Ed Spondike, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite correspondents, writes in response to this week's Scripps column about Charlie Sheen. An excerpt:
I must comment on one statement that was in your column. "Too much wealth and privilege can be corrosive in the wrong hands. And there's nothing Americans love more than watching the rich and powerful crash and burn." Unfortunately, I have to disagree this statement. Entertainers, including actors, singers, and sports stars, constantly are given multiple chances to redeem themselves from crime and bad behavior. Most of the people who idolize them seem to be quite willing to forgive their transgressions, and in some cases, actually excuse their behavior.My response: I do think we like to see the rich and powerful crash and burn. But we're all human: We also like to see a good redemption story. If Charlie Sheen can pull himself out of the crazy spiral and come back in five years to earn an Oscar nomination, Americans will eat it up—particularly if he gives some contrite, wrly self-deprecating interviews on TV. There are plenty of second acts in American life. That doesn't mean we don't also enjoy watching train wrecks.