Sean Penn's El Chapo interview failed because Penn is neither Woodward nor Bernstein

Sean Penn's El Chapo interview failed because Penn is neither Woodward nor Bernstein
image: lanacion.com.ar

Sean Penn may fancy himself and his “brother in arms,” Espinoza the Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of our time, but his latest piece in Rolling Stone falls far short of that benchmark.

Penn’s interview with Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, entitled, “El Chapo Speaks, A secret visit with the most wanted man in the world” leaves little doubt as to the subject of that piece.  The byline (by Sean Penn) at the top of the page is a hint at whom might be the supporting actor, although who supports whom is debatable throughout.

You can read Penn’s article here.

In an interview with Charlie Rose on CBS’s 60 Minutes, Penn complained that his article failed to start the conversation he had in mind.  The problem, according to Penn is the state of journalism, and he wasn’t talking about New Jersey, or any of the other 49 states.

According to Penn, there is a problem with journalism that only he, Penn is able to understand.

You can see the 60 Minutes interview here.

Human creativity has allowed for the continued advancement of civilization, but some of the ways people deflect blame can be truly amazing.

Sarah Palin says that her son, Track’s arrest on domestic violence charges is a result of his being misunderstood by the President of the United States.  Mrs. Palin did not say who was responsible for her entire family being involved in a drunken brawl back in 2014.

Penn’s creativity allowed him to shift blame for his very poorly received article from the author (himself) to every journalist in America.  In his mind, the failure of his article is because they (journalists) are not doing their job properly.

“My article should not have made this much noise,” he told Charlie Rose. “El Chapo should not have been this popular a figure to read about.”

The first question that pops to mind is, why, if he didn’t want his article to make noise did Penn give it to Rolling Stone?  Penn is, after all a movie star and his article was about the most notorious drug lord in the world.

Common sense might dictate that there was going to be some attention given to that article, showing up in Rolling Stone and all.

The part about El Chapo being too popular a figure to read about is a head scratcher.  If El Chapo wasn’t such a looming figure in popular culture, why did Penn go through excruciating, dangerous machinations just to get a selfie with him?

Perhaps Sean Penn never saw Scarface and doesn’t realize the popular attraction of violent psychopaths.

Penn goes on to tell Rose, “I can get angry—like many people can. I’m really sad about the state of journalism in our country,” he said. “It has been an incredible hypocrisy and an incredible lesson in just how much they don’t know and how disserved we are.”

I’ll leave that one to the reader to dissect.  I’m not sure why critics panning Penn’s article is hypocritical or how we are being disserved.  Typically, they just report on the things that interest us.  Things like a fugitive, mass murdering drug lord.

In a final to shot to journalism, Penn says, “Again, journalists who want to say that I’m not a journalist. Well, I want to see the license that says that they’re a journalist.”

Personally, I’m not that discerning.  I figure, if someone’s getting paid to do journalism and they’ve got the credentials, that’s good enough for me.  Even if they work for TMZ or Entertainment Tonight.

If, however I was getting paid to write this drivel, I’d be tempted to ask Mr. Penn if I could see his actor’s license.

EL CHAPO WANNABES:  For up to the minute fashion, you can purchase your own “El Chapo Shirt” by clicking here.  Send me a picture of yourself in your drug kingpin garb, I may post them if I get a nice sampling.

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