Talk about strange bedfellows. In what can only be described as an epic PR failure, Rolling Stone magazine and actor/activist Sean Penn teamed up for an exclusive interview with El Chapo, the convicted drug lord who is on the lamb after breaking out of a maximum security Mexican prison. Cue the Mariachi band.
First things first, a little background on El Chapo. He's filthy rich due to his criminal drug empire. So rich that his minions reportedly spent about one million dollars digging a mile-long tunnel so he could walk out of prison---no crawling for this kingpin.
Typically, when one comes across an escaped criminal responsible for murdering thousands of people, one would notify the authorities. Unless, of course, one is a liberal activist that keeps company with unsavory types like Fidel Castro. Enter Sean Penn.
Penn recently spent "weeks of clandestine planning" in order to interview and write an article about El Chapo for Rolling Stone. The communist sympathizer asked hard-hitting questions like, "How was your childhood?" and "Do you have any dreams?" and "If you could change the world, would you?" (By the way, things are hunky-dory for El Chapo, and he wouldn't change a thing: "For me, the way things are, I'm happy.")
As if that weren't enough, Rolling Stone provided the pièce de résistance: complete editorial control to El Chapo.
On the heels of publishing a bogus rape story, Rolling Stone now runs a story in which all control was surrendered to a vicious drug lord on the run from authorities.
In the article, Penn tried to spin an excuse for his secret interview:
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. But I'm in my rhythm. Everything I say to everyone must be true. As true as it is compartmentalized. The trust that El Chapo had extended to us was not to be f**ked with. This will be the first interview El Chapo had ever granted outside an interrogation room, leaving me no precedent by which to measure the hazards.
However, Penn's twisted sense of loyalty may not pay off this time. Matt Gutman with ABC News tweeted Monday that Mexican authorities are investigating both Sean Penn and Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, who brokered the get together, for meeting with El Chapo.
#BREAKING Mexican government source tells ABC news that both Sean Penn and Kate Del Castillos are under investigation for meeting El Chapo
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) January 10, 2016
Enjoy this complimentary segment from The Glenn Beck Program
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
GLENN: El Chapo is in the news. Who is El Chapo? One of the most notorious drug dealers in the world. And, by the way, if El Chapo's people happen to be listening, we love El Chapo. I use his lip balm. He's fantastic.
STU: If he existed, he would be fantastic.
GLENN: If he existed, he would be fantastic. Being here in Texas, we're all for El Chapo.
Anyway, this weekend, Rolling Stone came out, and they said, "Big news, Sean Penn has landed a rare interview with El Chapo." Now, El Chapo is a guy who had escaped from a prison, a maximum security Mexican prison through a tunnel that took a million dollars to dig. So he's in -- he goes and takes a shower, and he opens up the floor of the shower and he drops down into this tunnel, where his people had been digging. How long was this tunnel?
PAT: A mile.
STU: A mile.
GLENN: A mile long they had been digging this mile-long tunnel. And as Stu was explaining it off the air, he didn't crawl through the tunnel. He walked through the tunnel.
STU: Yeah, it was a million dollars to make this tunnel, they think.
GLENN: In Mexico.
STU: Right. The tunnel cost in Mexico is lower than you're thinking.
GLENN: Well, the regulations alone on tunnel collapse by prison, it's crazy.
But, anyway, so Sean Penn has this interview with him. And there's a couple of things. First of all, Sean Penn in the interview, he asks a notorious drug lord, "Do you have any dreams?"
"Do you have any dreams?"
"If you could change the world, would you?" You've got to be kidding me.
JEFFY: Everybody has dreams, Glenn.
GLENN: El Chapo has dreams.
PAT: Even a guy responsible for thousands, if not tens of thousands of murders, he's got big dreams. Yeah, I'd like to kill 100,000. I mean, is that your dream?
GLENN: It's incredible.
PAT: I'd like to enslave the entire United States of America on drugs.
JEFFY: He doesn't want to kill everyone.
PAT: No, he doesn't want to kill his customers. Keep the customers alive.
JEFFY: Just agree with him and everything is fine.
GLENN: So Sean Penn does this interview with this guy. Now, I think that's the bad part of the story. No. It gets worse.
The Rolling Stone magazine actually gave final edit approval to El Chapo.
STU: Yeah. El Chapo said, "I want to approve this article before you print it." Rolling Stone, first of all, agreed to it and then delivered to El Chapo an article in which El Chapo had no changes.
GLENN: So there's levels here. Sean Penn does an interview. Rolling Stone magazine decides to print the interview. Then they decide, "We're going to give the editorial reigns to the guy we're interviewing, the notorious drug lord." That's bad enough. But what they delivered to him, he doesn't make any changes. He's like, "Holy cow, you're kidding me. That's really good. Wow, they said this?"
STU: Seriously, you're going to print this, for me? Is it my birthday?
GLENN: My gosh. You guys know I'm a notorious drug lord, right?
STU: He's actually trying to talk them out of it for their own reputation.
GLENN: So now on Friday, he was recaptured in Mexico. And it had something to do with this interview. Somehow or another, something that happened during this interview tipped the authorities off. Do we know what that was? What happened that tipped the authorities off?
So something happened that tipped the authorities off. And my question is, and I don't believe this for a second. Was Sean Penn working with the government to capture El Chapo?
STU: No, I don't think that's the accusation at all. I've seen some speculation that -- you know, we can figure this out. But some speculation that he, because of the process going on, they somehow were able -- that actually helped them. But it was not intentional help from Sean Penn. Like, they were able to -- because of the details able to track him down.
PAT: No, Penn and the Rolling Stone did not cooperate with authorities on this at all.
GLENN: No, but that's what they would have to say or they'd be dead.
PAT: Yeah, but I'm sure they didn't. I mean, for Rolling Stone to have more credibility than Weekly World News, it's -- it would be despicable. They don't. This is as bad as it can get for a supposed journalistic publication.
GLENN: Well, this is the publication that didn't check the facts on the rape story.
PAT: On the rape story. And now this thing.
GLENN: And they let the drug lord edit facts for the Rolling Stone story.
PAT: How do they survive? How do they have an ounce of credibility?
GLENN: Because there are a lot of people like Sean Penn.
STU: This is weird though. Because this is not typical left-wing lines. My impression of Democrats in this country is not that they want poor people addicted to drugs and murdered in third world countries. Is that part of the platform? I've never heard that.
GLENN: No, no, but I think Rolling Stone appeals to the -- it's like The Nation.
PAT: The renegades.
GLENN: It's the renegade. It's the revolutionary.
PAT: And that's kind of what Sean Penn seems to be, is a revolutionary. Isn't it? He hangs out with revolutionaries. He loves Castro. He loved, what's-his-face from Venezuela?
PAT: Chavez. He apparently likes this guy enough to shake hands with him and have a photograph with him.
GLENN: By the way, is that photograph weird and uncomfortable?
STU: Very weird.
JEFFY: But that's what happens when you get yourself photographed with the Robin Hood-like figure that El Chapo is.
GLENN: That's according to Sean Penn. The Robin Hood-type figure.
PAT: By the way, can we mention here that Robin Hood did not get people addicted to drugs and he did not steal from the rich. He stole from the government who took the money from the poor. He stole from the government and gave it back to the people he stole from.
STU: Because he was frustrated over policies like high taxes.
PAT: Could we for the love of heaven get the Robin Hood story right for a change. I mean, if you want to call this douche bag a Robin Hood-type, he's nothing like that. He's nothing like that.
GLENN: First of all, Robin Hood wasn't addicting people to drugs. And Robin Hood wasn't rich! He wasn't the guy flying around in his private helicopter in his HEP Leer jet.
PAT: El Chapo makes a billion dollars a month.
GLENN: I'm sorry, what?
PAT: A billion dollars a month.
JEFFY: And that's probably low.
PAT: Yeah, that's probably a conservative estimate.
I mean, that's -- that's a pretty good enterprise.
GLENN: If I'm El Chapo and I make a billion dollars a month, I am pissed that the tunnel wasn't carpeted.
PAT: And air-conditioned.
GLENN: If I spent a million dollars to get me out, you realize that last year I made $12 billion.
STU: That's a top line number though. That wasn't all profit.
JEFFY: Yeah. There's a lot of cost.
PAT: Well, I'm sure he'll pay his taxes. He'll declare all that. Right?
GLENN: What do you think his bottom line number is?
STU: Well, I mean, if he's doing -- maybe he's making 20 -- probably drugs, you're probably 50/60 percent profit margin at least.
JEFFY: And then you have to provide food, roads, and medical relief for the people in the mountains that are keeping you safe.
STU: Right. Because that's one of the thing. When you say the Robin Hood-like figure, he's making the Osama bin Laden argument. That al-Qaeda is building schools so a lot of people really like them locally. And the same thing with El Chapo. He's done a lot of things that people in that area love.
He gives away money. I mean, this is what happens with every criminal enterprise. I mean, go back to the wonderful documentary, New Jack City, that described the cocaine, crack in New York City, I think pretty well. They did a good job with it. And at times, he was giving away -- Nino Brown -- as you know, Nino Brown, the drug dealer, was giving away turkeys and everything on Thanksgiving. And the local people loved him. He was also killing a lot of --
GLENN: I would like to challenge your documentary with another documentary. Probably a little closer to this. The documentary about El HEP Guapo.
GLENN: Where he was found by the singing bush, shortly before they killed the killing bush. And this he was not liked by the local townspeople.
STU: Wow. Look, not every documentary tells the same story.
GLENN: So I think I go with the one that's closer to El Chapo than the documentary El Guapo.
STU: Yeah, but this is how you buy -- it's like what Jeffy was talking about. The people who are in the community surrounding these wonderful palaces don't have any incentive to tell anybody where these palaces are because --
JEFFY: Well, they most definitely have an incentive not to say anything. I mean, when asked if you're in that town. Hey, do you like --
GLENN: Do you like him? I love him.
JEFFY: Yes, I do.
STU: 100 percent approval rating. And he buys people off too. So there's things they get. They think, "Look, he's helping us out, and I don't want to get myself killed, so I'm not saying anything."
GLENN: Imagine, imagine what that's like.
PAT: So congratulations to Sean Penn and Rolling Stone, two Americans -- and an American publication who should know better. They should know better than that.
GLENN: We should know better than that.
PAT: And, of course, they don't.
GLENN: We as a society buy the stupid magazine.
PAT: When was the last time you purchased a Rolling Stone --
PAT: Do we?
PAT: Using the we in that context.
GLENN: As a society, we're obviously keeping them --
PAT: They're in business.
GLENN: Newsweek magazine is not in business anymore.
PAT: Well, except online.
GLENN: As the Daily Beast.
PAT: But, you know, Rolling Stone still actually shows up in grocery stores, doesn't it?
PAT: Pretty amazing.
GLENN: It's still making money. I mean, it's not their fault. It's our fault.
PAT: And after these two, the bogus rape story and this one, if you're still buying that magazine, something is wrong with you.
GLENN: What the hell is wrong with you? What are you, high?
Featured Image: Host Sean Penn speaks onstage during the 5th Annual Sean Penn & Friends HELP HAITI HOME Gala Benefiting J/P Haitian Relief Organization at Montage Hotel on January 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for J/P HRO)