What happened
Police physically removed Britney Spears from her Southern California home early Thursday and rushed her to a hospital for psychiatric observation. Officers went into the pop star’s gated home after receiving a call from her psychiatrist. Two police helicopters hovered overhead and a dozen officers on motorcycles escorted the ambulance as Spears, who is involved in a custody battle over her two children, was hospitalized for the second time in a month out of concern for her mental health. (Los Angeles Times, free registration)

What the commentators said
Things have apparently grown worse for Spears since the last time “she was carted off” after “a meltdown,” said Stuart Heritage in Hecklerspray. She has been told she can only talk to her two young sons by phone now that they are in the custody of their father, Kevin Federline. Then came her manager Sam Lutfi’s claim that she is mentally ill, which sparked “a public roadside nervous breakdown” and “ugly squabbles” between Spears, her family, Lutfi, and her boyfriend Adnan Ghalib. “Even for Britney Spears, these last few days have been incredibly dramatic.”

This has gone beyond drama, said Ken Lee in People.com. Friends say Spears has been driving around town like “a madwoman,” and refusing to take her medicine. Lutfi says Spears knows something is wrong, and the police officers could not have put her in the hospital on 72-hour hold if they didn’t think she was a danger to herself. The rumor was that Spears had attempted suicide—at least that doesn’t appear to be true.

Spears’ troubles have grown into a booming industry, said Kira Cochrane in NewStatesman.com. The business magazine Portfolio this month estimated that pictures of Spears now account for a quarter of the income for paparazzi in the U.S., and a shot of the troubled singer on the cover of a magazine can lift circulation by 33 percent. “Whoever would have thought that a public meltdown could be so lucrative?”