Tuesday morning on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist were treating Charlie Sheen’s latest out-of-control escapades as a joke, but his co-host Mika Brzezinski kept insisting that Sheen is in serious trouble and needs psychiatric help.
Sheen claims he’s now drug-free. If he’s not on drugs — and the Two and a Half Men star’s penchant for cocaine is legendary — then his outrageous behavior and statements in a series of interviews must be viewed as symptomatic of mental illness. In recent days:
- Sheen was denounced by the Anti-Defamation League after a radio interview in which he mocked Two and a Half Men producer Chuck Lorre as “Chaim Levine”;
- CBS canceled the rest of the show’s season;
- Sheen threatened to sue Lorre, CBS and Warner Brothers;
- Sheen publicly demanded that his record $2-million-per-episode salary be increased to $3 million per episode;
- A haggard-looking Sheen gave interviews to ABC and NBC in which, among other things, he said CBS and the producers of Two and a Half Men are trying to “destroy” him and declared: “They picked a fight with a warlock.”
- In an Tuesday interview, Sheen paraded his two 24-year-old live-in-girlfriends, one of them a porn star, with whom he says he has “an organic union of the hearts”; and
- A judge issued a restraining order to keep Sheen away from ex-wife Brooke Mueller, who has reportedly sought the help of police to get custody of the couple’s twin sons.
On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, Brzezinski mentioned bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) as a likely diagnosis, and Sheen exhibits many symptoms of being in a manic phase. Los Angeles Times media critic James Rainey said TV news networks are “aiding and abetting” Sheen’s “epic meltdown,” a spectacle he called “nauseating.” It is certainly no longer a laughing matter. Sheen’s popularity helped him amass nearly a half-million Twitter followers within hours of joining the microblogging site Tuesday afternoon. But if Sheen’s downward spiral into madness continues much further, all those people may soon be following a corpse.