No, not Ferguson. Not Gaza. Those are small stories compared to this, which merited not just nearly 600 words, but a link on Twitter: Alec Baldwin's involvement in an assault in his building. And by "involvement" I mean "recounting what his servants said they saw, since he wasn't actually there." I shit thee not. Money quote:
The two women were riding the elevator down from his apartment on an upper floor, Mr. Baldwin said. When it reached the fifth floor, they saw the attack, just as the doors opened, "like the curtain going up in the theater," the actor said.
The witnesses described what then happened as an unprovoked attack, according to Mr. Baldwin. "As a prosecutor would say, he was lying in wait, crouched down," Mr. Baldwin said, in an account that he said was based on talking with the assistant and the cleaner, as well as the victim's family and building workers. "And then he cracks the woman with a frying pan. What is that? He waited for her to show up and — Bam!"
Frankly, I'm glad to see this. For far too long, the Times has catered to the whims of people who know what's going on around the world, curious gawkers who want—nay, demand—single-person trend stories about one stay-at-home dad who makes his baby's butternut squash and kale puree in his own kitchen or some self-absorbed blogger who turned her Internet popularity and connections with artistic types into a six-figure book advance to delve into the ennui of the urban artiste set (not that any of those would happen in real life), not even people who enjoy reading Mark Bittman's complaints about the food industry, nodding sagely while eating their Double Quarter Pounders with cheese, pausing only to say, "Those bastards" with meaningful disdain (not that I have any experience with that).
No, we want hard news, especially when it comes in the form of noted actor and legendary lunatic Alec Baldwin (or is that "legendary actor and noted lunatic"?) doing a creative re-enactment of something someone else saw and then told him about.