Actor Sean Penn’s Rolling Stone interview with El Chapo has come under fire after it emerged the publication granted editorial control of the piece to the fugitive.
With the piece came the disclosure: “Some names have had to be changed, locations not named, and an understanding was brokered with the subject that this piece would be submitted for the subject’s approval before publication. The subject did not ask for any changes.”
Andrew Seaman, Reuters reporter and chair of the ethics committee of the Society of Professional Journalists, claimed that by giving El Chapo (Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera) final say on copy “discredits” the entire interview.
Seaman said: “Allowing any source control over a story’s content is inexcusable. The practice of pre-approval discredits the entire story – whether the subject requests changes or not.
“The writer, who in this case is an actor and activist, may write the story in a more favorable light and omit unflattering facts in an attempt to not to be rejected.
"Forfeiting its editorial control to Guzman is the latest misstep in the lauded magazine’s modern history."
El Chapo was recaptured on Friday in the town of Los Mochis and the US is now fighting for his extradition. His correspondence with documentary producers reportedly aided authorities in their search for the kingpin, according to Reuters.
As a result of his interview with El Chapo, the Mexican media is reporting that police officials in the country are seeking Sean Penn for an interview to ascertain whether he failed to provide authorities with vital information which would have aided in the recapture of the fugitive.
Sean said in the Rolling Stone article: “I take no pride in keeping secrets that may be perceived as protecting criminals, nor do I have any gloating arrogance at posing for selfies with unknowing security men,” he added “El Chapo is a businessman first, and only resorts to violence when he deems it advantageous to himself or his business interests”.
Around the media furore of the meet-up, news agency Deadline, reported a satirical report from the New Yorker that Sean Penn was to meet the head of the Isis.