Houston Chronicle's Adoption Joke Falls Flat (Updated)
Many readers called to correctly point out that our April Fool's joke on Page D2 of Tuesday's Star section was insensitive and inappropriate. We agree and apologize. See story on Page E1.Well, that whetted the appetite. What horrid depths of tastelessness had the paper reached? Had their ludicrous online sex columnist "Girl Dick" made it into print?
Not quite. Instead it was an April Fool's Joke that went very, very bad.
The week's highlights from the paper's mommy blog included a list of "Three practical jokes to play on your kids for April Fool's Day" was this gem: "Tell them they were adopted and now their birth mothers want them back."
While undoubtedly hilarious, by the tepid standards of the Chronicle's Star section, the joke didn't sit right with a lot of people.
"Many readers have let us know how unfunny and inappropriate that advice was," says a follow-up story in today's print edition of the section.
They hunted down a psychologist to flesh out their abject mea culpa.
"Telling children they've been adopted, [Muriel] Meicler said, is about as funny as saying a parent has died," the story read.
Hey!! File it away for next April 1!!
We've left phone and e-mail messages with Chron deputy managing editor Kyrie O'Connor, but haven't heard back. We'll update if we do.
Update: We've heard back from O'Connor. "According to the writer," she says, "it was supposed to be a joke. It fell flat.We should have flagged it before it was printed, obviously."