I'm LMAO over this one. I thought Sean Penn was in Iran.
Efforts by Hollywood actor Sean Penn to aid New Orleans victims stranded by Hurricane Katrina foundered badly overnight, when the boat he was piloting to launch a rescue attempt... began taking water within seconds of its launch. The actor, known for his political activism, was seen wearing what appeared to be a white flak jacket and frantically bailing water out of the sinking vessel with a red plastic cup. When the boat's motor failed to start, those aboard were forced to use paddles to propel themselves down the flooded New Orleans street. With the boat loaded with members of Penn's entourage, including a personal photographer, one bystander taunted the actor: "How are you going to get any people in that thing?" [emphasis added]Bob Hope at least knew that his role was entertaining the troops. Perhaps in a round-about way, that's what Penn is after with these antics. HT: Drudge.
UPDATE I: Welcome Instapundit readers! (Thanks Glenn.) Check out the eclectic archives (e.g., this and this), as well as these two sad but telling stories as of 2:50PM Monday, Labor Day.
UPDATE II: A story like this breaking in a foreign paper gives us pause, but so far nothing on Snopes, and more and more reputable outlets are picking it up. (Not the U.S. MSM however. That would be bad.) Truth can be stranger than fiction. Especially in Hollywood. One blog is referencing a CNN interview with Penn by Soldad O'Brien around the time of the incident.
UPDATE III: I love this take on the Penn mission over at Blogcritics: "...if your goal was just to put on an act for the cameras and convince everyone that you're a HERO, this deal makes more sense. You can easily imagine the photo that he was hoping for. Imagine Sean Penn standing in a boat with a Jesus look on his face, cradling a freshly rescued dirty, wet and miserable child lovingly in his arms- preferably a brown or black one."
UPDATE IV: Since everyone else is carrying the pic-worth-1000 words, here 'tis:
UPDATE V: Performer-stupidity disease apparently isn't limited to acting. Celine Dion on Larry King Live: "You know, some people are stealing and they're making a big deal out of it... Oh, they're stealing 20 pair of jeans or they're stealing television sets. Who cares?" The aid workers they're shooting at. That's who. Gimme a break.
UPDATE VI: California Conservative has one of the most succinct takes on this that I've seen to date, (along with some creative Photoshops of the larger scene as he imagines it):
Don’t try anything stupid. Please make a donation to the American Red Cross today, and leave the rescue and aid efforts to people who know what they’re doing.UPDATE VII: A couple of people I've talked to in the last 24 hours have asked, "why isn't this in the major media outlets?" Uh, because it's impossible to talk about the buffoonery of Sean Penn in a boat in New Orleans without casting doubt Sean Penn's poorly timed trips Iraq and Iran. Pull that thread and the whole anti-war sweater unravels. Yes, there really is a grossly biased liberal media establishment.
UPDATE VIII: Oh puhhlease. "Sean Penn, who has been assisting rescue efforts in New Orleans, said the US government did not 'seem to be inclined to help'." Uh, except for tens of thousands of National Guard troops who managed to reach what is now a largely inaccessible area within days despite it being a virtual war zone due to local corruption and incompetence. As Austin Bay noted on NPR this morning, it is not the federal response that has been insufficient, but popular expectations that are way way out of proportion to the realistic capabilities of any government faced with such wide-scale a crisis. Penn and his ilk can criticize all they want, but name one other nation whose response would have been nearly as fast under such circumstances.
UPDATE IX: Sean Penn to the BBC: "There are people dying and (the US government is) not putting the boats in the water. I think that's criminal negligence. I don't think anybody ever anticipated the criminal negligence of the Bush administration in this situation." No Sean. You anticipated criminal negligence so blindly that you could not see anything else. If you're sincere, turn off the cameras, skip the interviews and give to the folks who know what they're doing.
UPDATE X: (The last one... really.) The story gets a little more nuanced with eyewitness testimony from two sources working for Rolling Stone who accompanied Penn on the cruise.