While Carole Baskin dances on TV, family of her missing ex-husband airs ad offering $100K reward

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/16/while-carole-baskin-dances-on.html

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I will fully cop to being one of the people who were duped by the extremely selective editing Tiger King gave Carole Baskin and thought there was no doubt that she killed her husband and was a pretty terrible person. Turns out it’s pretty easy to leave out a whole bunch of stuff that doesn’t fit the narrative of Carole being the crazy b**** with Joe being the eccentric goof.


This is the kind of stuff that’s going to happen if Joe Biden becomes president !!!

Remember that her (presumably) dead husband’s family was already convinced she had something to do with his disappearance long before this documentary was made, so it’s not like “Carole Baskin is a hypocritical, opportunistic nutter and likely murderer” is just a narrative Netflix made up.


It is indeed easy to skew the narrative with selective editing. Seems like there was more than enough weirdness and bugfuck crazy in that doc to cover all of the bases, no matter what your point of view.


Yes. It could also be a narrative that her dead husband’s family made up.


It’s entirely possible she had nothing to do with her husband’s death. It’s indisputable that she had all kinds of other shit going on.

Selective editing or not, the vintage video footage very explicitly showed her demonstrating EXACTLY the same kind of cruel animal breeding practices as the people she would later condemn after she rebranded her business as a “rescue” facility.

Joe got what he deserved for trying to have her killed, but that doesn’t make anyone else in the documentary a great person.


Yeah, but his family is also probably invested to some degree in denying that he was a loan shark who did a lot of things that drug runners tend to do. Sometimes those folks go missing.

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So, she should be condemned for now caring about animals? Funny that people (usually men) who get out of, say, white supremacist groups or gangs are often held up as heroes, but a woman shifts to helping animals instead of harming them, and she still gets condemned and ridiculed. Okay.


I think a better analogy would be if Sea World rebranded itself “Sea Rescue” after all the bad publicity about how they treated orcas and whatnot, but was run by the same people who continued to make a tidy profit from ticket sales.


I don’t know if she turned her ex-husband into tiger chow or not. I’m just glad to see another fame junkie experience some side effects in full public view.

I don’t agree. It’s a non-profit for one. And it was inaccurately portrayed on the show.

I don’t know her, or if she’s a bad person as an individual. But it’s clear that what she’s doing isn’t nearly as destructive as what the other “zoos” have been doing. The authorities actually agree that what the others were doing were harmful.

It also utterly frustrates me that people can’t see past the sensationalism of the show and see how misogyny shaped how it was presented. They fucking celebrated a guy who had deeply questionable relationships with younger women, and played up the fact that Baskin’s first husband, a guy who seemingly had connections with some shady people and was the primary person who was running the zoo, not Carole Baskin, died under mysterious circumstances… a guy who might have been abusing her in the first place.

When it confirms your biases, then why do that?


Thank you! I’ve been familiar with Big Cat Rescue for a number of years now, well before this whole Tiger King shit, and they’ve never come across as anything than a group trying to help out big cats that are captivity, and likely can never be released in the wild.

The worst part is everyone trying to compare a recognized non-profit and accredited sanctuary with an asshole who abuses animals for Instagram photos. Before I donated to BCR (have off and on for 6+ years), I made sure to read their 990 form with the IRS. Her family might work for the organization, but they aren’t making big bucks from this.

It’s just frustrating seeing how this has played out online, and seeing that no one looks past the surface.


The better analogy is that the owners of Seaworld stopped performing shows, training their animals, and worked towards release programs when possible. That’d include shutting down their parks, and focus just on the animals. If they did that, then I’d be on their side too. Edit: And more importantly, they condemned their previous practices, and others that still do so.

Most captive big cats in the US can never be released, and basically need to have a place they can live safely and peacefully before they die.


It’s indicative of what American TV has become that all these questions and possibilities are out there, and they still feel it is a great idea to feature her as a “star” on their show.


OK, but I still think it’s sensible to be wary about entrusting the very people who created the problem in the first place as the ideal people to carry out that mission.

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She was like a teenager when she was married to her first husband when they ran the zoo. Can you honestly tell me that decisions you made when you were a teenager and young adult you were informed by all the facts on an issue as serious as endangered animals?

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I will agree with you in general, the fox should not guard the hen house. Everyone should be wary of any animal support group, and of non-profits as well. I think they show proper financial details through their 990s, and are accredited by outside organizations.

No system is perfect, but it does look like BCR is trying to do the right thing, and they are more transparent than most places.

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I still don’t understand how people watch Tiger King and thought it was representative of real life when it is centered around the impossible ego of Joe and his partners, including the Carole Baskin parts. It’s not even close to claiming it represents a biopic, it’s clearly centered around Joe’s world on purpose because it’s entertaining that way.

I’m not really invested one way or another in praising or condemning the life of Carole Baskin, I’m just saying that the criticism and suspicion surrounding her long predates the documentary.

Her missing husband (by all accounts a real piece of work himself) sought a restraining order against her shortly before his disappearance, telling police she threatened to kill him. Another guy she dated before her current husband filed a restraining order against her in 2002. It would be weird not to consider her at least a possible suspect.