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Baldwin wants Pope to help save animals

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Alec Baldwin has written the Pope, asking him to take a cue from St. Francis of Assisi and show a little more interest in the rights of animals.

The “Cat in the Hat” star is suggesting the Pontiff condemn the way animals are raised and killed by the meat industry.

“I am writing to ask that you exercise your moral authority in a clear statement of condemnation of present factory-farming methods,” Baldwin wrote to the Pope in a letter dated December 12. “Your words would do a world of good for God's animals, who are suffering so horribly on factory farms and in slaughterhouses.”

Baldwin helpfully sent along a video he had narrated for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, about the meat industry called “Meet Your Meat.”

Mysterious quotes

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 10: (TABLOIDS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) (L-R) Author Peter Bart, Leslie Stahl and Harvey Weinstein attend Bart's book launch party forPeter Kramer / Getty Images North America

Some movie industry insiders were startled to read Miramax head Harvey Weinstein’s candid comments in a New York Times article in the wake of the departure of Roy Disney. No one was more surprised, however, than Weinstein himself. That’s because Weinstein never talked to Times reporter Sharon Waxman for the article.

“All the great executives have been driven from the company,” Harvey Weinstein was quoted as saying in the article, “Bitter Parting Words From a Disney” which ran two days after the Roy Disney left the company that owns Miramax  “I think there is no camaraderie anymore, no great esprit de corps that I found earlier. I think there was more risk-taking, a more fun company. I don't know why, and it’s sad that it is.”

“Harvey gave those comments to Sharon Waxman before the article appeared - well before Disney left the company,” says an insider. "She interviewed Harvey about a month ago for a book she's writing about Hollywood in the 1990s. But she used the quotes from that interview to make it sound like Harvey was talking about Disney after Roy Disney’s departure - which hadn’t even happened yet. It was one of her first articles for the New York Times [she was hired from the Washington Post] and you'd think that in this post-Jayson Blair era she'd be more conscientious."

 What’s more, says the insider, Waxman tried to convince at least one other movie executive to talk to her by saying she had on-the-record comments for her article from Weinstein.

Waxman - who, in the interest of full disclosure, has clashed with The Scoop before - would not comment on the record for this story. A Miramax spokesman also declined to comment.

Notes from all over

Actors Salma Hayek (L), Johnny Depp (C), and Antonio Banderas pose at the New York Premiere of their new Columbia Pictures' movieDave Alloca / X80002

The normally elusive Johnny Depp has become surprisingly accessibly now that Oscar voting time is approaching. SAG members have been bombarded lately with e-mails inviting them to come to screenings to hear the usually anti-Hollywood star answer questions about “Pirates of the Caribbean.” SAG members are offered the extra inducement of free popcorn.  . . .

Harrison Ford wore an eyebrow ring to Calista Flockhart’s 39th birthday, reports Britain’s Heat. His Gen-X gesture was temporary however, according to the mag, which says the ring was one of those clip-ons.  . . .

Ben Affleck braved obnoxious interrogation from Howard Stern in the name of charity. The “Paycheck” star called the shock jock after Stern offered to donate $10,000 to charity for the first major star to spend five minutes being interviewed on his show. Affleck, who said he’s a fan of Stern, spent nearly half an hour answering such penetrating questions as 'Does J. Lo have cellulite?' (no, says Affleck), 'Are [Affleck and Lopez] getting married?' (I hope, he says), and 'Do you wear a toupee or a weave?' (Ben says he has a “knit”).