Sen Marco Rubio (R-Florida) said that he found Sean Penn’s interview with Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as ‘El Chapo,” “grotesque.”
Speaking on Sunday with ABC, the Republican presidential candidate acknowledged that the interview between the Oscar award-winning actor and the drug lord, conducted in a jungle hideout while Guzmán was on the run from law enforcement after breaking out of a Mexican prison last year, was legal but unsavoury.
“If one of these American actors who have benefited from the greatness of this country who have made money from our free enterprise system, want to go fawn over a criminal and drug trafficker in their interviews, they have a Constitutional right to do it,” Rubio told host George Stephanopoulos.
“I find it grotesque,” he added.
Guzmán was recaptured late last week reportedly after law enforcement authorities traced his communications with Hollywood representatives over the details of a potential biopic about his life.
Rubio said on Sunday that he “doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about Sean Penn,” but that it was “fantastic” that authorities used the interview between Penn and Guzman to help track Guzman down.
Rubio was hardly the only critic of the interview.
Many observers found Penn’s account too favourable to the drug lord, who for years oversaw a vast and brutal drug enterprise that’s left thousands of victims dead over the last several decades.
Rolling Stone sets standard journalist ethics aside to get story that will attract enormous attention. What could go wrong?
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) January 10, 2016
Rolling Stone disclosed that although he did not make any changes, Guzmán was allowed to view the piece before it was published and provide feedback. The decision to allow the drug kingpin editorial input — an unusual and ethically questionable arrangement — riled many journalists and media ethicists online on Saturday.
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