The People’s Republic Takes on Charlie Sheen

by Daniel Foster

This opinion piece by Hao Leifeng in the English-language version of China’s Global Times has been making the rounds. It’s also what Tom Friedman columns are going to look like in ten years.

Every time you want to complain about the mainstream media, thank God and the First Amendment that they don’t have a “firm hand to guide them.”

Actor Charlie Sheen is a classic example of the difference in Western and Eastern values and norms.

Ignoring public pleas from his father, Sheen has continued a weeklong media blitz, exhibiting obvious signs of mania. With no firm hand to guide them, Western media has deliberately goaded him into making increasingly delusional statements, more concerned about “winning” higher ratings than Sheen’s own sense of pride, or the negative example his brash public admissions about his private sex life and unverifiable international conspiracies could be setting for society.

“. . . or the authorities would have taken firm steps to make sure someone like Sheen did not make a public spectacle of himself.” Cue creepy music.

Sheen attracted 1 million Twitter followers in just 24 hours, yet more evidence that microblogs spread the most unhealthy contagions in society like a disease. Chinese family, coworkers, or the authorities would have taken firm steps to make sure someone like Sheen did not make a public spectacle of himself.


Take Edison Chen, who humbly apologized and slipped away to Canada. Or Li Gang’s father, who wept as he sought forgiveness on his son’s behalf.

Boy, Hao, are you missing the point here:

Sheen goes on television and boasts that he has two girlfriends, who both sleep in the same bedroom. Is he too poor to set up his wives and mistresses in different houses?

Almost as if?

In Chinese society, these problems are dealt with delicately and privately. Sheen is like a typical Westerner throwing fuel on the fire with each interview and tweet. It is almost as if he feels no shame and is loving the attention.

Which of these things is not like the others?

Racism, spousal abuse, addiction, politics, mental illness, boasting about mistresses, – these are all subjects best dealt with behind closed doors.

Jed Bartlett, the 42nd-and-a-half president of the United States; and the Chinese national directive:

He ignored his own father’s advice to keep quiet, who was once the president of the US. Sheen is a disgrace, unfilial to his father and his fatherland.

Martin Sheen should at once go on television and tearfully apologize on behalf of his son for his inability to keep up appearances and keep his mouth shut.

Once again, reality has finally caught up to The Onion:

China’s Andy Rooney Has Some Funny Opinions About How Great The Chinese Government Is

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