Sat, 19 Jan 2008 00:30:36
US actor Sean Penn and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
Actor Sean Penn will no longer write for the San Francisco Chronicle after the paper dubbed Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez a 'dictator'.
The acclaimed actor and director called the newspaper an "increasingly lamebrain paper" after it published a tongue-in-cheek article, saying, "celebrities making asses of themselves...hanging out with the world's most notorious dictators and other authoritarian figures".
The paper listed Danny Glover, Oliver Stone and Sean Penn among those celebrities, while dubbing Chavez a dictator.
In a letter to the newspaper published on Thursday, Penn writes, "I could only hope this great city was more clever than its increasingly lamebrain paper. Chavez was democratically elected, and dictators don't lose constitutional referendums.
"In the paper's attack on Oliver Stone, who, agree with him or not, has at least the balls, passion and intellectual curiosity to pursue information away from a porcelain dumping bowl and a desperate newspaper, we see another attempt to marginalize the outspoken."
Penn signed the letter 'former SF Chronicle contributing reporter'.
Penn has conducted a series of assignments for the paper including visiting Iraq and Iran as a contributing reporter.