It has long been noted on Buddhist blogs numerous times that being recognized as as a tulku does not automatically imply some sprt of superior wisdom and ability. In the case of Mr. Seagal, Penor Rinpoche reportedly said specifically that to actualize the functioning of a tulkuhood, a long training is required, which Mr. Seagal had not gone through. Thirty years ago, H.H. the Dalai Lama warned that while looking for a teacher, the title of "tulku" should not be the determining factor; in fact, he implied that the title of "geshe", while not as charismatic, at least indicated some concrete credentials (I don't have the name of the source handy, but it's in one of the earliest English books on tulkus, and could be tracked down if someone was interested).
Historically, as commentators such as Guenther and Geoffrey Samuel have pointed out, the institution of tulku recognition ensured that religious establishments could take a child who was of low social status but who exhibited special qualities, and undertake his education. However, there has also long been recognition of tulkus for political or financial reasons as well. More recently, the obsession of Westerners with outer qualifications rather than inner attainment (see Trungpa on spiritual materialism) has meant that all titles (lama, tulku, "emanation") have been further cheapened. I know of one student (no, I will not name names) who pestered his teacher for years to be recognized as a tulku, and then, when his teacher acquiesced shortly before passing on, wrote a letter to the lama's fellow students, expressing beautifully assumed surprise and modesty.
In short, as the Tibetans say, since we don't know who is a Buddha and who is a thief, we should respect everybody, but keep our hands on our wallets.