Television

I've Met the Enemy, and He Is Us

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Sean Hannity will apparently end each episode of his new TV show by handing out an "Enemy of the State" award , which I gather is supposed to be a bad thing (there was a time when conservatives would have worn such a title with pride).

The first award went to Sean Penn, in part for calling Sean Hannity names, finally confirming that Sean Hannity is indeed a programmable propaganda bot for the White House—that is, part of "the state."

Whatever your opinion of Sean Penn the activist, Hannity's jab at the end of the clip about Sean Penn the actor is almost objectively untrue . I'd put the guy among the top five actors of his generation. Yes, you can quibble with that.

But a bad actor? Pshaw. Hannity really hurt his credibility with that one.

Stop laughing.

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  1. Two words; Shanghai Surprise.

    Penn is too much of a clown to be an “enemy of the State” whatever that is. But top five actors of his generation? Yeah, Radly you can do a lot more than quibble with that.

  2. People get confused, and think that Fox News is a conservative media outlet.

    It isn’t – it’s a Republican organ. If the Republicans want something that isn’t conservative, Fox News will be the first to proclaim its wonderfulness.

  3. John, I think Mr. Balko’s comment about Sean Penn’s position among his peers says more about Penn’s peers than about Penn’s talent.

  4. Damn that CIA. they tried taking sean penn out, and only got his brother.

    Then again, he did appear in Corky Romano. Touche.

  5. Fox news has officially entered the over-carbohydrated Elvis phase. Michelle Malkin will be delivering the “Moonbat Weather” any day now.

  6. Two words; Shanghai Surprise.

    Because no great actor ever made a bad movie.

  7. Good to see yet another pundit fighting for the ‘state.’ Just wonderful.

  8. So what Jefferson was saying was “Hey! You know, e left this England place because it was bogus. So if we don’t get some cool rules ourselves, pronto, we’ll just be bogus too.” Yeah?

    Enemy of the state indeed.

  9. I wouldn’t rank Spicoli that highly, but that doesn’t mean that Sean Hannity isn’t a douchebag.

  10. “Two words; Shanghai Surprise.

    Because no great actor ever made a bad movie.”

    No great actor ever made a movie that bad. But then again, could any actor be good enough to overcome the presence of Madona in a movie? Perhaps, Penn does deserve some credit. But of course that is not his only bad movie. Casualties of War is awful. The Thin Red Line was even worse. His mere association with the butchering remake of All the Kings Men ought to alone knock him off any “best of” list for life.

  11. This is a pretty straight rip from Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” award. It’s simply 1) less funny and 2) more politicized, which is par for the course with Hannity.

  12. Sad how these idiots backfire on themselves.

    Picking Sean Penn as an enemy of the state only suggests that nobody particularly dangerous is actually threatening us.

    Boys about as sharp as a sack of wet mice.

  13. I don’t know:

    I consider Sean Connery to be a great actor, yet he starred in Zardoz.

  14. So, what do I have to do to get on his list?

    I mean, really, what?

  15. Hey joe… When you donks used to bray about the fairness doctrine you really didn’t have anyone to cry about except a few newspapers. Now days the republicans have talk radio and Fox; and donks have most every other media outlet. Fairness sucks doesn’t it.
    Fox news and NPR are the only news outlets that even try to be fair. I bet a lot of donks hate NPR for the same reason they hate Fox News. Cognitive dissidence no doubt.

  16. Anyway, to me, there is one man who really deserves the honorable title of Enemy of the State. All the others cannot hold a candle to him. 🙂

  17. What we have here is irrefutable evidence that the Post 9-11 Right has gone batshit insanity as well as the true political colors of Conservatives like Hannity: Fascism. That’s the only thing you can call people who declare their fellow citizens “Enemies of the State” for exercising the right to disagree with or criticize the government’s actions. I don’t doubt for an instant that Hannity and his ilk would love to have the police power to arrest and “punish” the people they declare their enemies. Fortunately, these pigs have to be content to throw their veiled threats at their opponents over the airwaves…at least for now.

    …there was a time when conservatives would have worn such a title with pride…

    Only when there is a Democrat in the White House, Radley.

  18. Fox news and NPR are the only news outlets that even try to be fair. I bet a lot of donks hate NPR

    I hate knocking someone who extols the virtues of NPR, but I don’t even put the two in the same category.

    NPR has moved markedly center in a number of areas and I find I’m more likely to hear comments from Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute as comments from Pew Research.

    Fox, on the other hand, is a place to watch Alan Colmes get beat up by an anorexic fascist.

    So the question is, if I like NPR and DON’T like Fox, am I a donk?

  19. Eric, you just got pwned by joe, and don’t even realize it.

  20. No great actor ever made a movie that bad. Sure they have.

    Dustin Hoffman – Racing Stripes, Dick Tracy (with Madonna)

    Marlon Brando – The Island of Dr. Moreau, Candy

    Orson Welles – The Transformers, Butterfly

    Anthony Hopkins – Hollywood Wives, Hannibal

    Okay, who of Penn’s generation is a more accomplished actor? Who’s your favorite actor? I’ll bet he/she’s been in a few real stinkers as well.

  21. Hannity? Credibility?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  22. I was wondering what Fox would do when W’s approval rating got lower than e-coli. So, you go hardcore and suck in every last dwindling wingnut you can in a Jonestown breakdown, or do you decide that Bushism is going the way of the hair band and time to move onto somethin else? We have our answer.

  23. “His generation” – what? Are we talking about Baby Boomers here?

  24. “His generation” – what? Are we talking about Baby Boomers here?

    Actors whose careers began in the 80’s.

  25. For Penn’s generation, I will take anyone who got famous in the 1980s. I am not sure how old the guy is but he started his career in the 1980s so I will count that as his generation. My list of five off of the top of my head

    1. Tom Hanks
    2. Jeremy Irons
    3. Jodie Foster
    4. Nicole Kitman
    5. Kevin Spacey
    6. Danial Day Lewis

    I would take any of those six over Penn. And yes all of them have made bad movies, just not Shanhai Surprise bad.

  26. “Fox news and NPR are the only news outlets that even try to be fair.”

    Somebody try to sell that man an extended warranty for his toaster.

  27. When I was in college, I looked exactly like Daniel Day Lewis in “In the Name of the Father.” I had a movie poster on my wall, for the sheer fun of watching people look back and forth between it and myself.

    Now I look like Jeb Bush at a hurricaine announcement.

    How the hell did that happen?

  28. I always thought Jeb Bush and Beau Bridges looked pretty similar. So maybe you could put up a poster of…um…some movie….that Beau Bridges has been….in. Yes.

  29. I would take any of those six over Penn.

    That’s the key to actor arguments. Whether or not one likes an actor of Penn’s caliber has nothing to do with that actor’s ability. When you get to the level of Penn and the actors you list, there’s really no such thing as “better.” It’s all about taste.

  30. “enemy of the state”

    i’m boggling right now. don’t ask what it looks like, but it involves a lot of blinking.

    jesus fucking christmas, how do they sleep at night?

  31. “On top of a pile of money, with many beautiful ladies.”

    Wait…that can’t be right. Little boys, then, I guess

  32. Sean Penn won me over with his brilliant cameo in Being John Malkovich (who in his own right is one of the great actors of “his generation”).

  33. If you’re looking for bad Penn roles, I Am Sam is what you’re looking for.

    The Thin Red Line was excellent IMO.

  34. He’s no Rutger Hauer.

  35. guess i’m just going to have to assume john and i will never see eye to eye on this since he loves tom hanks.

    taking the reverse of his logic (an actor’s best movie as opposed to his worst), well, I’d say none on his list have done anything as excellent as sweet and lowdown or the thin red line (though john hates that wonderful movie too so nyah nyah).

    anyway, acting is one of the less important factors for me watching a movie but i’ll make an exception and watch pretty much anything penn has a hand in. talented writer/director too. loved ‘the pledge’.

    i can only think of a small handful of actors who i’ll watch a movie for, and penn makes that list regardless of generation. of his cohort depp is the only other one as highly rated.

    actresses are a different story.

  36. confirming that Sean Hannity is indeed a programmable propaganda bot for the White House

    True dat.

    Oh, and Sean Penn has succumbed to Hollywood disease – his massive, pustulating ego and overwhelming self-regard poison any movie that he is now in.

  37. It’s been all downhill for Penn since his pinnacle, when he hit himself on the head with a tennis shoe.

    I don’t give a crap about his politics, but I’m usually underwhelmed by his acting. Although I wouldn’t say he was bad, he strikes me as kind of a one-chord performer. Without a whole lot of screen presence to make up for it, either.

  38. Somebody try to sell that man an extended warranty for his toaster.
    No thanks…I’ll fix my own damn toster..if it don’t work.
    Wonder why people can’t see the difference between Fox News and the political shows on Fox. Does the show The View indicate something about a certain networks Nightly news program?
    Oh, wait…thats a bad comparison.. isn’t it?

  39. Mediageek…Any one who is a user of the term “pwned” is a loser. Sorry, its union rules.

  40. He’s a union guy! Get him, boys!

  41. also, this may be irrelevant to naysayers who hate awesome movies like the thin red line, but it’s worth mentioning that with a lot of actors who’ve been around a while, they effectively have more than one career. this seems to be especially true of volatile actors (like penn). think of deniro’s first carreer as a serious actress (culminating with raging bull) and then his second carreer as a depressing hack (pretty much anything after the 90s. by contrast penn is more like bill murray, someone who fooled around for a while and then at some point really started to put for real effort.

    hanks has always been the guy who just shows up for work on time. you can rely on him to be amiable (kind of like a white morgan freeman) but that’s about it. he never brings anything to the movies he’s been in, and since he’s always the same you don’t really get the impression that he takes anything home with him at the end of the day. i don’t really call that acting. those sorts of actors, who just exhude this “i’m a swell guy, watch my movies and you’ll learn an uplifting and humanizing life lesson” aura are the worst. it’s that aweful kate hepburn/spencer tracy syndrome.

    i’d even take i am sam over any of those movies. and yes, i am sam sucks, but only in the ways that all films of that genre (simple person/friendly savior/cold cruel world) suck. if you just look at the acting, penn does a pretty credible job within the limits of the script (which subordinates everything to that uplifting, humanizing message), and really, undermines a lot of what sucks about the movie. ie he’s supposed to play the dumb, simple character but if you compare him to michelle pfeifer (sp?) he actually comes across as the smarter, more complex of the two. i call that acting.

  42. “deniro…as an…actress” = “actor”

    heheh.

  43. “Mediageek…Any one who is a user of the term “pwned” is a loser. Sorry, its union rules.”

    Lately I see more and more evidence of the statement that 80% of the general populace are incapable of grasping irony.

  44. 2. Jeremy Irons […] And yes all of them have made bad movies, just not Shanhai Surprise bad.

    First, let me admit that I have not seen Shanghai Surprise, but have you forgotten the cinematic hell that was the Dungeons & Dragons movie? It was bad. Very bad. Highlander sequel bad. And Jeremy Irons was in it. If Shanghai Surprise was worse than D&D… well, I can’t wrap my head around the idea.

    Likewise with the recent Eragon – IMO Jeremy Irons is a fantastic actor, but that doesn’t save the viewers from the craptacular movies that sometimes surround him.

    By the way, I don’t have any dog in the Sean Penn fight, but I’d love to be one of Hannity’s EotS picks. I’m a libertarian! And an atheist! And I hate the taste of beer! I’m like a walking terrorist training camp just for that!

  45. I thought Sean Penn was great in Team America.

  46. Hannity ought to give himself his own stupid reward. He’s a mouthpiece for the Bush White House, and when it comes to being a “conservative first”, he is a total failure. He continues to give Bush a pass, despite a fact that he has betrayed Reagan conservatism like no other. The last time a President increased government and spent money like this guy, it was Lyndon Johnson. If the Republican party is now the party of the Great Society, then I want out.

  47. “No great actor ever made a movie that bad. Sure they have…

    Orson Welles – The Transformers, Butterfly”

    The Transformers: The Movie was quiet possibly the greatest animated film ever made in the genre of vehicles that turn into robots and battle each other for control of the galaxy.

    And Sean Penn is a good actor. Just because the man started off playing a stoner doesn’t mean he doesn’t have acting chops.

    As for the list of other 80s actors that was posted before, I can think of several stinkers for most of them:

    1. Tom Hanks – The Money Pit, The ‘Burbs, Dragnet, Bonfire of the Vanities, Joe Vs. The Volcano (which I actually like but was hated my most) – really most of his films until Big were not all that great.

    2. Jeremy Irons – Die Hard With A Vengeance, the D&D Movie
    3. Jodie Foster – She really was famous in the 70s first and is a fine actress but who wants to sit through movies like Somersby, Panic Room, or Nell again?
    4. Nicole Kidman – Hit the big time more in the early 90s I think. Remember Batman Forever?
    5. Kevin Spacey – He was known in the 80s but really became A-list in the 90s. The Life of David Gale, Pay it Forward.
    6. Daniel Day Lewis: OK I cant think of any really bad ones for him.

  48. 5. Kevin Spacey – He was known in the 80s but really became A-list in the 90s. The Life of David Gale, Pay it Forward.

    no, no, no.

    Kevin Spacey: Se7en, American Beauty, The Usual Suspects, L.A. Confidential, Glengarry Glen Ross.

    thank you.

  49. No great actor ever made a movie that bad.

    Even Annette Bening has her The Great Outdoors.

    It was her first movie, so I guess we can’t blame her, but since then she seems to be the most discriminating actor in Hollywood.

  50. oh, and Hannity isn’t an enemy of the state. he’s a friend of the state, especially the militarized police state, and therefore an enemy of the people and of freedom.

  51. 1. Tom Hanks – The Money Pit, The ‘Burbs, Dragnet, Bonfire of the Vanities, Joe Vs. The Volcano (which I actually like but was hated my most) – really most of his films until Big were not all that great.

    Don’t forget Mazes and Monsters!

  52. Not that I’m a big fan, but I liked Penn in Mystic River.

    As for Hannity, he’s the official Rimmer of the White House.

  53. Sean Penn wasn’t in Being John Malkovich; I think the cameo mentioned upthread was by Charlie Sheen.

  54. F. Paul Wilson’s Enemy of the State
    Good scifi of distinctly libertarian bent.

  55. MalkoMalko,

    Sean Penn’s at his best when he’s Charlie Sheen.

  56. Biologist,

    I assume you are listing good Spacey movies. I was listing bad ones. My point was all the actors on the previous poster’s list had made plenty of bad films.

  57. Sean Penn was in Being John Malkovich. He appears on tv towards the end as himself and says something like “he’s really given a lot of us the courage to move into pupetry.”
    Just sayin

  58. the thin red line is a great film.

    and rutger hauer rocks and is a great actor but i’d say most of his movies are crap. film is a director’s medium and they should be to blame more so for a film sucking in most cases. there are good actors who’ve never been fortunate enough to be in a good film and every actor has been in a bad film or 2 so it’s not a fair judgement by any means. sean penn is not one of my favorites but he’s certainly talented and hannity is ridiculus to say that. he also said that the passion of the christ didn’t get nominated for an oscar cause hollywood hates christianity (not cause there are better films)

  59. Sean Penn was good in that movie with Nicole Kidman about an interpreter at the UN, even though it was a bunch of crap trying to sell the UN as a good thing.

    He was also great in Team America.

    Sean Penn, not a bad actor, maybe a horrible political person though.

    Seah Hannity is embarrasing me though. Using the phrase “enemy of the State” to denote a bad thing instead of an honorary title makes one a bad American.

  60. Even if Shanghai Surprise is the worst movie of all time, nothing interesting follows.

    A: “There’s this fantastic actor in India, he’s universally regarded as the best actor of his generation. But he’s been in a few terrible movies, one of which is so bad, it’s considered the worst film of all Indian cinema”

    B: “Impossible! If he’s the best actor, then he can’t have been in the worst film.”

    A: “Is that so?”

    B: “Yes”

    A: “Okay…”

  61. The Problem with FOX “News” is that it is everything but news. Entire tirades of editorial opinion and snide mud-slinging…everything that Rush Limbaugh can quote on his garbage radio show to perpetuate the shameful circle of quotable lies and misrepresentations. One has to have credibility before one can lose it…Hannity is just another Repukelican blowhard full of double-talk and not much else…who cares what he [is told to] thinks. Do we applaud the puppet or the puppeteer for a fine performance?

  62. Shoot! Thank you, you are indeed correct, I had totally forgotten about that. It looked as though he’d shot it at a junket for another movie–Crossing Guard?

  63. The Problem with FOX “News” is that it is everything but news
    Good donk talking points there Vox…

  64. Radley’s point, ie. that calling Penn a bad actor hurts Hannity’s credibility, is dead on. You can argue about rankings, but no (honest) person thinks Penn is a bad actor. Making one (or more) bad movies is no indication of lack of talent at all. Virtually every great actor had some stinkers, often for reasons totally beyond their control.

  65. 1. Tom Hanks – The Money Pit, The ‘Burbs, Dragnet, Bonfire of the Vanities, Joe Vs. The Volcano (which I actually like but was hated my most) – really most of his films until Big were not all that great.

    No! I won’t have that! “The ‘Burbs” was a classic!

  66. Hey, now, Zardoz was an interesting movie. Sure it has flaws and is dated, but it has a lot of interesting ideas – like religion being used to control the masses, the boredom of immortality, evolution, haves and have nots and why communism would ultimately fail (if you’ve seen the movie, think of the lethargics who have become parasites on the system and overburdened the producers), plus other Neat Stuff. Probably the worst thing about it is the obvious lack of budget for sets, special effects, and maybe Boorman was really overreaching with some of the themes. Still, worth watching, IMHO, and I was happy to get the DVD for Christmas a few years ago.

  67. Extraordinary crimes against the people–and the state–must be avenged by agents extraordinary. Two such are Sean Hannity, trained professional, and Anne Coulter, talented amateur . . .

  68. Sean Penn is a GD artistic genius. I deplore his politics, but I’ll give him a pass, since it’s organic in nature…

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2524261,00.html

    Two of the best Penn films, IMO, are the historical fiction pieces “Sweet and Lowdown” and “At Close Range.”

    Sean Hannity is not any kind of genius.

    The Seans do have something in common. They both recite lines for a living, but Hannity’s neo-con talking points, which he regurgitates ad nauseam, make my eyes glaze over, while Penn rarely bores (at least when he’s on screen.) Maybe some courses on method acting would help the former Sean?

  69. pepe:

    my bad, then. apologies.

  70. Some James | January 8, 2007, 5:08pm | #

    I always thought Jeb Bush and Beau Bridges looked pretty similar. So maybe you could put up a poster of…um…some movie….that Beau Bridges has been….in. Yes.

    I always thought Jeb Bush looked just a little too much like James Baker …..I’m just sayin……!

  71. Radley: “…there was a time when conservatives would have worn such a title with pride…”

    Akira MacKenzie : “Only when there is a Democrat in the White House, Radley.”

    I gotta second that. I don’t recall conservatives (or Republicans, whichever) talking stuff like ‘I love my country, but fear my government’ during the Reagan era, or either Bush administration. Or during the Nixon years, during which such a sentiment would mark a true patriot.

  72. Somebody mentioned bad flicks with Jeremy Irons. Is there anything worse than Boxing Helena? Even Sherilynn Fenn’s tits couldn’t save that stinker.

    Kevin

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