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When it comes to Alec Baldwin, NBC has two sets of rules

When it comes to Alec Baldwin, NBC has two sets of rules
Alec Baldwin is not a fan of the cameras when he's off duty. (Associated Press)

While Alec Baldwin was starring on NBC's critically acclaimed sitcom "30 Rock" and making frequent appearances on "Saturday Night Live," he made homophobic cracks on more than one occasion without any consequences from his bosses at the network.

In 2011, for example, Baldwin called a Starbucks barista an "uptight queen" on Twitter. In 2012, he called the editor of the New York Daily News an "English Queen" on the social networking site. There was no discipline from NBC after either incident.

But when Baldwin, in his new job as host of "Up Late," a talk show on NBC's sister channel MSNBC, once again used homophobic slurs while yelling a paparazzi, he was quickly suspended for two shows.

So why does Baldwin get a pass by one NBC channel and get punished by another for the same offense?

Because MSNBC is a news channel and as a journalistic operation apparently has stricter behavior standards for its employees than NBC does for actors in its shows.

Should that have been the case? It's curious that NBC doesn't apply the same standards of behavior across the entire company — that's what most corporations do. They also tend to help key employees who get into trouble. Anger management classes, anyone?

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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.

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