Kathryn Lopez

Unfortunately, being called "Mr. Hannah Montana" in a glossy-magazine headline is far from Billy Ray Cyrus' biggest problem.

As many a headline has proclaimed, the former country music and television star may be suffering from a brutally true-life "Achy Breaky Heart." Cyrus is divorced and somewhat estranged from his famous daughter, Miley, born Destiny Hope.

Talking about his time co-starring as Hannah Montana's dad in his daughter's series by that name, he tells GQ: "You think, 'This is a chance to make family entertainment, bring families together ...' and look what it's turned into." Apart from his divorce, it's turned into a daughter, only 18, gone wild in public, in the tradition of many a young female celebrity breaking into commercial sort-of-adulthood.

Her father walked right alongside her for a while, including in a now infamous Vanity Fair photo spread that featured sexually provocative poses. Indulging her career instead of being her dad is how Cyrus says it all went wrong. "I'd take it back in a second. For my family to be here and just be ... okay, safe and sound and happy and normal, would have been fantastic. Heck, yeah. I'd erase it all in a second if I could."

It's not a flattering picture of Billy Ray, who "sound(s) like a walking stereotype," as Jennifer Roback Morse, author of "Love and Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn't Work," puts it. From the piece, we learn about Cyrus' divorced parents, and that he had two women pregnant around the time Miley was born.

But apart from exposing a mess of a story, the interview ought to serve as a wake-up call to all men who have given up hope on their families, thinking they have failed at fatherhood.

Glenn Stanton, author of "Secure Daughters Confident Sons," offers advice: "Billy Ray needs to gather his courage -- man up -- and do what his heart is screaming at him to do ... He, like all dads, needs to saddle up, ride in and be the protector of his daughter from a predatory world. And I am not talking about being overprotective; that's not helpful either. But as Billy Ray explains in the profile, he has only been riding in after the damage to mop up the mess. That won't do, and it hasn't. His daughter needs him, even if it seems she's sending the message that she doesn't."

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.