NPR to Alec Baldwin: Host a podcast for us, please

posted at 4:05 pm on October 14, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Woo hoo! I’m so pumped for this podcast. Know why? Because Jim Treacher is going to have a field day with it! His “Daily Words of Wisdom from Alec Baldwin’s Twitter feed” is already one of my favorite features of TheDCMorning. Mostly, though, I just love all the accumulated evidence of NPR’s unassailably “fair and balanced” approach to the news.

Alec Baldwin: The epitome of objectivity. This is a guy who urged his Twitter followers to smear Michelle Malkin for jibing him about his opposition to Troy Davis’ execution. A guy who, while full of compliments for Bill O’Reilly, once wrote that Sean Hannity makes “political pornography” and called Mark Levin Sean Hannity’s “cabin boy.” (Not that either of them were intimidated — Levin hit back by calling him Alec “Brokeback” Baldwin and Hannity’s still poking fun at the actor.) Baldwin was calling conservatives “terrorists” before it was cool. But, no matter. As NewsBusters’ Tim Graham explains, NPR would rather harness the power of Baldwin’s considerable celebrity than preserve any kind of objective reputation:

WNYC’s selling this dabbling podcast as potentially surprising: “Alec sidesteps the predictable by taking listeners inside the dressing rooms, apartments, and offices of people such as comedian Chris Rock, political strategist Ed Rollins and Oscar winner Michael Douglas….Here’s the Thing: Listen to what happens when a man you think you know surprises you.” Baldwin claimed to Dave Itzkoff at The New York Times he wouldn’t have an agenda — including that possible political candidate thing?

Mr. Baldwin, who also hosts “The New York Philharmonic This Week” on WQXR and has been a guest host of “Studio 360 With Kurt Andersen,” said in a phone interview that his “number one” interest in creating the podcast “was to find a way where you could talk to people and you don’t feel like you have an agenda, and then they wind up saying everything you hoped they would say.” He added: “I don’t mean in a way to hang themselves or trip themselves up. Nothing embarrassing. I’m going to talk to Ed Rollins, and I’m going to say to him: ‘Convince me. Convince me that I should be voting for your candidates.’”

But, then again, maybe I’m being too cynical. As the saying goes, “A skeptic demands to be shown, while a cynic refuses to be shown.” I’d love to be surprised by a man I think I know — and if, with this podcast, Baldwin actually does what he purportedly plans to do, I’ll be the first to offer poetry-slam-style snaps. The truth is, just as Baldwin says of O’Reilly, Alec has talent in spades. And at least one actor has been known to make an astute politician, so I can’t say I wish entertainers would just excuse themselves from the political arena.

Baldwin’s podcast debuts Oct. 24. Preparing to be surprised …


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