As your humble correspondent has learned, writing humor can be very dangerous since it can easily backfire. Such was the case with a story written by the former Mr. Sharon Stone aka Phil Bronstein, Editor-at-Large of the San Francisco Chronicle. Just from the very title of his piece, "Should Obama have smoked crack?" you just know Bronstein was going to run into trouble. Some readers didn't know he was trying to be funny and were outraged. Other readers realized he was attempting to write humor but felt it was really lame. So here is Bronstein's backfiring humor attempt:
...His druggie past is not helping him shape the overarching grit of his public character nearly as much as it could be. Weed and cocaine? Who's going to be impressed with that, when his hugely successful contemporaries like Oprah Winfrey have the truly dark and evil specter of crack in their background?
...He needed some rock in that pipe of his youth. If he'd had a crack addiction then instead of an effete taste for powdered cocaine and pot, people might be a little more respectful of him now. It would have been an even tougher journey to the top. The big dog bite needs teeth sharpened by real adversity.
Okay, what's really funny here is not Bronstein's humor which is lame and heavy-handed but the way it has backfired so embarrasingly. However, Bronstein's amateur attempt at humor gets worse. Much worse:
Crack could have helped put some color back into the Obama narrative. It is a drug that disproportionately haunts African American communities. Think coke and its Paris Hilton or some no-brainers on The Hills. Crack is the gutter drug.
As you can imagine, many of his readers probably wish that L.A. Zoo Komodo Dragon had bitten another part of Bronstein's body than just his foot. Some sample comments:
Another useless editorial from sfgate's do nothing editor. Don't you have some copy to read? This is probably the most vapid observation of Obama's past I have ever read. I'll never get back the 2 minutes it took to read this.
Bronstein should resign. This is a new low for the Chronicle and embarrassment to San Franciscans.
Bronstein should have taken heed of Tip #9 of Hot Tips For Op-Ed Writers:
9. Avoid op-ed backfire.
Humor is hard to project in an opinion piece. Satire can bite the writer.
P.J. Gladnick wrote a tongue-in-cheek satire about harmful cartoons for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He showed Snow White exploiting short people, Scrooge McDuck engaging in the capitalistic duck-slave trade, the Three Little Pigs abusing the Big Bad Wolf, and more.
That article made him the hero of the National Coalition on Television Violence, who used it to justify censoring Saturday morning TV.
And, Phil, if you really want to write a truly funny piece, then recount for us how you managed to stay married to supreme egomaniac Sharon Stone for six whole years.