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NYT correction re: Spice Market review


Fat Guy
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Hell, she has done some good writing as well -- but she has also botched things to the point that it will take YEARS for the Times to unravel that mess.

Jayson Blair and his supervisors "botched things to the point that it will take YEARS for the Times to unravel." The fallout from Howell Raines's piece in The Atlantic Monthly and the issues it raises will have repercussions for years. No matter how much anyone may disagree with Amanda Hesser's taste or writing style, it is just plain silly to assert that her review of the Spice Market, or any of her other writing, caused long-term damage to the New York Times.

I enjoy reading Hesser's reviews, and I'm afraid I don't understand the level of vitriol thrown her way. I thought that Ruth Riechl's later reviews were sycophantic, and I stopped reading Grimes's reviews because I found them so frustrating. Hesser's reviews tell me more than what is on the menu of a restaurant. After reading one of her restaurant reviews, I have a good understanding of the experience of eating there. Riechl's reviews were fun, but Grimes's reviews were just painful to read.

Should her business relationship with JGV been noted in her review? Definitely. That's why the Times ran the correction. Readers should know about potential conflicts of interest, and if the potential for the appearance of impropiety exists, it is important that readers find out from the newspaper and not from third-parties. I would have liked to know about the book-blurb, but I still would have gladly read and appreciated her review.

I'm curious how well other food writers would withstand the level of scrutiny that is being applied to Hesser in this forum.

(Slightly off topic, but if you are interested in cultural, ethical, and business issues at the Times, read Raines's Atlantic Monthly piece. It touches on many of the issues raised here.)

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I'm curious how well other food writers would withstand the level of scrutiny that is being applied to Hesser in this forum.

Doubtless, we'll all find out soon, after Bruni has written up a few restaurant reviews.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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We called her winsome and she called us cockroaches. That's just not very nice.

And I would like to add that, although I have soundly criticized her for many things, I am also as far as I can tell the only person -- friend or foe -- who has actively and explicitly defended her against the ethics charge implicit in the Times correction.

No good deed goes unpunished. Robyn

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We called her winsome and she called us cockroaches. That's just not very nice.

And I would like to add that, although I have soundly criticized her for many things, I am also as far as I can tell the only person -- friend or foe -- who has actively and explicitly defended her against the ethics charge implicit in the Times correction.

No good deed goes unpunished. Robyn

she was called a lot worse than winsome. not that i think she's doing a good job as interim restaurant critic...

"If it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's a Fall gig'' -- Mark E. Smith

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One thing you can say about Amanda Hesser, at least, is that she inspires strong reactions from readers who care about the subject material. This, in my mind, is an incredible positive whether one agrees with her assessments or not.

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One thing you can say about Amanda Hesser, at least, is that she inspires strong reactions from readers who care about the subject material. This, in my mind, is an incredible positive whether one agrees with her assessments or not.

Sam, that's so sweet.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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One thing you can say about Amanda Hesser, at least, is that she inspires strong reactions from readers who care about the subject material.  This, in my mind, is an incredible positive whether one agrees with her assessments or not.

Sam, that's so sweet.

It's like in the music business. If someone comes out on the stage and has something to say that I don't particularly like, that's better than having someone come out who I don't much care about one way or the other. If you look at some of the greatest singers in opera -- take Placido Domingo for example: plenty of people love his work, but you might be surprised at how many virulent detractors he has (a lot).

Amanda Hesser, I think, has a place in food writing... maybe a significant one. I'm not sure that place is in reviewing, but I do think it's interesting how much stronger our reactions have been to her reviews than Grimes' reviews, and I think this might reflect, at least partially, a certain lack of "something to say" on his part. Given the choice between someone who has something to say that I don't agree with and someone with not so much to say... I prefer the former.

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Newbie here again. Ok, I still don't feel like I've gotten a satisfactory answer as to why Amanda Hesser's career is regularly dissected here with such interest and so much emotion. If I don't get an answer after this, I'll drop it. But I had to ask one more time.

Clearly this restaurant reviewing stint has been highly controversial. Clearly 20 or so of her 500+ stories have needed corrections. Some people hated the Latte series. But there have been other controversies and errors at all the major papers and magazines. Why aren't we discussing the fact that Marian Burros was named interim restaurant critic, but then apparently stopped? I don't even care why she did...she probably sat down at her first dinner and thought, "I forgot how much this sucks." But nary a blip on the radar.

Does A.H. piss you off so much because you feel that she doesn't deserve the power and prestige? That you would do the job better? Because she's so young? Because you feel like the Times is oblivious to things that you feel are critical?

Edited by amytraverso (log)

Amy Traverso

californiaeating.blogspot.com

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Newbie here again. Ok, I still don't feel like I've gotten a satisfactory answer as to why Amanda Hesser's career is regularly dissected here with such interest and so much emotion. If I don't get an answer after this, I'll drop it. But I had to ask one more time.

Amy, I don't think you're going to get a definitive answer to this that will satisfy you. She is discussed here because people have strong reactions to her work, and because she is in an unusually high-profile position. There is little doubt in my mind that Bruni will receive plenty of scrutiny and disection in these forums as well. That's what we do here... we talk about things in the food world that interest us.

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Why aren't we discussing the fact that Marian Burros was named interim restaurant critic, but then apparently stopped? I don't even care why she did...she probably sat down at her first dinner and thought, "I forgot how much this sucks." But nary a blip on the radar.

Well, there was a lot of discussion with respect to Ms. Burros' performance when she was the interim critic...including a certain downgrade of a certain restaurant by a certain "celebrity" chef who shall go nameless here. :hmmm::wink::rolleyes:

I'm sure that when Mr. Bruni gets up to speed, we'll train our sights on him.

Until then...all's fair in love, war and restaurant reviewing.

Soba

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I'll look forward to the discussion!

Meanwhile, this is off-topic, but if you find yourselves in Nantucket any time soon, head directly to Joe's Broad Street Grill for the fish sandwich. I was lucky enough to have one today, and I will dream of it tonight. The breading so crisp it shattered, the fish sweet and flaky, the creamy, tangy tartar sauce, and one perfect slice of red tomato, all stuffed into a chewy water roll. If only I could send you all fish sandwiches, we'd never argue. We'd live in happy, fishy peace.

Amy Traverso

californiaeating.blogspot.com

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We have a long long history of discussing Amanda Hesser's work on eG. She did a Q&A for us and is a registered member. She will sometimes post responses to comments made about an article. She's just part of the eG scene. Naturally her interem reviews as restaurant critic will provoke much discussion.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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