Daily News columnist and KABC 790 TalkRadio personality Doug McIntyre opined in the newspaper today that Charlie Sheen has what it takes to be Los Angeles' mayor because the Hollywood star has a lot in common with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Sheen has "been arrested multiple times, he has an eye for the ladies, he's always on TV and his car went off a cliff," McIntyre writes. "I say he's got what it takes to be the next mayor of L.A." (The mayor has been known for his own eye for the ladies, although whether or not he's been arrested multiple times -- he has acknowledged a troubled youth growing up on the city's Eastside -- is a matter of conjecture).
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Of course, it's a stretch of a comparison, and what goes unsaid is that both Villaraigosa and Sheen (birth name Carlos Irwin Estevez) are Latino.
McIntyre states that Sheen is alleged to have held a knife to his beau's throat in Aspen over the holidays. The mayor, he writes, "pulled out his knife and held it, Sheen-style, to the throats of 1,000 city employees" during last week's budget crises. At the same time, he argues, the mayor's metaphorical knife "is made of rubber" because it's questionable whether or not Villaraigosa has the power to layoff so many people on his own.
The columnist looks at the mayor's move last week to help balance the city budget -- when the City Council refused to make a move -- with cynical shades on: Because the mayor might not have the authority, it was a knife without teeth, a way to get press for leadership without actually having to make unpopular cuts.
That might or might not be true -- it was certainly a bolder leadership move than anything the council could muster last week, and we gave the mayor credit for practically being heroic in comparison -- but comparing Villaraigosa to Sheen is a cheap shot with borderline racist undertones.