Sean Penn and Fidel Castro? The actor's top 5 forays into journalism.
The star of "Milk", actor Senn Penn, is in Cuba, reportedly to interview Fidel Castro for Vanity Fair magazine about how the Obama administration has affected the island.
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4) Iraq. In 2004, Penn reported for the San Francisco Chronicle that the occupation by US forces there "could ignite a powder keg." This came a little more than one year after he used an ad in the Washington Post to ask former President George W. Bush not to go to war in Iraq. "I beg you, help save America before yours is a legacy of shame and horror," Penn wrote in an open letter to Bush.Skip to next paragraph
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3) Cuba. Weeks before President Obama was elected last year, Penn had dinner and drinks with Cuban President Raúl Castro during a seven-hour conversation in Havana. Mr. Castro told Penn he'd be open to meeting with Mr. Obama, if he won the election. Penn wrote the visit up for The Nation, a liberal news magazine.
Penn flew to Havana from Caracas, Venezuela, on a plane loaned to him via the Venezuelan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum. Just don't razz him about it. "If someone wants to refer to that as a payoff, be my guest," he wrote. "But when you read the next report from a journalist flying on Air Force One, or hopping on board a US military transport plane, be so kind as to dismiss that article as well."
Touché, Mr. Penn. Touché.
Why does someone like Penn think he can do this job, which isn’t his job? Perhaps because he can write down and relay the words of famous people to whom his own fame gives him access, and because certain thoughts pass through his mind while he’s writing them down. Penn’s moonlighting shows a kind of contempt for journalism, which turns out to be rather difficult to do well. It also shows that he’s missed one of the main points of Obama’s election, which has Penn shedding tears at the end of his dispatch. Obama is the splendid fruit of a meritocracy. In a meritocracy, actors who act well get good roles. They don’t get to be journalists, too—a job that, in a meritocracy, should go to those who do journalism well. Nor should any journalist, however accomplished, expect to land a leading part in Penn’s next movie.
1) Fidel Castro doesn't do many interviews these days. If Castro grants Penn an interview, it could be one of the last the leftist icon grants to a Western "journalist" – or movie star. And that would make it No. 1.
If you could get an interview with Fidel Castro, what would you ask him?