An interview with the Out-of-Control Charlie Sheen Press Tour is all ABC's 20/20, Eyewitness News, and other primetime news shows seem to be after this week. The obvious reasons why: They know it's going to translate to hot ratings, plus the Internet memes that are popping up as a result of the interviews (e.g. "I have tiger blood!") are effortless, free promotion for the networks.
But if these networks have any shred left of decency ... any inkling that they'd like to remain respected institutions of journalism ... any hope of remaining valued by the public, then this Charlie Sheen ridiculousness must stop NOW.
The crazy tale of Charlie Sheen and his Goddesses, Natalie Kenly and Rachel Oberlin, is not hard news. Doing a one-on-one with the three of them is never going to win ABC reporter Andrea Canning a Pulitzer.
Take a step back for one moment and think about it. This is a guy who is known maybe 30 percent for his acting in '80s movies and sit-coms and 70 percent for his wacked-out personal life that includes beating up hookers, "banging seven gram rocks," getting married, having kids, and getting divorced again. Nothing he does affects you or me personally. He isn't in Congress representing any of us with votes (thank God). He isn't a Wall Street CEO that screwed American taxpayers over in the '08 crash. So why in the WORLD are news journalists sitting down with him and talking to him and these trashy, brainwashed girlfriends of his like it's something we should be taking seriously?!
Just watching Canning straight-faced, in her breaking news story voice, open her segment about Charlie's "Goddesses" ("The goddesses say they are in LOVE with Charlie, that he is a romantic who swept them off their feet") makes my stomach turn and probably has distinguished broadcast journalist Edward Murrow rolling in his grave!!
At least Canning tried to be somewhat hard-hitting in one particular exchange when she said a couple of times, "Your passion is coming off as erratic," and when she told Charlie that some experts think he might be bi-polar. Great. Does he give a flippity dippity? Of course not. It's a total joke.
Yes, I'll admit that just about every segment of Charlie interviews I've watched so far have made me laugh out loud. He is delusional, and delusional is funny and entertaining. But sit-downs with delusional entertainers should be reserved for entertainment news channels like E!, MTV, TMZ -- not "serious" news programs on ABC or CNN, etc.
After all, don't we have threats of a government shutdown, a war on women in Congress, unrest in the Middle East, still uncomfortably high unemployment numbers? Journalists need to get a grip and get OFF the Charlie Express ... because it's going to take them all straight to Jerry Springer-ville.
image via ABCNews.com