‘My Article Failed,’ Says Sean Penn

Sean Penn has spoken for the first time on his feature article in Rolling Stone concerning Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. Since his interview with the drug kingpin went public, Penn has been the object of public scorn, if not that of journalists as well. On CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose interviewed Penn and he discussed the criticism he received, calling into question the credibility of such scrutiny and expressing the sentiment that his “article has failed”. The piece, authored by Penn himself, is this months cover story for the magazine and titled “El Chapo Speaks”.

“Let me be clear. My article failed,” Penn told Charlie Rose when asked about the impact of his actions.

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is notorious for his July escape from a Mexican prison by way of an underground tunnel, as reported by The Inquisitr. Sounds like something out of a movie? El Chapo has been made into a larger-than-life character in the months since his escape, a point to which the Mexican government has been an embarrassment. Now, not only has Penn been aware of the location of a dangerous fugitive, but an actor was able to locate the criminal before authorities could, to which Penn responds:

“Well, nobody found him before they did. We didn’t — we’re not smarter than the DEA or the Mexican intelligence. We had a contact upon which we were able to facilitate an invitation.”

This invitation was facilitated by a fellow actor, and now Mexican authorities have claimed that Sean Penn’s visit was tracked and allowed them to approximate El Chapo’s location; a claim which Penn asserts may have been falsely constructed in order to put his life in jeopardy.

“We had met with him many weeks ago, on October 2. In a place nowhere near where he was captured.”

Also revealed in the interview with Penn is his belief that due to the fact that all this attention has been focused on the ethics of his actions, the main point of the article was lost on distracted audiences and failed to make a statement.

“I have a regret that the entire discussion about this article ignores its purpose, which was to try to contribute to this discussion about the policy in the War on Drugs,” Penn Said. “We all want this drug problem to stop. We all want the killings in Chicago to stop. We are the consumer. Whether you agree with Sean Penn or not, there is a complicity there. And if you are in the moral right, or on the far left, just as many of your children are doing these drugs. And how much time have they spent in the last week, since this article came out, talking about that? One percent?”

iMediaEthics has commented on the matter and wrote that.

“Rolling Stone stood by its decision to allow El Chapo prior approval of the article before publication, with publisher Jann Wenner calling it ‘not a meaningful thing.’ On the other hand, the Society of Professional Journalists called it ‘inexcusable.'”

To this, Penn responds by stating that he is a an experimental journalist, one who writes on experience and doubts the rights of other journalists to call his actions into question. Penn told Charlie Rose that it is his status as a non-traditional journalist that got him the story in the first place through non-traditional methods, and that his critics are simply jealous.

“At the same time, you know, when…’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.”

[Image by Jordan Stauss/Invision/AP Images]