The Nose: We Can't Stop Talking About Charlie Sheen

He's an F-18, bro.

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The Nose: We Can't Stop Talking About Charlie Sheen
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The Nose: We Can't Stop Talking About Charlie Sheen

Should we even talk about Charlie Sheen on public radio? As an essayist in Slate pointed out this week, public radio listeners tend to write letters of complaint when NPR covers Justin Bieber, Ken and Barbie, Tiger Woods, Michael Jackson, rappers, Levi Johnston, Mel Gibson, heavy metal or sports. 

"We listen to NPR precisely to avoid this stupidity," is the typical refrain and, indeed, the title of the piece in Slate. 
 
And yet the story -- whatever that story is -- of Charlie Sheen's current mental meltdown has briskly migrated from the celebrity spaces of TMZ to the lead position on the op-ed page of today's New York Times. You could make the argument that one of public radio's goals ought to be smart, analytical coverage of anything dominating  national news cycles, in which case we probably didn't get on the Charlie Sheen story early enough. 
 
Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

  

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Charlie Sheen's current

Charlie Sheen's current mental meltdown has briskly migrated from the celebrity spaces of TMZ to the lead position on the op-ed page of today's New York Times.

E-mail from Albert

What troubles me tremendously in the Charlie Sheen saga is that on one side (for example) CNN exploits the sensational (and sad) side of Charlie Sheen in a one hour Piers Morgan piece (for rating purposes clearly) only to follow it up the following day with a report (connected to Charlie Sheen) by Sanjay Gupta (M.D.) about mental illness (specifically bipolar disorder.) There is something pathetically immoral about the media’s approach (except NPR.) Boosting the ratings by Piers Morgan’ enthusiastically fueling Charlie Sheen’s histrionics following it up by pseudo concern in discussing bipolar disorder. It comes across as ethically distasteful.

E-mail from Paul

Whether the cause is self-inflicted or organic, he’s doing what a lot of talented, intelligent people do at times like this. He’s needs to be right and he’s trying to outsmart madness.

E-mail Amy

Charlie Sheen clearly has bipolar disorder and is in the throes of a manic episode. Throughout history, humans have been compelled by people with mania (eg Hitler). The unbridled human mind is captivating. But it is also tragic, and shameful for the media to encourage his descent

E-mail Sara

As an American I am proud to support Charlie Sheen as he boldly goes into battle against international lunatics who attempt to seize power by being deemed Supreme Dictator of the World. Based on Twitter evidence Charlie Sheen's tweets are far more read than Gadhafi's Green Book. Charlie Sheen has surpassed Kim Jung-il on megalomaniac psychosis and omnipotent delusions. All he needs is a big fuzzy Kim Jung -il hat or a Gadhafi three piece suit with Bedouin headgear. But Charlie does not need to accessorize his lunacy. With his porn star Goddesses behind him and fueled his own Charlie Sheen drug, Charlie Sheen is doing his part to win the future for all of us.