I am always amused by the antics of the Hollywood elite. These self-important people are never shy about sharing their opinions with the common folk. By common folks I mean the average Joe and Josephine on the street who pay their hard earned money to see these folks pretend to be something they are not.

Case in point: Sean Penn interviewing drug lord Joaquin Guzman, also known as “El Chapo.” Penn claimed he is a journalist. Sure, and I am an actor. People, like Penn, often get so wrapped up in the role they are playing that they actually believe that is who they are. Role playing is not reality.

Penn, who wrote in the “Rolling Stone” piece that he spent eight hours with Guzman, called the controversial interview “experiential journalism.”

In a “60 Minutes interview”, Penn said, “I don’t have to be the one that reports on the alleged murders or the amount of narcotics that are brought in,” Penn said. “I go and I spend time in the company of another human being, which everyone is. And I make an observation and try to parallel that, try to balance that with the focus that we, that I believe we, we tend to put too much emphasis on.”

Penn was recently blasted by one of Guzman’s attorneys for writing that the drug lord openly boasted about his business and empire.

“It’s a lie, absurd speculation from Mr. Penn,” attorney Juan Pablo Badillo said. “In a way, yes, it does complicate his defense. Mr. Penn should be called to testify to respond about the stupidities he has said.”

Penn said his overall goal was to kick-start the conversation on the war on drugs.

“I think the policy of the war on drugs, which so deeply affects all of our lives, seems not to change. It seems to be so unmoveable. And it occurs to me that often, because we want to simplify the problem, and we want to look at a black hat and put our resources into focusing on the bad guy and I understand that,” Penn said. “I absolutely understand justice and the rule of law.”

Mr. Penn, El Chapo is one of the bad guys. By the time of his 2014 arrest, Guzmán had exported more drugs to the United States than anyone else: More than 500 tons (450,000 kg) of cocaine in the USA alone.

That is 500 tons of misery; 500 tons of broken lives; 500 tons of criminal activity and 500 tons of real-life people sitting in jails. Mr. Guzman and his gang are responsible for all of that and probably more. The focus in this case deserves to be on El Chapo’s criminal life.

Oh, by the way, Penn said the story would have been killed if Guzman did not like what he read.

Sorry, Mr. Penn but that is not journalism. In my book Mr. Penn gets one-half star out of four.

Bart

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