NY Post Article
Idiotic TV becomes rehab-it forming
by Andrea Peyser
We're all addicts now.
Drug addicts. Porn obsessives. Internet freaks. Geeks who compulsively touch fuzzy, stuffed bears. And the monkey of the week -- hoarders. They're not slobs!
Take it from Lindsay Lohan. Or David Arquette. Actor David Duchovny made men jealous by declaring a wee case of sex addiction. Weather gal Heidi Jones lost everything when she failed to whine that she was a victim -- of fantasy sex-assault addiction.
If you're a little famous, or want to be, shirking responsibility no longer brings a healthy dose of revulsion. Becoming a pathetic loser has transformed into something greater. It's a label to which we all aspire. And the ringmaster for today's multibillion-dollar addiction industry, a guy who's done more to glamorize, enable and make rotten behavior into a lucrative career move, is Dr. Drew Pinsky.
Since last month, Dr. Drew (left) has breathed life into narcissistic slobs like Rachel Uchitel, addicted to Tiger Woods; Eric Roberts, addicted to being as famous as his sister, Julia; and plastic-surgery enthusiast Janice Dickinson. The crew craves attention like a narcotic on VH1's train wreck, now in its fourth season, "Celebrity Rehab."
What happened to decency?
Perhaps we lost our patience with the glorification of addiction when Uchitel declared that her main problem wasn't pills, but being "addicted to love." Or when Jason Davis (grandson of late mogul Marvin) brought up the sunny side of illicit drugs.
"You lost 150 pounds?" said Pinsky. "Good for you! How'd you lose the weight?"
"Heroin," Davis deadpanned.
Or maybe New Yorkers lost their last speck of tolerance when Charlie Sheen, a violent rehab regular, escaped justice after tearing up a Plaza suite, declaring himself a problem child. One thing is clear -- we're fed up with being manipulated.
The Rehab Industrial Complex is experiencing a monster backlash.
"You don't establish your chops as a rap star unless you've been shot, and you don't establish yourself as a rock star unless you've had a flirtation with a major drug," said Dr. Alan Hilfer, chief psychologist at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.
"Now, if you're a celebrity and you haven't been to rehab, you haven't lived the high life. It gives it a weird validation," he said. "I'm appalled by what I see."
Rehab centers fear serious business is turning into clown college. "I think we are fostering a stigma around drug addiction when we trivialize it or glamorize it," said William Moyers, a vice president at Hazelden treatment center in Manhattan.
"I think it's tragic," said Mark Scheeren, chairman of upstate's St. Jude Retreat House, which makes the radical -- and sensible -- claim that addiction isn't an illness, but a choice.
"As soon as you teach a person he's sick, you create a victim mentality, a subculture who thinks they can't get well," he said. "A lot of countries laugh at the United States. If you drink and drug too much -- stop!"
Dr. Drew didn't return my call. But Sherry Gaba, a social worker who appears on the show, argued that "Celebrity Rehab" does God's work. "It is entertainment, but it plants seeds for people who don't know anything about rehab," Gaba said.
"If they're getting help," she said of celebs, "and at the same time they feel they are seeking fame, why is that an issue?"
Maybe I'm hard-hearted. But I love the Geico drill sergeant-turned-therapist who, in a zeitgeist-capturing commercial, yells at a depressed patient -- "You know what makes me sad? You do! Maybe we should chug on over to namby-pamby land where maybe we could find some self-confidence for you, you jackwagon!"
Indulging addicts just breeds more of them.
Bring back shame.
Don't buy Spidey's snow job
Before "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" played on Broadway last week, producer Michael Cohl, the former Live Nation chairman who once ran a Toronto strip club, snarked to the audience that his show was, finally, no longer generating the worst press in town.
"That would be Mayor Bloomberg," he said. Confused tourists chuckled.
True, "Spider-Man" didn't fail to unbury the boroughs from beneath mounds of snow and garbage. But every night now, Cohl stands onstage hoping to con the masses into believing that the lackluster and nearly lethal production is being reworked, and is better than ever. Meanwhile, Bono and The Edge were racing back to New York to attend final previews, hoping to salvage a dismal score that contains not one memorable tune.
"I liked the flying," chirped a glass-half-full type from North Carolina, who drove through a blizzard for a chance at seeing actors maimed.
Actually, Spidey flies among the balconies for just a few scant minutes of this 2½-hour snooze fest. The $65 million show is worse than a catastrophe. It's deadly dull.
Skip the spider and read a book. See "American Idiot." The body count is lower. And you'll have more fun.
Couric piling on the (C)BS
Disturbed by overwhelming opposition to the Ground Zero mosque, Katie Couric wants to see a Muslim-themed "Cosby Show" created to do for Islamacists what Cosby did for black-white relations.
Earth to Katie: African-Americans, Eskimos, or imbecilic white ladies didn't fly planes into the World Trade Center. Try again, genius.
NY Times' trick-y business
Prostitutes? Near a school? No way!
The New York Times discovered -- holy cow! -- that brazen hookers are plying their trade in parked cars around West Farms Elementary School in The Bronx, giving poor kids raunchy lessons in sex education. The paper forgot to mention Melissa Petro, a Bronx teacher who wrote online about the years she spent earning a living on her back.
As the school system agonizes over what to do with tenured Petro, the tattooed lady gets paid to sit in what amounts to a rubber room -- "surfing the Internet, sitting with my feet up, reading a book, or even working on my memoir," she bragged to Marie Claire magazine.
At least working girls don't screw kids.
CUO FAR, CUO GOOD
An encouraging sign from Albany: Six days in office, and Gov. Cuomo hasn't thrown a press conference announcing that he and First Pal Sandra Lee swap bed partners.
Cuomo is no David Paterson, whose hapless term as accidental gov was punctuated by bizarre confessions about illicit liaisons at the Days Inn, and his fondness for cocaine. He also was caught nuzzling a lady, not his wife, in a restaurant -- in New Jersey.
Cuomo has vowed to cut state waste and to trim his pay. A good start.
Of course, there's still time to blow it.
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