He’s a good Northern liberal. Read:

Alec Baldwin has apologized after he used homophobic slurs to violently threaten a British reporter who said his wife Hilaria Thomas had tweeted about wedding presents and TV appearances during James Gandolfini’s funeral on Thursday.

“If put my foot up your f**king ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much,” one tweet read.

“I’m gonna find you George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna f**k you… up,” he added.

Anderson Cooper asks the necessary question:

Because there is a double standard, that’s why. Alec Baldwin is not from the South, for one thing. For another, he’s a big limousine liberal. The New Republic called him “America’s most believable celebrity liberal.” More:

The real-life Baldwin is a staunch liberal (he’s on the board of the People for The American Way Foundation, among other good-guy chits) who espouses the opposite of Donaghy’s philosophynot to mention Capital One’s—in his soapbox slot as a Huffington Post regular. On newsstands, Magazine Alec—subject of upscale puff pieces that invariably wonder whether Gracie Mansion or Capitol Hill will figure in his post-30 Rock plans—has mostly eclipsed the Tabloid Alec of yore.

That’s before we even get to New York Alec, philanthropist (he’s got his own arts foundation) bon vivant (he actually makes Manhattan seem almost Gershwin-like again), and regular host of both The New York Philharmonic This Week and WNYC’sHere’s The Thing postcast. As for the Twitterverse, he’s all over it—even making news when he quits Twitter, only to return with more GOP-phobic dudgeon.

Alec Baldwin, New York liberal, is of the media’s world; Paula Deen, Southern grits-chomper, is not. He can be forgiven for a slur he uttered the day before yesterday; she must be professionally destroyed for something she said years ago. She’s not one of us, dear.

Many liberals get tired of the conservative complaint about such double standards. We’ll stop complaining when they quit being true.

That said, I hope Baldwin doesn’t lose his endorsement deals over this. We ought to quit being so damned thin-skinned about this stuff. I mean, I appreciate Anderson Cooper pointing out the double standard, but I would hope that the effect is not to punish Baldwin, or whatever next public person says something prejudiced, but rather to be more tolerant of the fact that we’re not all angels, and every one of us who opens his or her mouth is bound to say something we regret.