Sean Penn travelled to Iraq in 2003 and sent back two dispatches for the San Francisco Chronicle. Yes, he has the press credentials in spite of the right wing taunts about his being only an actor, a leftie actor. His writing is good enough to dispell any of those thoughts. He went to Iraq because he wanted to find out for himself and he wanted to answer honestly the questions of his ten year old son.

Sean Penn in Iraq. 2003 more…
Here is the link to his Chronicle dispatches.

NOW, Penn is in IRAN.Here’s a review of his last journalistic adventure from an Iranian journalist.

Iranian journalist Reza Noroozpour writes in her blog that an American movie star has arrived in Tehran to cover the election for the San Francisco Chronicle, which carried his earlier and extremely well-written dispatches from Iraq:

    “Actor Sean Penn In Tehran

    “The people know Sean Penn the actor, but not many of them know Sean Penn the journalist. Hollywood actor Sean Penn, accompanying with two American journalists, Norman Solomon and Reese Erlich, was present at Tehran Friday prayer on assignment for San Francisco Chronicle. The star of ‘Interpreter’ and the two other journalists will cover the presidential elections on June 17, and try to get interviews with all candidates. Meanwhile Penn is going to write the account of this short trip for Chronicle as a journalist. He traveled to Iraq before and after the Iraq war in 2003 and wrote an account of his trip for the Chronicle.”

This blog quote courtesy of
Watch out for his Iran dispatches.

Update [2005-6-16 9:38:28 by sybil]:

Penn’s Political Journalism Offends [some] Americans
Actor Sean Penn has caused controversy in America by attending anti-US meetings and interviewing the major contender for presidency in Iran about American politics, during his stint in the Middle East covering Iran’s elections for the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. […]But he has already offended many Americans by listening to Muslim worshippers chanting “death to America” last Friday. Penn says of the weekly “death to America” chants, “I understand the nature of where it comes from and what its intention is. But I don’t think it’s productive because I think the message goes to the American people and it is interpreted very literally.” He also sparked a media frenzy, by quizzing former Iranian president and Sh’ite Muslim cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, about America’s belief Iran’s election is undemocratic, […]

It seems that Sean Penn is offending the other side, but not so much.

Why “Death to America”? Why “Marg Bar Amreeka”? When will the Iranian politicians start distinguishing between the US foreign policy and the US culture and people?

This extreme Anti-Americanism won’t take Iran anywhere…

I hope Rafsanjani would deliver his promises and try to restart the diplomatic relations between his country and the US, and I hope the US government will return the $11 billion Iranian assets frozen in the wake of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The global irrational hatred against the United States as a whole should stop so that the US people can realize that no one hates them for what they are, but most of the world opposes their government’s unjust foreign policy.
Posted by: Raed Jarrar
Raed in the Middle

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