I hate Alec Baldwin's politics. I think he is dead wrong when it comes to President Bush, Iraq, and PETA. And I must admit, I always chuckle quite loudly when Sean Hannity replays Alec Baldwin's infamous argument with him, along with his dreadful attempt at trying to be a radio talk show host. Absolutely laughable. Every time.
What's not laughable is the fact Alec Baldwin is yet another father in this country who is being driven out of his daughter's life via parental alienation. Granted, a few nights ago he said some stupid things on a voice mail message left for his 12-year-old daughter Ireland. He called her, among other things, a "rude, thoughtless, little pig." To Alec Baldwin's credit, he has apologized. And if you read the entire transcript, it's evident he is releasing frustration at her mother, Kim Basinger. Kim is hardly innocent here, and will never win the Mother of the Year award.
From what I understand, TMZ.com managed to obtain the "voice mail message", and it was of course played over and over again all over the world. I sincerely hope his ex-wife Kim Basinger and her attorney get in trouble for releasing it. I wonder how much they were paid by TMZ.com. I wonder why the brass at TMZ.com think this is an important story. Think about it. Why is this important when we are slap in the middle of a war fighting terrorists who want to kill Americans?
If there is any meaningful importance to it, it is that Parental Alienation is real. While I don't think it is necessarily a "mental disorder", it is most certainly bad parenting on the part of the parent who initiates it. Bad parents should not have full custody of children. Usually, it's the mother who engages in parental alienation because even today, mothers are still the parents who have the children the most. I'm still waiting for this kind of glass ceiling for fathers to shatter. Oh, that's right. I completely forgot. It won't ever shatter because all fathers, celebrities or not, are just angry men pretending to care about their children in an effort to pay less child support.
I firmly believe that when a custody dispute goes on for years (the Baldwin's have been at it with their daughter Ireland for at least five years) - it should be pretty clear to the judge which parent is engaged in a parental alienation campaign. You would have to be an incompetent and biased judge not to see it when testimony and evidence run aplenty. The damage done to the alienated parent and child at hand is tremendous. A good judge doing their job would simply grant full custody to the alienated parent, and severely sanction the parent who deliberately sets out to drive the other parent out of the child or children's life.
It seems to me that Alec Baldwin is the alienated parent here. Kim Basinger has a history of playing keep away with young Ireland. And of course, the parent who withholds visitation and makes life a living hell for their ex is never really punished. This is a huge problem. It could be corrected if we held alienating parents to the same civil and criminal standards that we do to parents who are behind on child support. Can you imagine what would happen if the mug shots of parents (usually mothers) who interfere with custody/visitation wound up on buses or billboards? Can you imagine if these mug shots were part of a massive state and federal campaign as has been the case with the alleged problem of Deadbeat Dads?
Again, it appears the custody battle over Ireland has been going on for over five years. And to think she is just twelve years old. This means a battle has been raging over her for almost half her life! This is unacceptable. Both Alec and Kim, not to mention their lawyers and legions of alleged experts, need to get this straight. All pending matters must be resolved. But lives are held hostage and in limbo every day across our country in our pathetic family courts where it seems the time warp is never repaired. Lives are destroyed every day.
For the sake of 12-year-old Ireland, I hope the custody battle at hand comes to a close. How much money do Alec and Kim want to keep paying their attorneys? I find Kim's attorney to be a dolt when he says the recent voice mail message shows just how "out of touch with reality" Alec really is. I doubt Neal Hersh has any experience with being an alienated parent. You do in fact get pushed to the edge, and sometimes the choice becomes one of giving up, or continuing to put up with asinine things such as "supervised visitation" or "scheduled calls."
What appears crystal clear is that Kim Basinger and her attorney want Alec Baldwin driven out of Ireland's life. If not, why was a voice mail message released to TMZ.com? Remember, TMZ.com are the ones who released the footage of Michael Richards going off on black hecklers at the Laugh Factory. I'm having a hard time believing there is much of a moral conscious at work at TMZ.com where it seems they are out to get celebrities. No matter the cost. No matter the consequence.
You see, Kim Basinger and her out of touch attorney Neal Hersh will think they hit the proverbial jackpot when Ireland states she is now "depressed" about the voice mail message. Just watch. Then, she will wind up drugged and in therapy - and out of her father's life. This kind of thing happens every day, and no one seems to care. The only people who benefit are alienating parents, attorneys, and prescription writing mental health "professionals."
Let's give Alec Baldwin a pass on this voice mail message, shall we? You cannot convince me that this is the way he would be speaking to his daughter if he was allowed to be a fully involved father here.
Or for that matter, if he actually had custody of 12-year-old Ireland.
Tony Zizza is a free-lance writer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He writes frequently about family law and popular culture. Reach Zizza via email: firstname.lastname@example.org