Fair and Balanced NPR Station Offers Alec Baldwin a Podcast

The power of celebrity certainly carries more weight than any care a public radio station in New York City might have about looking fair and balanced. WNYC radio has signed up leftist actor Alec Baldwin -- "Occupy Wall Street" supporter, Cheney-death-joking potential Democratic candidate for Mayor or Congress -- to do a podcast called "Here's the Thing."

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.'"

Baldwin's debut podcast on October 24 will feature Douglas. WNYC said that coming guests will also include Kathleen Turner; Erica Jong and her daughter, Molly Jong-Fast; long-forgotten talk show host Dick Cavett; and the reality-TV personality Kris Kardashian Jenner.

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