Wednesday's Times contained an interview with actor Alec Baldwin about his political ambitions, and naturally, reporter Sarah Maslin Nir - whose regular job is a night-life "Nocturnalist" blogger - as too star-struck to suggest Baldwin's one of those ultraliberal actor/political dilettantes who primps about running for Mayor. She never described him as a liberal at all.
Baldwin was clearly happy with the profile, since he Twitter-smooched her after it was published: "Ah, there's nothing like a young reporter yearning for truth". She tweeted back, "thanks! Nothing like a newsmaker being frank with the press. Much appreciated."
There wasn't much embarrassing about Baldwin to talk about. She mentioned the bitter divorce with Kim Basinger and Baldwin calling his daughter a "pig," but that's old news. She mentioned that Baldwin supported Anthony Weiner for a while, since "sex scandals mean nothing to me," but she didn't note that Baldwin puffed Weiner on The Huffington Post as a high-functioning "modern human being" as he sent crotch pictures on Twitter.
The Times completely ignored all of Baldwin's wacky editorializing for the Huff-Post about Dick Cheney being a terrorist he'd like to kill.
In 2006, he wrote "Cheney is a terrorist. he terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately." When he was attacked for these remarks, he apologized insincerely: "How about something more measured, then? How about...a lying, thieving Oil Whore. Or, a murderer of the U.S. Constitution?"
Clearly, if he ever runs for office, Baldwin's campaign ads ought to be doozies. On the Fourth of July in 2006, he cooked up a double-murder fantasy. After dispatching Osama bin Laden with a box-cutter and hurling his corpse off a high balcony, "in the final stroke of luck, Bin Laden lands on Dick Cheney. God bless America."
Sarah Maslin Nir might not describe Baldwin as an ultraliberal since she's campaigned for ultraliberals. Her resume boasts working nine months for Howard Dean for President in 2003 and 2004, as well as serving as an intern on the Eliot Spitzer for Governor campaign for three months in 2006. She also interned for Rep. Carolyn Maloney for five months in 2001 and 2002. She let Baldwin present himself as a man of the middle-class, despite his current TV millions:
'There are people who make a lot of money who become rich people, and then there are people who make a lot of money, but they don't think like rich people do,' he said. 'No matter how much money they have, they are the same from their own upbringing. I would definitely put myself in the latter class.'
He added, 'What I think the government should be doing, who I think government should be serving, and in what way and what it should be prioritizing is a lot different than people would think.'
After that piece, on the Times City Room blog, Diane Cardwell noticed one of his proclamations about living on the Upper West Side to live with some regular folks might alienate voters. He said his location "helped him stay in touch with regular people" and that it was 'more real' and 'seems more middle class' than other neighborhoods and is 'not a little kind of jewel-box, privileged pocket of the city.' Cardwell added:
Some parts of the Upper West Side retain a bit of economic diversity, but Mr. Baldwin is hardly huddling with the masses. He lives at the Eldorado, Art Deco twin towers that loom over Central Park West between 90th and 91st Streets and the blocks of multimillion-dollar town houses to the west.
The building has long been home to the prominent and wealthy, as well as to other celebrities....
Mr. Baldwin has just listed his 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom apartment on the 22nd floor with Corcoran, according to Curbed. The price tag for his foothold among the middle class? $9.5 million.
PS: New York magazine mocked the Times reporter's "flirty" relationship with the source, and related how on she bragged that "Nocturnalist regaled friends at the restaurant with tales of how Mr. Baldwin had asked us if we'd exposed ourselves on Three Mile Harbor Road." Baldwin is 53, and Sarah Maslin Nir is 28. But as the story relates, Baldwin's current girlfriend, Hilaria Thomas, is 27.