More on Sean Penn, “The Katrina Crusader!”
I received this comment from a reader who claims he was there at the scene in New Orleans the day of Sean Penn’s heroic mission:
I was the “taunting bystander.”
I wasn’t really taunting; rather I was pissed off and favoring profanity.
So many people who were willing to help couldn’t get into the city to do so; yet Penn, with his boat-load of camera men, went out sight-seeing.
All of the real rescue boats would push out with only two people and return, much later, with thankful victims. Flat-boats like the one penn was in only hold 5-6 people. People were in desperate need of assistance and he had a boat full of people. I find the suggestion that he rescued 40 people while he was out there HIGHLY suspect. I was there for most of the day.
In Penn’s defense, the boat wasn’t really about to sink. It did, however, take them about a half hour to get the necessary help to locate the “of/on” switch for the outboard motor. (The entertaining part of an otherwise depressing day.)
Sorry, I guess I’m still pissed off…
…I think he’d have a hard time proving he was out there for 8 HOURS. A really, really HARD time. Moreover, the boats that really were there ALL day (at 4:00 PM all boats were supposed to quit) were bringing in close to 40 people, not the one that came out in the afternoon and could’nt fire up their outboards (and was already overcrowded with friends and photographers)…
Sean is shown here paddling his boat after the motor failed on his launch attempt. (AFP)
Author Douglas Brinkley, who is also John Kerry’s campaign biographer, responded to the ridicule of Penn on CNN’s Larry King Live :
Penn’s CNN appearance was his first since Australia’s Herald Sun ridiculed the actor’s rescue work, claiming it “foundered badly” due to a leaky boat “loaded with members of [the star’s] entourage, including a personal photographer.”
Brinkley, a professor at New Orleans’ own Tulane University who accompanied Penn on his voyage through the under-water city, was among the first to denounce the report. “There was never a leak,” he said in the Daily News. On Larry King Live, Penn concurred: “The boat never sank.”
Sean Penn has denied his efforts were a publicity stunt.