As promised, Sean Penn sat down with Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes to discuss his eight-hour meeting with El Chapo. Penn didn’t do himself any favors, but he felt the need to elaborate despite having “nothing to hide.” This appearance arrived about a week after Penn published a stunning Rolling Stone piece about hanging with the drug lord. The piece wasn’t a true interview, but a rambling profile, which was littered with bodily functions and spacey observations. We heard that Penn and actress Kate del Castillo were in “serious danger” after the profile (in addition to tacos) helped lead authorities to their target.
While talking to Rose, Penn expressed a “terrible regret” for his “failed” article. All he wanted was to launch a profound discussion on drug policy, but he ended up looking so bizarre (with all the fart-sniffing and wang admiration) that no one would have noticed real journalism if it happened. Indeed, Penn tried to go full-on gonzo with talk of “rhythm,” and he elaborated to Rose about the Sean Penn brand of “experiental journalism”:
“I don’t have to be the one that reports on the alleged murders or the amount of narcotics that are brought in. 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 seemed terribly nervous during the discussion, but here are a few more gems about his own journalistic integrity:
“I was … I was stunned, that, that, that he w-would risk our trip. I was stunned. I was baffled by his will to see us.
“I’m really sad about the state of journalism in our country. It has been an incredible hypocrisy and an incredible lesson in just how much they don’t know and how dis-served we are.
“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.”
Penn was serious about the “license” comment, which sparked some internet hilarity. Michael Moore appears to be a real fan of Penn’s brand of journalism, but he may simply be curious.
The rest of the journalists on Twitter are busily mocking Penn.