Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Ha, Ha, Sean Penn's El Chapo Piece Scoops Media

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Ha, Ha, Sean Penn's El Chapo Piece Scoops Media

Article excerpt

Journalists, particularly the U.S. type, can be a pretentious bunch coming off as the final authority on what they deem to be the paragons of objectivity and media values.

Or to put it another way, "it's tainted if it ?taint mine.'" Many had a hissy fit over Hollywood actor Sean Penn's article in the journal, Rolling Stone, on Mexico's fugitive drug lord, "El Chapo," Joaquin Guzman.

Some newsmen would have killed- sorry for the double entendre-for the opportunity, but Penn got it through some enterprising moves that required the entreaties of a femme fatale, a fellow actor with whom El Chapo was infatuated.

Sounding like a Dick Tracy comic strip, a voluptuous lady leads Penn to El Chapo in his hideaway, and he does a seven-hour exclusive interview for the Rolling Stone, but then finds himself getting hammered for his clandestine meeting with a notorious outlaw, which many of our marquee journalists said resulted in an innocuous fluff piece.

They said that wasn't journalism in castigating Penn for his attempts at ferreting out a story. It wasn't even good acting in impersonating a journalist.

Law enforcement officers, particularly the Mexicans, would have better welcomed the opportunity to kill El Chapo whose hideaway was supposedly compromised by Penn's interview pursuits.

Penn who between acting jobs seems to make journalism his pastime, pursuing international scamps in such destinations as Cuba, Venezuela and Iraq, said he figured the world's most sought drug fugitive would make an interesting interview and contributor to the conversation on the war on drugs, particularly in the U.S.

It created a lot of antipathy and scorn among journalists who said Penn's efforts served only to glorify a wanton international criminal through an obsequious article devoid of substance.

It rings more like envy toward Penn's scoop from journalists who never imagined such enterprise and boldness from an interloper who makes no pretense about being one of them.

As a former Washington and foreign correspondent and reporter in Texas, I'd have to agree with my envious brethren who say Sean Penn's interview with El Chapo was pretty lame, but I'd add also revealing about an international outlaw who like the Godfather, Don Corleone, considered his nefarious activities as only business. …

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