El Spicoli

Good grief:

When El Chapo was arrested (again) I didn’t pay all that much attention to the story. That’s not to say that it wasn’t important or that both Mexico and the DEA didn’t have a good reason to hunt him down, but it’s not the sort of thing that’s going to change the world in a substantive, positive way. When you take out a cartel kingpin like that there are plenty more ready and eager to take his place. Even if you could identify, locate and take out his entire army, all you’d manage to do would be to cause some momentary confusion and turmoil in the market and a new group would rise up to fill the demand. That’s just the dark side of capitalism on the black market.

But now we’ve seen another low point in “journalism” which popped up in relation to the story and it will come as no surprise that it once again features Rolling Stone magazine. In case you missed it, actor Sean Penn managed to arrange a day long meeting with the drug lord back in October and it turned into a feature “scoop” for Rolling Stone. The real question here is, if you knew where a mass murdering drug lord was when the entire civilized world was hunting for him, wouldn’t you call the DEA instead of your editor? That clearly wasn’t the route that RS and Penn chose, instead preferring to help Guzman fluff up his reputation.

The Rolling Stone article is pretty jaw-dropping, giving lip service to the suffering El Chapo has caused but mainly talking about how charming he is and how he built himself up from nothing. Really, I can distill it for you in one fact: they gave El Chapo final edit of the article. It’s also poorly written, with a very turgid “style”.

The one good thing to come out of it is that Mexican authorities are saying that Penn covered his tracks so badly that they were able to find and arrest El Chapo.

I don’t know who comes off worse: Rolling Stone or Penn. Combine this with last year’s UVa rape fraud, and I’d say Rolling Stones’ reputation is rolling around the rim of the toilet bowl right about now.

As for Penn, it does give me an excuse to link to one of my favorite Best of Lee posts, about Penn covering a rally in Iran:

Check out the picture of this wormy fuck. He’s crouching in that position so you can’t see the erection he got when he heard thousands of Muslims chanting “Death to America.”

I think the greatest way to finish this post is to refer to Team America. In that film, Trey Parker and Matt Stone had Sean Penn say: “Last year, I went to Iraq. Before Team America showed up, it was a happy place. They had flowery meadows, and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate where the children danced and laughed and played with gumdrop smiles.” Penn angrily shot back by inviting Parker and Stone to take a trip to Iraq with him. Their response?

“I went to the Grand Canyon once, but that doesn’t make me an expert.”

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  1. InsipiD

    I read about this yesterday, and I don’t even know what to think.  You’ve got a non-journalist playing reporter in a dangerous place with a dangerous individual.  Certainly he’s an interesting and newsworthy guy, but there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed, especially not by amateurs.  A pro would not have led the cops there by accident, but a genius would have on purpose.  The big picture didn’t change for me, though.  I couldn’t have thought less of Penn, and I’m glad that Chapo is caught.  I’m not convinced he’ll stay that way.

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