Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sean Penn takes aim at 'lamebrain' paper

Actor Sean Penn's days of corresponding for the San Francisco Chronicle may be over: according to the Associated Press, the feisty movie star now calls the publication an "increasingly lamebrain paper."

Penn offered the critique in a letter published Tuesday, written in response to a tongue-in-cheek article that focused on celebrity interest in Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
(Penn had met Hugo Chavez on location in Venezuela.) The humor column had listed a number of potential matchups between celebrities and dictators or other authoritarian figures.

Penn objected to the characterization, saying Chavez is a democratically elected leader.

Chronicle Editor Phil Bronstein took the criticism in stride, calling Penn, "a great actor and a great director."

"People get riled up about a lot of things, particularly in this day and age; they get to express themselves. We were more than happy to print his letter," Bronstein said.

A call to Penn's publicist was not immediately returned.

Penn's past writings for the paper included a five-part series in 2005 about his experiences in Iran.

With brainstorms like this, the SF paper could have been a tad brighter :

Here are some other strongmen to choose from: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah; Iran Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali KhamEnei; China paramount leader Hu Jintao; Burma head of state Than Shwe.Contribute your own ideas for celebrity-dictator matchups

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