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

Mar 4, 2011

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.