Famous for punching one journalist in the face, on Saturday Sean Penn found a way to punch all journalists in the face, with his excruciating 10,000-word Rolling Stone story about how he farted on Sinaloa drug cartel boss El Chapo. He also included a brief Q&A with the notorious drug trafficker and murderer, including such probing questions as “How was your childhood?” and “What is the outlook for the [drug trafficking] business?” People who had clearly not read the story questioned whether it was ethical for Penn and Rolling Stone to grant Guzmán pre-approval. People who had read it were mostly too shocked to formulate any coherent questions. Melissa Cronin collected some of the worst writing in the thing, but it’s hard to assign meaningful superlatives to any part of an article that is so fractally awful. El Chapo’s communication with Penn apparently helped to get him recaptured, and was at least partly motivated by the drug lord’s desire to make a movie about his own life. It’s a foregone conclusion that Penn’s article will eventually become a film, so the only real question left is: who will play Sean Penn?
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