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Until TMZ made it public, the threats of the actor Alec Baldwin against his young daughter were not a matter of public record.  TMZ has brought the frightening tirade to the internet media, and now it's on YouTube as well.   This morning it was broadcast in a seven minute segment on NBC's "Today Show."  NBC Today Baldwin has taken legal action against his ex-wife Kim Basinger for having made his private communications with his daughter public.  Yesterday Los Angeles County Superior Court commissioner Maren Nelson heard the tape and temporarily suspended Baldwin's visitation rights.  This is a temporary intervention.

The actor Alec Baldwin’s phone message to his daughter Ireland:  

You have insulted me for the last time.  So you'd better be ready Friday the 20th to meet with me. So I'm going to let you know just how I feel about what a rude little pig you really are. You are a rude, thoughtless little pig, OK?

Baldwin's message to his daughter:

You have insulted me for the last time. You have insulted me. You don't have the brains or the decency as a human being. I don't give a damn that you're 12 years old, or 11 years old, or that you're a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the ass who doesn't care about what you do as far as I'm concerned. You have humiliated me for the last time with this phone....

I am going to get on a plane and I am going to come out there for the day and I am going to straighten your ass out when I see you. Do you understand me? I'm going to really make sure you get it. Then I'm going to get on a plane and I'm going to turn around and come home. So you'd better be ready Friday the 20th to meet with me. So I'm going to let you know just how I feel about what a rude little pig you really are. You are a rude, thoughtless little pig, OK?

When I heard the tape I was sickened and frightened for the young girl.  To me this is not a loving father "losing his temper" nor a display of the "fighting Irish."  I heard violence errupting and a threat of violence against a child.  For me hearing the anger and the threat was too chillingly like the Virginia Tech killer’s manifesto in its rage, its persecution complex and threat of revenge.

And then, in a statement released today, remorse and an explanation, that does nothing for me to reduce the fear that this is not a safe guy:

Alec Baldwin’s statement:

"Although I have been told by numerous people not to worry too much, as all parents lose their patience with their kids, I am most saddened that this was released to the media because of what it does to a child," he wrote. "I’m sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now. You have to go through this to understand. (Although I hope you never do.) I am sorry for what happened. But I am equally sorry that a court order was violated, which had deliberately been put under seal in this case."

During this last month in US media:

  •  shockingly racist and sexist bullying of a women’s basketball team (Imus), the
  •  threats and bullying against a woman who writes for programmers (Sierra),
  •  a "comedic" digital short on Saturday Night Live called "The Shooter," and
  •  the horrific violence at Virginia Tech and the subsequent release of the killer’s manifesto by NBC,
  •  now today from TMZ we have an audio tape of a threatening message left from a famous father to his young daughter.

The first three incidents were "meant to be funny."  The first, the third, and the fourth and the fifth were broadcast by NBC.  (By another bizarre coincidence NBC is the network that airs the program of the very threatening famous father.}

MSNBC (Don Imus’ former employer) is a joint venture of NBC and Microsoft.  NBC News is owned by General Electric Co

As a response to the public, most particularly the families of Virginia Tech victims, and the students at Virginia Tech, NBC and the other major news media scaled down their broadcast of the killer’s video manifesto.

Family members of Virginia Tech victims canceled plans to appear on NBC's "Today" show Thursday because they "were very upset" with the network for showing the pictures, "Today" host Meredith Vieira said.

What do you think about gratuitous about violence in the media?  What do you think about violent broadcasts for entertainment, or to earn ratings?

NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112

Bob Wright, CEO NBC
Jeff Zucker, President, NBCU Television Group
Steve Capus, President, NBC News

What do you think about how violence in media impacts on children’s mental health?  On American society?  Where does violence in American society begin?  Is there any way to prevent it?

Originally posted to dgr on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 03:45 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You're connecting some things (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That have no connection. Your title refers to Alec Baldwin (I think). Yet you close by giving us contact information for NBC.

    What do you want NBC to do about Alec Baldwin?

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 03:43:16 PM PDT

    •  STOP putting him on Saturday Night Live!!!! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishgrease, MajorFlaw, dgr

      "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America." - William J. Clinton

      by Indecent on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 03:46:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  violence is the connection (0+ / 0-)

      I said it was a bizarre coincidence that Baldwin is an employee of NBC... there is nothing any private person can do about Baldwin, (I don't think)

      it was just another extreme case.  Another violent manifesto now in the media this time a father's threats against a child.  (it sounded like a 911 domestic abuse case to me.)

      Consumers have a lot more power than they grant themselves.  Case in point how the media got the message and stopped playing the killer's manifesto, and plastering his image on the front pages.

      •  not an employee of NBC (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishgrease, missreporter

        he works for a production company that sold a product to NBC.  Big difference. NBC can cancel his show, but they can't fire him. I'm sure they won't cancel his show based on what happens in divorce proceedings.

        Divorce is a horrible thing.  Very emotional time. I count the two of them as equally bad. I feel for the poor kid. I've had a bad one and so has my current wife.  It's just too bad that it's being drawn out into the public sphere.

        This is clearly giving the RW happiness. They hate Baldwin and they'll do anything to destroy him. It's been all over fox noise today. You can hear the chortles through the ether. I'm sure o'really will lead with it tonight too.

        A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

        by dougymi on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 04:56:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Baldwin's tirade was on NBC this morning (0+ / 0-)

      It was broadcast, in part on this morning's "Today Show."

    •  Furthermore... (5+ / 0-)

      after additional information was out, this tape was under sealed court documentation, which is part of the custody battle.

      There are two sides to every story, period.  If Basinger and her attorney leaked this out, because that is what happened, then the appropriate penalties should be set down against them.

      Finally, what parent would want this conversation, which many did not like but we all have had moments with out kids, out on the media market.  What is the purpose?  To highly embarass the child?  Or to give ammunition to the Basinger side because a deal is about to be brokered and she does not want Baldwin to have any visitation rights?  We don't know, but my mother has always said this, "if it looks foul, smells foul, act foul, IT IS FOUL", and this leak stinks of high heaven.  WORD ON THAT...

  •  i just read the link (4+ / 0-)

    i didn't see any tirade or threat against his daughter. i saw anger towards his ex wife for what he perceives as an attempt to damage his relationship with his daughter, but nothing directed at the child. wtf?

  •  supply and demand for violence in the media (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, debedb

    It's well known that TV violence holds an attraction for most viewers and this attraction translates into ratings and profits.  Because of this most media executives have been reluctant to admit that media violence is in any way responsible for violence in our society.

    ...children typically witness 32,000 murders and 40,000 attempted murders by the time they reach the age of 18

    How many American children have been exposed to the glut of violence in the media this last month?

    See also:

    NBC: The Al-Jazeera of Psychotic Killers

    Make no mistake about it. This was done for ratings and profits. And that is why the NBC News logo and NBC peacock were on the materials distributed to other media. NBC wanted "credit" for this trash. The corporate suits thought that people seeing the NBC brand name on the video would come back to NBC for more updates about the story. For no other reason than that it wanted to be associated in the public mind with the killer's "multimedia manifesto," as anchor Brian Williams called it, the network plastered its brand name and symbol all over this sick material


    •  Lets not forget NBC's "public service" (0+ / 0-)

      in trapping all those internet jailbait trollers

      Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

      by SFOrange on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 06:44:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To catch a predator... (0+ / 0-) sort of disappointing. It treats child molesters like sick perverts rather than an extreme version of male entitlement- the notion that being a man, you have the right to stick your dick into anyone at any time.

    •  question the demand; and about regulation.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The way I approach this issue is to say, "explicit or graphic violence, and explicit or graphic sex, should be regulated in exactly the same way."

      So: either both are OK, or neither is OK, but the puritans can't go on saying violence is OK and sex isn't.  Needless to say this drives puritans up the wall.

      My preferred regulatory approach is full disclosure in order to let people choose for themselves what they do & don't want to watch.  This after all is preferable to censorship (though one could cite the research and raise a "compelling interest" case.)  

      And with current technology, it's possible to time-code a stream of information that will let people edit on the fly without having to alter an actual copy of a copyrighted work.  Thus you could watch a movie on TV with your kid and have the system skip whatever you felt was objectionable.  This is nothing more than the digital equivalent of closing your eyes and plugging your ears when something you don't want to see or hear is about to come across.  

      Thus there is no legitimate objection possible.  Even the objection of "you should watch it the way it was intended to be watched" fails on the basis that people regularly listen to CDs and skip the songs they don't like.  For the objection to stand, it also entails that no one should be able to skip songs, but only listen to an album exactly as it was produced.  


      The way to deal with the public's "appetite" for graphic violence is to question it at its emotional root:

      Why do you enjoy seeing people torture and slaughter each other?

      What do you find enjoyable about a victim screaming as they're murdered?

      If, instead of murder, the crime of choice for media viewing in the US was child molestation, the question would be "What do you find enjoyable about watching someone rape a kid?"

      You can also ask, "Which is a worse crime?  Raping a kid or murdering someone of any age?"  (Clearly it's murder, because after all a rape victim, even a child, is still alive and can seek medical care and healing, whereas the murder victim is just plain dead and there's no treatment for being dead.  It's often said that rape is the next-worse thing to murder, but I can't ever recall someone saying that rape, even child rape, was worse than murder.)   Next you ask, "If murder is the worse of the two crimes, then what does it say about you that you enjoy watching it?"

      And if someone says, "It's a harmless release of tension, it's only fiction," then reframe it thusly, "If that's true, then simulated kiddie porn should be legal too, shouldn't it?  As long as no real children are involved in real sex acts, and it's all fiction and special effects, what's wrong with it?"

      My point here is to call out the barbaric, atavistic blood-lust that is usually not questioned or is somehow rationalized.  Compare the commonplace barbarity with equally barbaric acts that are comparatively rare (or are not shown in the media), and force the question.  

      And then conclude with, "You know, the more I think of it, the more I get the feeling that that's really sick."  

  •  Baldwin's daughter IS a thoughtless little pig! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missreporter, debedb, Wreck Smurfy

    She is!

    She creeps me out!

    I mean, yeah, she's only eleven. But for being just eleven, she's a real asshole!

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 04:05:29 PM PDT

  •  I wonder how much the mother has brought this (7+ / 0-)

    child into the fight against the husband. Too many times this happens and its the child that get hurt. No matter who she sides with, her mother or father will be mad. This is abuse by both parents.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 04:11:15 PM PDT

    •  You're right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It happens. Still think Dad needs to calm down. If he takes the long view of things he'll realize that she is almost a teenager. If he doesn't poison the water too much, she may come to see Dad as the cooler parent.

      "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

      by blindyone on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 04:15:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think that you are conflating some things (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, debedb

    that don't belong together although I do agree with you that they are all important. Baldwin sounds like a pig. His beef with his wife shouldn't be acted out on his 12 year old daughter whether she is being "trained" by Mom or not. Where I may disagree with you is that I don't need to know about Baldwin's phone conversation with his daughter. I think that I and all other adults who are interested should be allowed to hear info about Cho. I am sorry if it hurts the victims' families more. Their greatest hurt, of course, already happened on Monday. That can't be changed. But we are not glorifying the killer by finding out details about his life and run ins with the authorities. All this copy cat stuff is way overplayed. Like we don't have gun violence every day in this country. When I saw all of the cable "news" shows tied up with the Texas story today I just shut the TV off. I would be interested in the story after it was resolved. I didn't have to look at fifteen minutes of a helicopter shot of a building while waiting for a press conference.

    "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

    by blindyone on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 04:11:22 PM PDT

  •  Explain this to me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, OneCharmingBastard

    So NBC shouldn't have aired Baldwin's message,
    but it's ok for you to post it?

    Also, this "think of the children" thing is
    really getting annoying, to the point of ...
    [insert a disturbingly threatening message here]

  •  Wow...... (0+ / 0-)

    Alec Baldwin must be a graduate of the Ryan O'Neal School of Exceptional Parenting......

    "Doesn't everybody want to play hopscotch, bake cookies and watch the McLaughlin Group?" - Lisa Simpson

    by OneCharmingBastard on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 05:25:17 PM PDT

  •  I've said worse things than Baldwin (3+ / 0-)

    And I've been married for 26 years! No divorce! (neither of us could escape alive and we know it)

    It was when I was working nights and got woken up during the day by my wife and kids making noise.

    You immediately know you've crossed some line of acceptability when you call your entire family "motherfuckers".

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 06:00:44 PM PDT

  •  NBC isn't witholding the tapes for decency, (0+ / 0-)

    they're witholding them because they show just how Christian Cho was.

    Only reason, they got barraged by Christians and Christian decision makers.

  •  This is just none of our business. (0+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, the "news" media will spend the next week or two trying to convince us that it is.

    Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

    by SFOrange on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 06:42:17 PM PDT

  •  you forgot a small sc decision earlier this week (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    metal prophet

    w stands for war on women

    Adoption practice works on the premise that, in order to save the child, one must first destroy its mother.-Dian Wellfare

    by LivesInAShoe on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 06:57:19 PM PDT

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