EMMYS: Fox Nixes Alec Baldwin Joke About News Corp Phone-Hacking Scandal In Opening Bit; Baldwin Walks, Replaced By Leonard Nimoy

UPDATE: Alec Baldwin confirmed our story via Twitter. “Fox did kill my NewsCorp hacking joke,” he wrote. “Which sucks bc I think it would have made them look better. A little.”

EXCLUSIVE: The opening video for tonight’s Primetime Emmy Awards on News Corp-owned Fox was supposed to feature 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin playing a fictional president of television. But after a joke about News Corp topper Rupert Murdoch and the ongoing UK phone-hacking scandal involving his media empire was cut from the pretaped bit, Baldwin pulled out. He was replaced at the last minute by Star Trek veteran Leonard Nimoy, who re-did the skit sans the News Corp joke. Baldwin vaguely referenced the incident in a Sept. 17 tweet. “I did a short Emmy pretape a few days ago. Now they tell me News Corp may cut the funniest line.” Sources say that Baldwin worked with the writers who penned the script for the skit. He taped it, but after hearing that the Murdoch joke was being cut, he told the network that he prefers if the bit with him doesn’t air at all.

A person close to Baldwin said that the actor’s main issue was not the subject matter of the nixed line but that the editing was done after the taping of what he believed was a cohesive bit, and Baldwin was concerned that such a cut could affect the pace and flow of the whole skit.

When I reached out to Fox for comment, they said they made the decision not because the joke involved Murdoch but because they take the phone-hacking allegations very seriously and did not want to be seen as making light of them. Word is that the decision for the cut was made at Fox level, and there is some discrepancy over when exactly it was made, before or after the Baldwin bit was filmed. One way or another, the skit was filmed from the original script with the phone-hacking line intact.

Baldwin, a nominee in the lead actor in a comedy series category for a fifth straight year, is not attending the Emmy ceremony as he had previously committed to be at Tony Bennett’s birthday bash in New York tonight. The pretaped Emmy open hails from Dakota Pictures, the company that also did the Oscar-opening film this year featuring hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco invading scenes from the best-picture nominated films.

          1. No MSNBC doesnt have a phone scandal, they just have all of their hosts on their “news” site sit down and make propaganda pieces for their savior obama’s reelection bid… ya, thats not anything to sneeze at.

        1. Absolutely, if CNN or MSNBC censored a broadcast because it made their owner look bad, I’d complain about that too.

          Of course, Rachel Maddow hammers GE (owners of MSNBC) whenever warranted, so I haven’t seen this kind of censorship there.

    1. FOX has a strangle hold on sports media in the US,when Murdoch holds the contracts to NFL and NASCAR we all lose!

    1. Crazy. Those opens are always the best. Always funny and the best thing. Sounds like one pound of hater/jealousy

    1. No evidence Rupert had anything to do with the decision. It’s a mid-level management one. And their reasoning, when you think it through, makes absolute sense.

      1. Bull. The entire culture of News Corps encouraged their behaviour. They were drunk power. The power to intimidate candidates and to control a party. An attitude which came straight from the top. Murdoch had an agenda and he had every member of his team play it.
        That whole a few low level “bad apples: bull reminds me of Abu Ghraib. “It wasn’t us… oh no. It was a bunch of nobodies who could take the fall for us.”

        1. Your ire is piqued only if they (the ethical media you pretend to care about) offer a worldview different from yours. The channels you laud are attacked for the same charges of hypocrisy, and selective editing, and showing only favorable light to the candidates and stories of their choosing and you yawn. So at least be honest and wrap yourself in the hate of conservative ideology, and stop with the self-righteous grandstanding. You guys hate Fox, period. MSNBC and the other Alphabet channels are the same but left leaning and their foibles you have no problem with. Your act is tired and self serving.

          1. Please provide details about the corruption and phone hacking scandals the other media outlets are engaging in. Otherwise you are just making a false equivalency.

  1. Suck on it lib-tard Alec Baldwin. You creep. The only good people on TV are Patricia Heaton and Jay Leno, people not afraid to show they are with the Republicans.

    The lib-tards’ day has passed. Obama will lose and then what will Hollyweird do? Even our elected leaders hate libs. Just look at Michelle Bachmann. She could have gone on any show in the world and who did she choose? Jay Leno. That’s why Jay is still considered hip and edgy and lib-tard Dave Letterman is washed up. Bachmann knows and that’s why she’ll probably be our next president, unless it’s Rick Perry.

    1. @ points, Lee (and honest, they’re not meant as attacks).
      A) No one has EVER called Jay Leno “Hip and Edgy”- LEAST of all Jay himself, who has actively cultivated an MOR style to gain the most mainstream audience possible.He’d laugh if he heard you; hell, he probably uses that term as an insult.
      B) If Michelle Bachmann could appear on “any show she wants” (and right now, she certainly WOULD be considered a Good Get”)… why does she REFUSE to appear anywhere where she might have to answer a few tough questions?

    2. Exactly right. Since when did we forget what Baldwin did to his 11-year-old daughter some years ago, and that he stood up on one of the late-night talk shows and invited the audience to march with him over to Rep. Henry Hyde’s house and kill Hyde and his family? Since when did this psycho start to be perceived as ever so “cute,” appearing in a multitude of thoroughly sickening TV ads, etc.? Alec Baldwin is an utter disgrace to any entity that chooses to associate with him, including Fox, TCM and that woebegone credit card company for whom he’s a spokesman.

    3. Your post is ugly and absurd. Name calling is the last resort of the intellectually challenged. It’s a shame you missed out on the socialist public education that is available to all citizens. Had you availed yourself of that you might be able to write a comment that makes sense and is fact and reality based.

  2. Alec Baldwin is such a hack, it’s amazing to me that people find him funny, really reveals their complete lack of taste.

  3. Fox reminds me of………Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of

    scum and villainy. We must be cautious.

  4. Nikki, please post the Baldwin/Murdoch skit online so it can be viewed by everyone and hopefully go viral. The Republican-controlled Congress has just said they are not going to investigate Murdoch/News Corp phone hacking here in the U.S. Sounds like somebody’s got something to hide.

  5. Cover up. Hacking private citizens. Sex scandals. The Murdochs want to rule the world. The people better rise up soon.

  6. Republicans/Tea Party may claim that President Obama is a socialist, but clearly this FOX is a communist dictatorship led by Murdoch. And without question, FOX pays for the GOP/Tea Party.

  7. Please, PBS censors and alters the latest speech by Obama (by the President!) to make him look better, and liberals are perfectly fine with this altering of history. It would be funnier to play the tape of liberal hero Baldwin calling his 12 year old daughter a pig.

    Heil, Obama!

  8. Fox deleted these lines right from the middle of the song in the closing credits of Juno, but I never see it remarked upon:

    F*ck Bush
    And f*ck this war

    (Kimla Dawon, “Loose Lips”)
    Guess they could claim it was for the PG-13. Of course, Idiocracy got buried, that’s often remarked upon.

  9. Both sides are full of crap. Fox doesn’t want to air a joke that pisses off their News Corp. masters. And Baldwin isn’t concerned with “pace” or “flow”; he wants them to air a joke about the hacking scandal.

  10. If it was NBC and MSNBC somehow pressured them to nix a joke about Obama, you Fox apologists would be furious. The jokes should run: whether they be about liberals, conservatives or Fox or MSNBC or whomever. Whoever it was that said Jay Leno was “hip” needs to get out of the house more. If any late night person earns the right to be called “hip”, it’s Jon Stewart, who is beating Leno in the coveted 18-35 demo.

    1. Fox apologists? more like deranged Fox haters foaming at the mouth at not letting a liberal buffoon rake them over the coals about a serious case still ongoing. That said, do you think MSNBC or NBC or ABC would let some conservative like Dennis Miller crack incessantly about the failure of Barack Obama? You say you would support it while knowing full well they would never air it. I am more inclined to let the multitude of lefty channels air what they want, and the lone singular Conservative leaning channel air in kind what they want. Anyways, FOX the channel has plenty of right bashing entertainment on, the hatred for the channel stems from the deranged hatred of Fox News. The biggest difference in the end is the television arm of FOX splays right wingers all day, while the television arms of all the others follow the same line as the alphabet news divisions. All Left, All the time. With a whole lot of trashing the right thrown in.

    2. Why is the 18-35 demographic always referred to as “coveted”? And before you reply, “because it is,” I mean why not try some other words? Cherished. Ogled. Longed for. Alluring. Irresistible.

  11. I don’t care who it is. Not too many companies will allow someone to publically ridicule them on their own dime.

  12. Tim G, Baldwin mocks NBC/General Electric/Kabletown (Comcast) on almost every episode of 30 Rock. NBC even set up a website for Kabletown.

    Fox deserves any Streisand effect it gets from this nonsense.

  13. Stuck my head in for a quick look at the show and to see comments. What the hell was that? Some Glee Club thing and LL Cool J. WTF? Sorry, I tried, but it’s back to football.

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