Friday, August 17, 2007

Sean Penn: Journalist

Spicoli is hanging with Chavez now, but as a journalist he had to refrain from reporting on his visit to Venezuela until he did some 'fact-checking:'

Were you not aware that Penn is a 'journalist?'

How much of that is going to end up in whatever story Sean Penn writes?

Penn claimed that he was in Venezuela to take in what was going on and then write about it. Nothing wrong with that, ostensibly. It's what journalists do. He even tried to play I'm-not-a-movie-star.

"I'm here as a journalist," Penn told The Associated Press. "So I'm not going to give quotes to anyone."

So there you go. Just your average ink-stained wretch.

To give Sean some help, here are some questions from a Venezuelan journalist that he might want to address in his anticipated news piece:

"Why are 1.8 million poor families waiting for houses while you are spending $5 billion on surface-to-air missiles, naval frigates, submarines, fighter jets and killing machines?

"Why are the military guys hiding their Rolexes up their sleeves when they shake hands with me?

"What's this about cocaine deliveries from Venezuela to the US going from 50 to 250 tons per year? Who's profiting from all that?

"Why do you have to produce all this black excrement for California SUV's? That's hard to take. Isn't there a way you could get into solar power? You've got some big time sun here.

"Why are you giving $200 million in discounted oil to Americans when half these poor Venezuelans wearing red shirts and screaming your name are living on $1 a day?

"What's so smart about putting 100,000 assault rifles in the hands of untrained teenagers wearing a uniform for the first time? Crap like that got the US in big trouble, especially in Columbine High School and Virginia Tech.

"How come I see bootlegged DVD's of my movies selling for a few Bolivars on the street? That's stealing the labor of a comrade, my man, not exactly what Marx had in mind, right?.

"What I'm hearing is a lot of talk about peace in Iraq but also, war in Venezuela. I'm here writing for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. So this part is getting hard for me to play. Mind if I ask Danny Glover to stand in for me on this one? I mean, Danny's got $20 million coming his way from you, isn't that right, I mean, doesn't he owe you one?"

The clip above was loaded to YouTube over a week ago. So far I haven't seen any statements from Spicoli on whether he's finished his fact-checking. If any appears, I'll gladly post it.

Note: Read also Fausta's post on Penn's visit, and a quote from a famous Venezuelan who actually loves her country.

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