Here are some of my favorite takes on the topic of Charlie Sheen and the media frenzy he's stirred up. First up, James Poniewozik:
Sheen's problems may be psychological, pharmaceutical, moral—but above all, he's a poster boy for that most dangerous and common of celebrity intoxicants, entitlement. He was "tired of pretending I'm not special," he said. He had decided to embrace his "rock star life," and while he claimed to be clean now, he was proud of his epic run of partying: "I exposed people to magic." Was that drug lifestyle dangerous? Oh sure—for "normal" people. For losers. Overdosing, he said, "is for amateurs."
Where could he have gotten that sense of entitlement from? Oh, maybe from being essentially celebrated for the same lifestyle that brought him down. From being a notorious playboy paid a couple million an episode to play a notorious playboy, named Charlie, on TV. For continuing to stay thus employed even after abuse complaints, rampages and an assault plea—things that might get you fired if you were a normal person, a loser, an amateur.
Jeff Jarvis writes on how the media is doing a disservice to mental illness:
So why are they interviewing him? Not because they expect him to say smart things that give insight. Neither are they trying to give a picture of mental illness, for they give no context. On Piers Morgan’s nightly exhibition of ratings neediness, the star dismissed doctors’ mentions of bipolar disease and then Morgan stepped up to give him a clean bill of mental health, telling Sheen he is “alarmingly normal.” I think in the field they call that enabling.
But my favorite take comes from Linda Holmes over at Monkey See:
There could hardly be a starker contrast than the one between Ferguson's treatment of Sheen and the treatment Sheen got from Piers Morgan last night on CNN, where Morgan poked him and enraged him, coddled him and encouraged him. It's exactly like paying your penny at Bedlam, only Morgan gets the penny.
The people who watch his show are, in effect, paying Piers Morgan to provoke Charlie Sheen for them. To push his buttons, ask him about the women he prefers, coyly compliment him on his benders, all because it's so easy to get him to brag about all of that. Sheen wants to say "epic" and "winning" and "the scoreboard doesn't lie." He's got a pocket full of speed-related metaphors — he returns over and over to rocket fuel, jets, bombs, the let's go of it all — and he wants to share all of them.