Monday, June 19, 2006

Alec Baldwin Defamed

Glenn Sacks writes:
Earlier this week the Associated Press wrote a story about the custody battle which made headlines in hundreds of newspapers. Some examples included:

"Judge Orders Alec Baldwin To Face Psychological Examination," "Alec Baldwin To Undergo Psychiatrical Evaluation," "Alec Baldwin Must Undergo Evaluation," "Judge wants psychologist to assess Alec Baldwin,"

Also, my favorite--"Putting the Looney back in the Looney left."

All of these imply that Baldwin is the violent headcase Basinger pretends he is as part of her attempts to alienate Baldwin's daughter from him.

In journalism we say "nobody reads the retractions." Several days after the original story, the Associated Press published the following "clarification":

"In a June 10 story, The Associated Press reported that a judge wants a psychologist to evaluate actor Alec Baldwin to determine whether he is fit to see his 10-year-old daughter more often as part of an ongoing custody battle with former wife Kim Basinger.

"The story should have said Baldwin requested an evaluation as part of his request to change the conditions of the child custody order, and that a judge said an evaluator also needs to spend time with his ex-wife and child as part of the process."

In other words, Baldwin's not being dragged off to a shrink by order of concerned judges, but instead is being evaluated (along with Basinger) as part of a normal request for a custody modification. Oops...
Perhaps the clarification also should have said that family court judges commonly want a psychological evaluation of any father who wants to see his kids.

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