Charlie Sheen is news. That much is clear. And now the TV news interviewers who spent time with the troubled sitcom star this week, are talking about how newsworthy he is.
NBC’s Jeff Rossen talked with the AP’s David Bauder about his extensive interviews, on and off camera, with Sheen. The aggressive New York-based correspondent began covering the Sheen saga when the “Two and a Half Men” actor trashed his hotel room at the Plaza Hotel last October. By the time their first interview had wrapped, Sheen referred to Rossen as a “rockstar” calling his interview “pure gold.”
Rossen told Bauder, “I told him from the very beginning I’ll make no agreements. I’m going to ask you whatever I want to ask you. The questions will be tough. Sometimes they will be uncomfortable. What I promise to you in return is that I will keep your answers in context. I’m not going to have any clever, tricky endings. I’m going to let you explain.”
Rossen’s interviews began last Sunday, aired all week on “Today” and culminated — for now — with a Dateline special Friday night.
ABC’s Andrea Canning was the first to interview Sheen, last Saturday at his home. She was on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” this morning and talked about how her time with Sheen almost ended on a very abrupt note.
“He got really, really upset and said that I had disrespected his girlfriend by talking about porn stars in front of her. And he said, you know, ‘this interview should be over,’” Canning told Howard Kurtz.
“I don’t know how you don’t cover it,” Richard Wald, a Columbia University professor and former executive at ABC News and NBC News told Bauder. “I don’t know how as a television producer you can ignore this. It’s the human equivalent of a train collision.” Wald is the father of Jonathan Wald, the executive producer of “Piers Morgan Tonight,” which got the only in-studio interview with Sheen on Tuesday. It was Piers Morgan‘s most-watched show since his debut in January. CNN re-aired it Friday night.