Reading Penn’s journalism is not unlike consuming a Castro speech: it’s unbearably long, always rambling and tedious, and frequently incoherent. Take this latest dispatch from Penn’s Huffington Post blog, where he coughs up this furball: “Ostreicher, whose innocence was maligned by an arrest where only vague illusions to money laundering have been shown to be fabricated by corrupt officials within the Bolivian judiciary, whose motivation has proven to be extortion.”

Or how about this stew of words, which is apparently related to the shootings in Newtown, Conn.: “This can, and is, being very easily exampled with newly invigorated discussions with attention on the recognition and treatment of mental health, and certainly that is a priority. And to be responsible to that priority, we too have to recognize its applicability to the mental health of our American community at large.”

It’s difficult to improve upon the brutal verdict of New Yorker writer George Packer, who wondered why “someone like Penn think[s] he can do this job [journalism], which isn’t his job?” Criticizing his sycophantic dual profile of Castro and Chavez, published in The Nation, Packer concluded that “Perhaps because he can write down and relay the words of famous people to whom his own fame gives him access, and because certain thoughts pass through his mind while he’s writing them down.”