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Non-journalists: you know them when you see them


 

Coming up with a satisfactory definition of who's a journalist is tricky. But as the New Yorker's George Packer notes, to devastating effect, identifying non-journalists is easier. And Sean Penn, who recently wrote some pro-Venezuela/pro-Cuba agitprop for the Nation, is a most definitely a non-journalist.

My suggestion: read Packer's post before you read Penn's "article"--which, among other things, is packed with fawning descriptions ("Also joining us for lunch was Antonio Castro Soto del Valle, a handsome young man of humble character who is the 39-year-old son of Fidel Castro") and blatant derelictions of journalistic duty ("I'm... infinitely aware that if I were a Cuban citizen and were to write an article such as this about the Cuban leadership, I could be jailed.... I consider mentioning this, and perhaps should have, but I've got something else on my mind"). Good stuff!

(Via Romenesko.)

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