Saturday, April 21, 2007

Alec Baldwin: father of the year

In case you haven't heard this delightful rant by now, here's Alec Baldwin's phone message to the obvious love of his life, his eleven year old daughter. Just click here.

Gee, and he's so charming and funny on interviews. And he's talented and can do voices...


Anonymous said...

The inevitable mash-ups have begun.

Michael Bolton's "Daddy's Little Girl," with added commentary by Father of the Year Nominee Alec Baldwin.

(Opens mp3 file)

Anonymous said...

Oh, please. Ten years ago I was the father of a 12-year-old girl. To this day, if I see anyone roll their eyes I have to restrain myself. Add to that a messy divorce and a manipulative mother, and I'm cutting the guy some slack. Yeah, he was mean and called his daughter names when he was frustrated. I admire your perfect parenting history, but I remember adolescence all too well.

Anonymous said...

I recall a number of years back being at a press junket in NY with Basinger. She was in this movie and Baldwin came up to the junket floor to visit. The little girl was running around in the hallway and was happy to see her dad. So I hear Baldwin say, "Let's play hide and seek. I'll hide and you find me." So she hides her eyes happily and Baldwin simply gets in the elevator and leaves. No words to his little girl, no goodbye, nothing. So after a few minutes she comes out and someone tells her that daddy has left..and she starts to cry. He was a great guy even back then!

Mike Barer said...

It's none of my business.

Ian said...

With no disrepect meant to Chuck, I haven't been able to sit through Baldwin's telephone rant without feeling extremely uncomfortable. I respect the guy's work tremendously - he was brilliant and scary in "The Cooler" and is funny as hell on "30 Rock," but I don't think there's ever an appropriate time to speak that way to a child. Words like those leave scars.

I'm quite sure there is more to the story - I would imagine Basinger is complicit in the tape getting out - but no amount of enmity between ex-spouses justifies leaving that message. It hints at something much darker than a momentary loss of judgment.

Don't think I don't understand what it's like to feel so angry and frustrated that you want to tear someone's face off. Like most of us, I have acted badly at times - but never toward a child.

It has taken me a long time to learn that the bigger man walks away rather than letting his anger get the best of him. As a friend has said to me, "Don't let the bitch drive the bus."

Time will tell if Alec Baldwin - the one Baldwin brother who can be called an uqualified success - has done serious damage to his career with this outburst. That said, the "mash-up" with Michael Bolton was pretty good.

By Ken Levine said...


I can honestly say I've never called my daughter a rude little pig (and will beat the tar out of anyone who does). And I'm guessing most loving fathers haven't either, even when they're mad.

Anonymous said...

Points taken. And I won't hog your comments. "Pig" is rough, I admit. It was uncomfortable for me to listen to, also, but probably more so because it's none of my business. I'd hate to have my worst moments as a parent aired on CNN.

Cap'n Bob said...

You call that a rant? I heard worse from my aunt when her son pocketed the quarter she gave him for the church collection plate.

Anonymous said...

As a father of a ten year old daughter, I can relate to Baldwin's frustration but not his rage. I would never talk to my daughter that way. Kim Basinger is no joy either. I'm sure she's been driving him crazy by being passive aggressive and then acting the victim. She always struck me as a little nuts. But then that's the norm with so many actors and creative people isn't it? Yes, I know you can cite examples of normal, decent and talented people who aren't rage-a-holics or crazy (Meryl Streep for one) but the truth is that most stars (especially the dangerous ones like Baldwin, Nicholson and De Niro)are crazy. By dangerous I mean the tension these actors create on screen with their unpredictability. It's a freak show folks and that's what the public pays for. Normal and sane aren't interesting on the screen. Tune in to the daily soaps on tv and you'll see what I mean. You'll see a lot of pretty people in amazing and extraordinary situations and most them will never be movie stars. The challange for Alec Baldwin types is to function normally when they're not in front of the camera and living in the real world.

Mike Barer said...

I'm not condoning anything Alec did, I was unable to bring up the link. But the nation is entirely star obscessed. I never cared much for Alec anyway, other than our politics are similar. I never thought he was funny hosting SNL.

James said...

Funny that there is never any mention that he called back and apologized.

Sure it was over the top, heat of the moment, but Kim Basinger using their daughter as a tool to manipulate him is any better?

He called her a pig. Big deal. Maybe she's a slob. Never cleans her room. Pig is tame by most family standards.

Read between the lines. A thing called subtext.

Father buys daughter a cell phone specifically for the sole purpose that they can talk to each other and she never picks up. They set up times to talk and she still never answers.

He fights for custody for over 6 years and his daughter basically blows him off. Then he asks himself why is he even fighting for custody.

I'd be pissed too.

And I'd let her know that this wouldn't fly with me. The next time I see her we're going to straighten this out, and quick.

He doesn't want his daughter to be a spoiled little brat.

"With no disrepect meant to Chuck, I haven't been able to sit through Baldwin's telephone rant without feeling extremely uncomfortable." -Ian

There's tons of real life that is hard to sit through without feeling really uncomfortable. Most of it isn't on a voicemail to someone else's child.

How often do you get the luxury of hearing... or even caring what a father has said to their daughter on the voicemail?

Do you seriously look up to Alec Baldwin to the point you feel let down? Get a life. Preferably your own. Seriously.

Batocchio said...


jimhenshaw said...

I agree with James. Quite honestly, Ken, I thought you were better than this.

Someone once told me that the most you can really know about any marriage or relationship is one half of your own. So none of us have any idea of the emotional dynamics at work here.

A friend of mine is a homicide cop who's opposed to the death penalty because "No one is as bad as their worst moment". And I think that sentiment applies here as well.

I'm sure you've seen someone swear at their kid in public. Did you post that for all the world to hear, or is that particular embarrassment reserved for special people?

And maybe more importantly, why do you feel that way and what's your criteria for sewing on a scarlet letter?

What the guy did was wrong. But which of us hasn't verbally lost it with someone (whether or not they deserved our choice of words) and regreted the tirade later? And how much harder is offering or accepting the apology if the original hurt was gossiped to anyone who listened?

If this were a friend of mine and I'd overheard the call, I'd certainly confront him. But I wouldn't post it for the world to hear even if it came out of the mouth of my worst enemy.

You need to get out of LA for a while. Maybe catch a ball game.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe I just listened to someone else's voicemail. Someone else I don't even know personally. This public obsession with celebrities is definitly spinning out of control.

What's the big deal? Baldwin feels mistreated by his daughter and is pissed. What's the big deal?
And just how is this anyone's business?

Anonymous said...

I heard the tape, at first I thought it was an outtake from Glengarry Glen Ross!!

Are we sure that wasn't Jack Lemmon's voicemail before we rush to judgement?

Anonymous said...

I am heartened by the responses I'm reading here. Some people actually understand that we don't really kow the family dynamic behind this outburst, and can never know. It is not news that Alec Baldwin has a hot temper.

My parents screamed a lot, at each other and at me and my siblings. We were a loud family, and Mother particualrly had a nasty temper. Though I can't recall either of my parents calling me a "rude little pig," I can certainly recall them calling me rude, usually right after I'd done something horribly rude, and more than once they described my room as a Pig-stye, which implied I was a pig. I can certainly remember my father calling me a "Rotten little bastard" when he was really angry. It's how some families operate, and to listen in, to eavesdrop on a private family squabble, is to risk hearing what we won't like or understand, and which is none of our collective business.

My parents yelled. But they didn't hit. That was how they got their anger out, yelling, name-calling, and even swearing. Some fathers beat their kids up, and their wives. Anybody know of Baldwin beating his child, or does he release his anger this way? They're just words, albeit loud ones.

And they're none of any of our business. I'm certainly glad none of our family fights were recorded and made the news.

Anonymous said...

I'm a regular post here, but I'm not leaving my name this time.

My father -- many years ago when times were different -- took me out back and beat me with his fists, hands, belts, and sometimes with boards from the woodshed.

Bruises and welts which lasted for up to a month, while not an every month thing, happened from about age six or seven, through perhaps fifteen or maybe even sixteen. At seventeen I joined the Army (1976.)

While I've beaten any of my children, and I've learned not to loose my temper, it took a while. Especially with my first child, I said much worse than this when she intentionally pushed my triggers, especially when my (now ex-)wife was egging her on.

Being a good parent takes real work, especially if your model sucked. By all accounts, Alex hasn't had much opportunity to learn to be a good Dad, as he's been kept away from his daughter while at the same time, his ex-wife has egged him on and twisted his daughter's love for him.

Under the circumstances, while Alex obviously has more to learn about being a good father, I understand his attempt to teach his daughter to keep her promises. Parents aren't to be friends with their children; they are to turn children out able to go out into life on their own.

As far as I can tell, only one parent of this young girl is trying to raise her to be responsible, and it isn't the ex-wife.

By Ken Levine said...

Many interesting comments from you guys on this post. Some downright heartbreaking. A few things.

This is not a story that I broke. It's one that is everywhere, probably in your local paper. Certainly it has gone viral on the net. I offered a link to it. You certainly have the option to not click on it.

I shared it not to get a laugh but to point out the sometimes volatile nature of celebrities when they're not smiling and being charming for the public.

I have nothing personally against Alec Baldwin. I like his work, have praised it on this blog, and the few times I've met him in my gym he was quite mellow and friendly.

Those posters who claim we don't know the full backstory on this incident and can not really judge are right. But I think we could conclude this:

Alec Baldwin could use some anger-management counseling. As does anyone else who leaves a similar voice mail message to a child.

Thanks again for all the comments -- on this and all my posts. I may not agree with what you say (and vice versa) but they're always thought provoking and enlightening. And often very funny.

Todd Mueller said...

As any parent will tell you, nobody is immune to the urges of parental rage. But this little episode has provided me with a brand new inner mantra: "Don't pull a Baldwin, don't pull a Baldwin, don't pull a Baldwin..."

Anonymous said...

I just wonder if NBC will Imus him?

No Rev. Al for the children? Oh, right they don't have their own money and don't vote. Silly me.

30 Rock is only on the air because of Baldwin and Steve Capas must have the day off.

Can you say double standard...I knew you could.

Anonymous said...

I just wonder if NBC will Imus him?

Wow. Really? You really can't see even the tiniest difference between a radio personality disparaging an entire group of women on his radio program and a TV personality leaving an angry private rant on his own daughter's voicemail?

Let me help: Apples. Oranges. Compare and contrast.

Diane said...

I recently passed the 30th anniversary of my father's untimely death. Neither I nor my brother were little angels, and yet, I cannot imagine any circumstances where I would have been subject to such a tirade.

Baldwin and Basinger have had a very public and very ugly divorce and custody battle. That so many people (and by the screen names, so many men) think that explains/excuses/justifies his outburst is disheartening.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you who's a little spoiled pig:

Jeff Weaver.


As far as this story's concerned, the best part of it is Defamer's take: they were smart enough to recognize a previous TMZ puff-post on Basinger being "overprotective" of little Ireland just days before they posted the voice mail. WHich should leave little doubt as to the source.

Mother of the year.

With parents like this, the girl doesn't stand much of a chance. That's the sad conclusion.

-Mike T from Seattle

Anonymous said...


None of us, including you, know the behind-closed-doors dynamic of this, or any other family's fights, except those of our own. I have no idea if his outburst was justified, but it's not really any worse than my Mother's used to get when she was peeved, which was on average twice to three times a week, and was daily the year she went through menopause.

But to reiterate the only truly important point, it's NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. The real shame is that this got put out into the public (By a woman, you'll note) at all. No station should have aired it, and none of us are qualified to pass any judgment on it.

And the little girl stands a better chance than the child of parents who beat her up or rape her, or careen about the streets, driving the kid while drunk.

Now why don't we all just butt out?

Howard Hoffman said...

The whole thing is insane. It's nobody's goddamn business what goes on between a father and his daughter - and his daughter's voicemail.

So he got pissed. Dads get pissed. My dad got pissed. Every kid in my neighborhood's dad got pissed. In my case, I gave my dad more than good reason to get pissed, and he was just as vociferous (if not more) than Baldwin. Hell, I probably got the other dads in the neighborhood pissed, too.

I think I turned out okay, and I love and miss the old man.

It happens. I'm sick of the righteous indignation of TV nimrods gasping at Baldwin speaking angrily, when I'm pretty certain THEIR dads got pissed. Only a low single-digit number of people could have released that voicemail to the public, and you know what? I'M pissed at THEM.

Okay. Thanks. That was cathartic.

Anonymous said...

The magic formula for parental custody meltdown: Take two people with two egos so large they can't both be on the same coast at the same time, add the all-consuming drive to keep their careers going, and throw in a kid as an afterthought while they're married to each other. Their poor daughter, who ultimately is more than a victim and a bargaining chip than a daughter, is going to need serious therapy within the next few years, if she isn't already getting it...

Anonymous said...

Right on James!

I think Baldwin's politics suck, but his daughter probably deserved the tongue lashing. And Mom even more. If this is the worst the kid ever hears, she lives in Neverland. (Not The Pedophile's Neverland.)

Anonymous said...

If Alec Baldwin doesn't watch out, he could be screwing her up so bad, it could turn her into a great comedy writer. Let's see. Beautiful actress mom, celebrity dad who is a real jerk? Ladies and gentlemen, the next Carrie Fisher!

Anonymous said...

I got WAY worse than this on a DAILY basis. Mom was funny that way.

I joke about it now, but it's no lie.

On one hand, I find myself admiring you parents who show your children such undersanding and restraint. Kudos!

On the other hand, I sometimes marvel at how mamby-pamby parents can be, even though their children can be little shmucks.

All I know for sure is, if I did what Baldwin's kid did to MY mother, I'd be missing an ear today.

Guess that doesn't make it right though.

Anonymous said...

"My father was an abusive asshole so this thing is no big deal."

That's the argument I keep seeing. Doesn't make it any more right.


Anonymous said...

"My father was an abusive asshole so this thing is no big deal."

That's the argument I keep seeing. Doesn't make it any more right.


My parents weere not abusive assholes. Abusive assholes beat their kids up, or worse. All my parents did was yell and scream at us, and the occasional spankings, though those ended around puberty. They loved me, and I and my siblings turned out all right, if all of us are a bit hot-tempered. My sister went on to raise 4 great daughters. 2 of them married men who were actually, physically abusive, and instead of taking it while whining "He was sorry afterwards, he loves me." they threw the bastards out and divorced them immediately. (One of them had her husband sent to jail.) because we weren't raised to have no self-esteem.

Hearing the Baldwin tape, which unfortunately one can not turn on the news the last four days without hearing, I don't hear an abusive parent. I hear an angry dad.

What I'm reading here is a lot of busybodies sticking their noses in where they have no business.

Great Big Radio Guy, I agree with you 100%

ChrisO said...

The tape is over the top, and I do have trouble listening to a father talk to his daughter that way. But that's where it ends for me. The Family Court judge is supposedly temporarily suspending custody for Baldwin, and there's people all over the Internet passing the judgement that he should no longer have contact with his daughter. What rubbish. That's the capital punishment of custody cases, and I can't imagine anyone seriously believes he deserves trhat.

Criticize him if you must. I can't say he doesn't deserve it. But whenever I hear stories of a parent turning a child against another parent, all I can think is "do you really think your child is better off hating her father, rather thn loving him?" By the same token, someone should ask Kim Basinger if she thinks her daughter is better off having the whole world hear her getting screamed at by her father. That poor kid.

Anonymous said...

You (plural) might find this somewhat amusing.

It's relevant to this thread.

Tom said...

Ireland needs to be airlifted out of this bad-parent crucible like Elian Gonzalez. Horrible on both sides. I feel for Baldwin getting humiliated by this coverage and for the invasion of privacy, but damn, that's a good heap of misdirected rage on the other end of that phone.

Anonymous said...

The phone stuff made its way through the trashy news shows here in Australia as well.

I think everyone agrees that the way way Baldwin handled that situation wasn't the best, but I think alot of the posts here have hit the truth of the matter:

We don't know the context of that message, and we don't know exactly what the daughter did to warrant such an outburst.

I'm assuming the daughter spends most of her time with the mother, and if the mother is so manipulative as to release this voicemail to the public, who is to say that the mother has not also coached the daughter to provoke her father to get this reaction? "Parent Alienation Syndrome" (PAS) is where one parent actively encourages the child to hate the other parent. A very nasty and vindictive process and the ultimate loser, the child. I have first-hand experience of being the hated parent.

The daughter is now 12 - perfectly capable of pushing her father's buttons and now that she's in the middle of a divorce, she has more ammo than the average kid to use against both her parents to get want she wants. Maybe that's all it is - the daughter wanted something, dad didn't want to give her and now she's giving him the silent treatment...

Baldwin didn't handle it well (note I didn't say "properly"), but given that we have children all over the world younger than 12 who are being burned with cigarette ends, being made to swallow chilli powder, kicked punched and beaten, and worse....we all should get some perspective....

Tim - Sydney, Australia

I note the poster who ranted about Baldwin being an "asshole" didn't leave a screenname....

springer said...

Custody Court Abuses Children by Preventing Safety from Abusers: It takes a lot of courage to stand up to someone who can convince everyone that it is you, while hiding the manipulating abuse. Tis not about the dad, it is about the child. I too am in a divorce from a sick psycho abuser and know first hand the courts, children and youth, the police, and mental health services will not save the children from the continued abuse from the spouse when it hits the courts. The only way out is to give the kids to the abuser. What a shame to have to say they are your children when they grow up. Constant abuse continues and no one will help save the children from the abuse. The abuser if they are good enough at the lies they can convince everyone to feel sorry for them -- so they can continue. This is sick! This is not allowed to continue in schools, work, or anywhere else. My almost ex-spouse gets off feeling my daughter’s breast grow. No one can protect her from that. Does he do it to get himself off or to torment his ex-spouse because she has to continue to have her children abused. He can just say it never happened. The child is now so messed up. When we tried to tell, we got hit with constant non-stop abuse. Then the court abuse.
She tried to tell and no one would stop it. Who can save her now! The psycho knows how to do it and play the world. Then hide it where no one can see! Try and tell – not if he can make something up first about you. Now who will they believe! He just won custody. Sick! The sick court system! The sick world! Children should be saved from the abuse. He is from an abused family that evaded being caught for 15 to 20 years with 18 children and only 13 survived. (the sickness continues) Their father finally went to jail for 20 years for the abuse. Yet I helped him to look good and believed his stories for so long. Yet knew I could never get away. Still I had to try. The court system is just another way to abuse the spouse!
Tis not about the dad, it is about the child. No, he will not get caught. However, if you do nothing to stop the abuse, you can contribute to it and be charged. The living purgatory of life, abused for life.

Anonymous said...

If he was a bad father he wouldn't have called in the first place and he certainly would not be angry when his daughter (who is at a very patience testing age), didn't answer! The mom who tells her daughter that her father hates her and makes this public has just given her daughter so many issues it makes me I'll! I hope someone explains to his daughter that while his words were beyond hurtful and his actions scary and wrong, he should have addressed her behavior and not her character in a MUCH KINDER WAY! He obviously loves his daughter for him to get so angry he became so out of control! He obviously wants to be a part of her life.