoot that out to the people, do you think I’m really changing anybody’s mind?

So when I go on Twitter—I’m sitting there at Jimmy’s funeral, I know this sounds like an overly dramatic thing to say—but I’m sitting there at Jimmy’s funeral and this stuff really is kind of superfluous. Twitter began for me as a way to bypass the mainstream media and talk directly to my audience and say, “hey here’s a show I’m doing, here’s something I’m doing.” But I realized it’s something I’m not really... it certainly isn’t worth the trouble. Rosie O’Donnell is on my podcast this week, and she said that she’s getting off of Twitter, and I said “God, I was thinking the same thing.” I said “you just end up absorbing so much hatred.” You get these body blows of all this hatred from people who... their profiles are almost identical, like “tea party mom, I love my job, I love my kids, I love my country #millitary #guns” and there’s a screaming eagle in the background of their profile, grasping some arrows and tanks rolling in the background and they all want to tell me how much they can’t stand my politics. And I go, “OK.” What kills me is these are people who want to put me out of business, so to speak, as fast as they possibly can, but they don’t want to put BP out of business, who turned the Gulf of Mexico into a cesspool.

The last thing I’ll say to you—and then I’ll let you ask a question—but the last thing I’ll say to you is if what I said offended everybody, that obviously wasn’t my intention. I’m not interested in offending anyone. If homosexuality was an issue for me, I would have moved out of New York years ago. I find that laughable.

It’s the same as what happened with the other guy. What I find is, they keep trying. If something happens, they keep trying to want to bury me in that way. “He’s a racist!” It’s like, “Ok…he’s a homphobe!...he’s an anti-semite,” that’s right around the corner, it’s coming next.

I don’t know if you saw what Andrew Sullivan wrote today... that what you said isn’t just hate speech, but he said it’s basically a prosecutable offense. Is it a prosecutable crime threatening a guy on Twitter or using the word “queen?”

Let me pull this up. He wrote, “this is not just hate-speech. It’s a specific call for other people to physically attack a gay man. It’s a call for violence.” I don’t think it’s a call for violence against a specific person because they’re gay, it’s a call for violence against a person who lied about my wife.

There’s a kid in Austin who made a Facebook comment and he was charged... I mean I don’t know anything about that. If a kid on Facebook called for something to happen to someone because they were gay, that's that situation. I did not call for this guy to be attacked because he was gay. I called on this guy because he lied against my wife, in what is a piece of “journalism” online. There’s a profound distinction, and if Sullivan doesn’t make that distinction, there’s nothing I can do about it. There’s nothing I can do about it.

I have no problem whatsoever with anything that Andrew Sullivan says. I mean I think that most people will see, as a matter of fact I don’t know anybody that I know personally that doesn’t see, my friends who are gay who think that I was calling on this guy to be attacked because he was gay. I would have to venture to say that Sullivan is alone on that conclusion. I do not call on anyone to attack this guy from The Daily Mail because he’s gay. He lied. Here my wife is pregnant, we’re at a funeral, leave me alone. We’re at a friend’s funeral who died. His wife is there with their eight-month-old baby. It’s a very sacred event and everybody’s like, “Alec Baldwin’s wife is tweeting about her Rachel Ray appearance,” and we’re like “no she’s not!”

Do you think that you’ll get back on Twitter? No, good God no. There are so many aspects of this business Jen that I’m so done with now, and only because I don’t want to provide... the one thing I wanna say is, the Andrew Sullivan [journalists] of the world, this is what they rely on. They rely on people that make missteps that they can castigate people for and beat their drums over. Where people make hate speech, it’s vital to me that you write this, where people make or write things that are hate speech against gays, I completely support outing those people and calling attention to those people and shining a light on those people. That’s not the case with this guy Stark.

What I realize is in that media echo chamber thing, I just want out. I just don’t wanna deal with it anymore. I was sitting there at Jimmy Gandolfini’s funeral and these people were talking about what a great person he was, what a great friend he was, father he was, what a great colleague he was. Everybody in the business just admires him as an actor. He didn’t think to himself, “Man I gotta have a Twitter, I gotta be Twittering.” I thought, “you know something? I’m gonna take a lesson from Jimmy Gandolfini.” This media thing is a complete waste of time.

It’s exhausting... And honestly I say this to you genuinely, I don't hate Sullivan. If Sullivan's saying I’m guilty of a prosecutable offense, if he reads into what I said and sees that I was calling on someone to do this because he was gay, I feel sorry for someone. Obviously not very smart if that’s what he said. He's obviously not very cautious. He’s obviously emotionalizing the issue and wanting to kind of score some points for himself. It’s kind of a shame that he wants to go to that extreme.

UPDATE: Baldwin has now released a statement to GLAAD, saying, "I have worked, periodically, with numerous marriage equality organizations, especially over the past couple of years, to achieve the very rights that gay couples are earning by recent court decisions. I would not advocate violence against someone for being gay and I hope that my friends at GLAAD and the gay community understand that my attack on Mr. Stark in no way was the result of homophobia. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize."

And GLAAD's Vice President of Communications, Rich Ferraro, has released this statement: "Alec Baldwin is making it clear that the intent behind his tweets does not excuse his language, especially at a time when there were 11 incidents of violence against gay men in New York City just last month. As we all work to end such senseless acts of violence, allies like Baldwin are right to use these moments to reinforce support for the community and LGBT equality."