Charlie Sheen's Antics Rattle Audience

In this week's "BackTalk" segment, host Michel Martin and Tell Me More's "digital media guy," Lee Hill discuss listeners' responses to recent conversations on the antics of actor Charlie Sheen. They also discuss what listeners' have had to say about conversations on yesterday's Congressional hearing into the so-called radicalization of American Muslims.

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MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And now it's time for Backtalk, where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere and get to hear from you, our listeners. Lee Hill, our digital media guy, is here with me, as he is most Fridays. Hi, Lee, what's up?

LEE HILL: Hey, Michel. Well, by now most people know that actor Charlie Sheen has been fired from his CBS show, "Two and a Half Men." But before that, Michel, on Monday your commentary focused on how the bizarre, quote, "winning" behavior of celebrities like Sheen really serve as an indicator for where the rest of society is headed.

Here's a clip from Monday's Can I Just Tell You?

(Soundbite of archived recording)

MARTIN: Celebrities, for all their outlandish behavior, are often the bellwethers for what is next for the rest of us. Even as we tut, tut, tut about it, we are all taking notes.

HILL: And, Michel, at one point that commentary was the most viewed article on NPR.org. Go, you. And plenty of people wrote in to have their say. Here's a note posted to our site from Marcelene(ph). She writes this about Sheen: Charlie Sheen is giving a master class in mania and hopefully someone will look at their partying sibling, artistic friend or money-spending spouse and realize that all those big ideas, fast talk and creativity might be hiding a bigger problem.

MARTIN: Thanks, Marcelene. We also heard from Erica(ph), who disagreed with my perspective. She writes: If I started behaving like Charlie Sheen, I would want somebody to intervene and put me in strict rehab and therapy, not allow me to sign up for network interviews and destroy my reputation. If Charlie gets the help and support he needs, the person he will be in the future, hopefully healthy and mentally stable, will represent the rest of us, not who he is right now.

Thank you all for your perspective on this. Lee, what else?

HILL: Well, Michel, last month we brought listeners the story of Texas college student Mario Perez. He was brought to the U.S. as a child by his illegal immigrant parents. And he explained to us how a routine traffic stop left him in jail and fighting deportation to Mexico. Aiding his calls were his fraternity brothers, members of the black Greek letter organization Alpha Phi Alpha. Here's Mario describing his time in custody.

(Soundbite of archived recording)

Mr. MARIO PEREZ: I got a call about 7 o'clock in the morning. I'm thinking it's one of my brothers coming to get me. I'm getting ready to go, and to my surprise it wasn't. It was the INS with basically an interrogation of my history here in the U.S.

HILL: Well, Michel, Mario emailed one of our producers to say his appeal was denied. He is scheduled to be deported, and now he's just hoping to be allowed to finish out his school term.

MARTIN: Thank you, Lee.

HILL: Thank you, Michel.

MARTIN: And remember, with TELL ME MORE the conversation never ends. To tell us more, you can call our comment line at 202-842-3522. You can also find us on Twitter. Just look for TELL ME MORE NPR.

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