03/02/11 — Star folly : What happens when you ignore excess and stupidity? Just ask CBS.

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Star folly : What happens when you ignore excess and stupidity? Just ask CBS.

Anyone who thinks that the reason CBS and the producers and creators of the hit show "Two and a Half Men" did not do something about Charlie Sheen before now was because he was really OK, and they did not want to interfere in his private life, is just plain delusional.

The reason CBS officials did nothing before now is that they did not want to disturb their money-making machine. They were hoping they could contain the bad publicity and keep the show on its rails.

They were wrong.

Sheen is sick. There is absolutely no doubt about it. And while he might think that his nut case, delusional public explanations of his world view are making the case that he is the injured party here, and proving that he is free of drugs and alcohol, all they really are are the last rantings of a man who is getting what will soon be his last moments of fame and respect.

Call it his last 15 minutes.

Listening to Sheen's television interviews is like watching a train wreck. You want to turn away, but you cannot keep your eyes from the destruction that is unfolding before you. And those who continue to allow him to make his daily rants are not doing so -- as Sheen likely believes -- because they are on his side. They are doing it for the same reason "Two and a Half Men" has stayed on the air -- ratings and money.

There have been more than a few cases of Hollywood stars who are out of control lately. And they all seem to have the same idea about the turns their lives have taken -- it is someone else's fault.

When you allow celebrities the chance to commit crimes, do drugs and anything else, and send them to rehab again and again, you do them a disservice. And when you turn your head when they are crashing just so you can make a buck, you ought to be ashamed.

Charlie Sheen will be old news soon -- relegated to the second-tier gossip rags.

And in the wake of his destruction will be five children whose lives will never be the same.

That is the true tragedy of this story.

Published in Editorials on March 2, 2011 11:15 AM