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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Alec Baldwin is putting a twist on his rocky relationship with the media: He's playing a meddling newspaperman on a NBC drama.

The network said Tuesday that Baldwin guest stars as a New York columnist on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." His character questions the motives of police investigating a rape case as a possible hate crime.

The episode is directed by series star Mariska Hargitay (muh-RIHSH'-kuh HAR'-gih-tay) and airs March 19.

NBC says Hargitay's character, police Sgt. Olivia Benson, goes "head to head" with the writer played by Baldwin when his reporting interferes with the investigation.

Baldwin has had run-ins with photographers and said in a wide-ranging article for New York magazine that he despises the media and intends to reclaim his privacy.