Best Newspaper Columnist San Francisco 2006 - Mark Morford, the San Francisco Chronicle
The lefty dogma Morford preaches can sometimes descend into shrillness, and for readers with delicate Quaker sensibilities, his jokes may cause fainting spells. But Morford offers enough ideas, humor, and adrenalized writing to make us more than happy to plunk down our 46 cents plus tax every Wednesday and Friday to read his Datebook column. Peeling the lid off his id, he cranks out prose that soars and swirls, whether professing his love for the Volkswagen Dasher, penning an open letter to coke waif Kate Moss, or wondering about something called anal bleaching. Here's a typical flight of fancy, from a column titled "Scenes from a Bush Thanksgiving": "Meanwhile, Jenna and Barbara Jr. sneak tequila shots in the Rose Garden and flirt with the Secret Service for, like, the millionth time, to no effect. Jenna is so, like, buzzed. She adjusts her bra strap, again. Then her thong. Damn but she hates these formal things." Funny stuff. Now if only Morford would give a joke-writing primer to Neva Chonin.