I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Glenn Sacks on Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin

April 24, 2007 - By Glenn Sacks

I appeared along with celebrity journalist Pat Lalama on CNN Headline News' Showbiz Tonight on Friday to discuss the Alec Baldwin case.

While I absolutely condemn Baldwin's angry phone message to his daughter, I defend Baldwin's overall position in this case. I consider Kim Basinger's long, well-documented Parental Alienation campaign against Baldwin to be far more damaging to their daughter Ireland than Baldwin's angry outburst, and believe that Basinger has put Baldwin in an extremely difficult and painful position. On the show I said:

"Parental Alienation campaigns such as what Kim has done to Alec Baldwin are very common. This campaign that she has done for the past six years has been so bad that even Basinger's mother has come out and condemned her daughter, and said that Alec is a good father, that he loves his daughter, that she loves him, and that Kim has done everything she could to drive him out of her life.

"This tape, what he did is wrong, there's no question that it's wrong, he should apologize, he has apologized. He lost his temper but let's look at this tape in context--for six years his fatherhood has been hanging by a thread. He's been trying to stay in his daughter's life against every attempt by Basinger to drive him out."

Regarding Basinger's mother's description of the alienation campaign, the Irish Examinerreported:

"Kim Basinger's mother has blasted her own daughter for wrecking relations between her ex-husband Alec Baldwin and the couple's daughter. Baldwin recently took Basinger to court in a bid to extend his custody terms after the actress allegedly violated a court imposed settlement, and now little Ireland's grandmother is speaking out about the court battle...she calls [Baldwin] 'wonderful,' adding, 'My heart is sad for Ireland. She's the one that's suffering the most. All this is killing her. I think Kim has tried to alienate Ireland from her father. Alec loves his daughter with all his heart. He really is a family man...I hate what [Kim] is doing.'"

I was very impressed with celebrity journalist Pat Lalama, the other guest on the show. She's followed the Basinger-Baldwin case form the beginning, and had several interesting observations. As a child of divorce herself, she has some insights as to how it must feel for Ireland to be caught in the middle of this.

Some other points:

1) There are times in any parent's life when the parent blows up at his or her child. There is not one parent reading this--not one--who can honestly say that they've never lost their temper with their children and said things that they should not have said. Those in the media moralizing at Baldwin are either hypocrites, have a faulty memory, or are such marginal parents that they never interacted with their kids enough to reach a real level of frustration. I was a teacher for many years, and Baldwin's tirade, while bad, is nowhere near as bad as some that I've heard. And sometimes the kids deserved it.

2) These tapes were apparently leaked to the media by Basinger, in violation of a court order. Basinger's purpose in leaking them was revenge against Baldwin and leverage in her court battle to drive Baldwin out of his daughter's life. Does anybody really think that Ireland's best interests are served by Basinger leaking this publicly?

Baldwin's lawyer, Viki Roberts, said, "Whatever happened yesterday was sealed and confidential...The mother and her lawyer leaked this sealed material in violation of a court order. Although Alec acknowledges that he should have used different language in parenting his child, everyone who knows him privately knows what he has been put through for the past six years....In the best interest of the child, Alec will do what the mother is pathologically incapable of doing - keeping his mouth shut and obeying the court order."

Had Basinger never leaked the tape to the media, Baldwin would've apologized to Ireland and the incident would've been soon forgotten. Instead Ireland is branded by the incident for the rest of her childhood and, to some degree, the rest of her life.

3) One tactic frequently employed by alienating mothers is to drive the father crazy by employing alienation tactics, violating visitation orders, forbidding the father to speak to the child on the phone, poisoning the child's mind against the father, etc. This is done in an effort to provoke the father into blowing his top. And when he does, mom pretends to be a scared, quivering little lamb fearful of "his awful temper."

Basinger played it very well here, and Baldwin was foolish to allow himself to fall into her trap. I'm sure Basinger will now be telling us how traumatized Ireland is, and how she is fearful and needs therapy and time away from her father to recover from what he did to her. What Ireland really needs is time away from Basinger and her malignant alienation. I doubt any conflict between Ireland and Baldwin would last 10 minutes if not for Basinger's influence.