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Sean Penn’s most memorable role was as Jeff Spicoli, airhead Valley Guy surfer, in Cameron Crowe’s 1982 hit film, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

But, Penn’s recent interview with Talk Magazine, comprising the magazine’s February cover story, is more confirmation that life imitates art. Penn not only played an airhead in the movies, he is one.

Among his ridiculous comments, Penn criticizes FOX News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly and nationally syndicated radio host Howard Stern as more horrible than Osama bin Laden, saying, “I’d like to trade O’Reilly for bin Laden,” comparing him to Adolph Hitler, and calling him “an embraced pariah.” FYI, Spicoli: A pariah, by definition, is not embraced. Penn also attacks President Bush.

It’s obvious Penn has a problem with O’Reilly’s conservative views. But here’s a news flash for Penn: He’s out of touch with America, which has made “The O’Reilly Factor,” the highest-rated cable news show, and turned “embraced pariah” O’Reilly into a much bigger celebrity than has-been Penn is today. As for Stern, he’s been great on the issue of terrorism and raised over $4 million for Sept. 11 victims, all of which has gone straight to them. And unlike Penn, millions of people listen to what he says.

Apparently, Penn is desperate to promote his new movie, “I Am Sam” (in which he plays a retarded father fighting for child-custody) – and will say anything ludicrous to do so. But he’s hardly the one to criticize Bush, O’Reilly, or Stern or anybody.

Who is Sean Penn? He’s a failed movie actor, who’s become an also-ran since his big role as Spicoli. Unless you count his real-life co-dependent gig as Mr. Madonna, being married to and then dumped by the blonde pop dominatrix. There’re also his sorry roles as criminal and inmate in films like “Bad Boys” and bad cop in “Colors” – a film whose greatest accomplishment was provoking violent gang fights in movie theaters.

A brat in the movies, Penn’s no prize in real life. In 1987, he served 32 days in jail for slugging a “Colors” extra and has had numerous other such incidents. In the ’90s, the classy Penn urinated into a bottle in front of several starlets and a Rolling Stone reporter. Surprise, he’s used acid and is an outspoken ally of Hollywood-drug-addict-with-9-lives, Robert Downey, Jr. After years of living with, cheating on, and fathering two illegitimate kids with actress-girlfriend Robin Wright, Penn finally married her. She played “The Princess Bride” in the movies, but her husband is no prince – more like the frog. His views, though, have all the truth of a fairy tale.

Penn graduated from playing a stoner, street-punks, and a bad cop, to propaganda films, like the anti-death penalty diatribe, “Dead Man Walking.” Then, there are his assorted “finer” roles, like a sleazy criminal lawyer who snorts cocaine while having sex with coked-up strangers on a toilet in a public restroom, in the movie, “Carlito’s Way.” Now, we know what Penn means when he differentiates himself from O’Reilly, saying, “This is not a man sitting on the toilet with a smile on his face.”

Yes, this is the same Sean Penn who now tells Talk, that Bush, “doesn’t provoke thought or challenge my head or my spirit. I don’t think he does the country’s either.” In the midst of war, Bush should be worrying about provoking the thought and challenging the head and spirit of our real-life Jeff Spicoli. Penn’s toilet-coke-sex scene really did a lot for this country’s thought and spirit.

Sorry, Sean, but President Bush currently has this country’s approval rating in percents reaching the high 80s. As for your movies, well that’s a different, but very pathetic story. Does anyone remember a thought-provoking, spirit-challenging Sean Penn movie? Other than “Fast Times,” does anyone even remember seeing a Sean Penn movie? Didn’t think so. His “Shanghai Surprise” was panned by critics as one of the worst movies of all time.

In his nutty interview, Penn, who calls O’Reilly “grumpy,” speaks of his rage-filled hatred of O’Reilly, Stern and FOX mogul Rupert Murdoch. Poor guy. Murdoch wouldn’t let him use the FOX jet to a screening of “The Thin Red Line” and wanted a bigger star than Penn in order to produce “I am Sam.” Penn’s wacky politics are illustrated by a framed jacket of Christopher Hitchens’ preposterous “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” on his wall, and his rage over a 1999 Oscar for anti-Communist director Elia Kazan.

It’s no surprise Talk Magazine would give Penn’s irrelevant left-wing views a prominent airing. The magazine is run by Friend of Hillary, Tina Brown. Interestingly, in the very same issue, another article, “Goodbye, Angels,” claims that blonde conservative commentators Ann Coulter and Kellyanne Fitzpatrick Conway are through. Reality check: They’re bigger than ever. Brown’s Talk just wishes it weren’t that way, and that Spicoli’s America was reality. It isn’t.

In “Fast Times,” Penn’s long-haired, pot-smoking Spicoli sets his goals high in life: “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz and I’m fine.”

If only reality’s Spicoli-Penn would stick to that and shut his mouth, we’d all be fine.

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