Yesterday, much of the world snickered at a report that actor/rescue vigilante Sean Penn's hastily deployed dinghy immediately sprung a leak after its launch. Today, Rush & Molloy allow a member of Operation: Penn Saves to refute the claim that their boat wasn't up to their well-intentioned mission of mercy, it was simply overcrewed:
Douglas Brinkley, the presidential historian who teaches at Tulane University, was at Penn's side. "There was never a leak," he tells us. "The boat was overloaded with people. It got some water in it, as boats usually do.
"I witnessed him rescuing up to 40 people," says Brinkley, who was assigned by Rolling Stone editor Will Dana to write about New Orleans' recovery. "He was up to his waist in toxic muck .... I'm not going to comment on Sean's trips to Iraq or Iran, but in this case, he was an American hero."
We're relieved to know that Penn's mission was a success—it's refreshing to see someone of his stature personally [Ed.note—Personally.] saving people without vitamins and an e-meter—but we're a little hung up on the logisitcs. If the boat was "overloaded" with crew at launch to a point that tested its buoyancy, where did they put their floodwater refugees? Since we all owe Penn one after yesterday's leaky boat cracks, let's just assume that each time he picked up a survivor to ferry them to safety, he jettisoned a member of his entourage to make more room.