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Kanishka

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I posted a brief piece on DCist about Corduroy getting shut down by the DOH in February for a day. Chef Tom Power left an excellent and detailed response that showed a lot of class. It impressed me that our little site got his attention. Thanks Tom for responding, and I'm very sorry you had to deal with DOH jerks.

The post in question:

http://www.dcist.com/archives/2005/03/02/corduroy_unsafe.php

K

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Kanishka,

I wasn't going to comment on this because it hadn't been propagated into Corduroy's own thread here, but now that it has, I'm going to go ahead and address it.

It is not fair to Corduroy that you published that piece, and then linked to it here for all to see. Based on what I've read, Corduroy has done nothing wrong, and does not deserve the negative attention you've drawn towards it.

This piece, coupled with your recent "decline of Tom Sietsema" essay, appear to be overly enthusiastic exercises in misguided muckraking, a troubling tandem of turpitude attempting to ignite and explode a mote of noncombustible dust.

(In Tom's 2003 Dining Guide - the book - do you know how many three-star restaurants there were in the area? Thirty.)

I suspect your intentions were not harmful with either of these essays, but perhaps you should exercise some caution in the future before highlighting a non-issue such as what happened to Corduroy.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Don, welcome to the world of Blogs. Some of them are so utterly pointless.

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I agree with Don. Whenever you see that a restaurant has been closed by the health department, you are inclined to think the worst (cockroaches, rats, etc). What happened to Power was not a reflection on the sanitary conditions at his restaurant and did not deserve the publicity you gave the situation. It took some drilling down in the article to get to Tom's explanation and thus the real story. In fact, the real story here is what a dope health inspector can do to your business and your reputation.

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Yes, but if I hadn't read Tom Power's response then Corduroy would still be on my let's pass list.

I would have assumed that the listing in the Post was correct and headed elsewhere.

So I think this actually did Corduroy a pretty good service.

Jennifer

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Ack! Okay, I'll do this in public as well:

I said "To be fair, the shutdown was because of the garbage disposal" or something to that end. I also went at length to steer the bit away from Corduroy in the final column to other interesting bits from the DOH.

Its a blog, its not journalism in the traditional sense. I like Corduroy <strong>a lot</strong> and was alarmed, as I wrote, about this. I also linked to praises from a number of different local sites about the restaurant.

Frankly, I am tempted (though this will get nixed by my editor) to post something about all this chatter. I was just trying to post a "hmm, thats odd" story. If you heard that Citronelle or the Inn got shut down by the DOH, wouldn't you be curious? I know I would. Unfortunately, this isn't a full time gig; I'm not an investigative reporter and didn't have time to call Corduroy to find out the back story. That's why the blog is left open for comments. And when Tom Power responded, I was very, very happy. If anything, the simple act of responding to a site like DCist (we're really not as big as you think we are) made him all the more estimable in my eyes.

In the future, if I ever do this kind of post, I'll put in a few lines asking anyone who knows the full story to please comment. That may go a long way. At least I hope it will.

K

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I think that's fair Kanishka. And, I love DCist and am glad I came across it.

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Dan Rather probably wouldn't be retiring tonight if he had only finished his National Guard story with "If anyone knows the full story, please comment." :hmmm:

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Dan Rather probably wouldn't be retiring tonight if he had only finished his National Guard story with "If anyone knows the full story, please comment."

True. This is traditional media versus new media.

Blogging is not the same as broadcast or print journalism. Blogs are dialogic. In fact, its as similar to a message board as it is to the Post or broadcast journalism.

K

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But given that DCist has "editors" I would think that the site might hold itself to a higher standard (or claim to).

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But given that DCist has "editors" I would think that the site might hold itself to a higher standard (or claim to).

I'm going to avoid any more "blog theory" conversation though if anyone is interested they can private message me. The -ists have had long conversations about this.

We do hold ourselves up to a high standard. No lies, no libel, facts with a dose of opinion. The -ist group have an established list of standards that keep us on the level. We're neither Jeff Gannon nor the Going Out Gurus, and we're also not the Post or CNN. We're something else entirely.

The two posts mentioned by DonRocks contained external links to primary source material and to secondary related stories. Editors have looked over my posts pretty heavily; I've been corrected, done complete re-writes, etc. But the public is our ombudsman for the most part.

Interesting side note, the Post today devotes an entire column to the topic of food blogs.

K

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I think there is a half-admirable, half-unfortunate tendancy of eGullet -- and particularly the DC board -- to circle the wagons and take aim at the messenger whenever one of our favorite restaurants is attacked. Let no one speak ill of Ray's, Palena, Courdouroy or Bistro du Coin, among others, or tempers flair, motives are questioned personal attacks are levied and, occasionally, a mountain is made out of a molehill.

It's tough to see a friend take a shot. But criticizing Kaniska for reporting what was probably in the Washington Post and what was indeed true is unfair and a fundamental misunderstanding of the ways of the internet. Neither his site nor this one should be a cheering section, it should be a place of news and intelligent commentary, everyone should be as free to report what was overpriced, poorly cooked, or dysfunctional -- even if one of our friends is the perpetrator/victim -- as we should be be to fill cyberspace with praise.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Bus, this is a very good point. One thing to quibble, those praising or criticizing those restaurants actually visited that restaurant and experienced their particular meal and whatever happened to generate the praise or criticism. What is the point of simply pointing out a health code violation already publicly available when you were not there to experience it? Is a blog just a means to see yourself in print by repeating existing information?

Anyone who ever came close to working in a restuarnat knows that there are health code violations and there are healthcode violations puke.gif

I just don't see the need or point in highlighting Courdouroy's violantion without finding out the details first. It only serves to hurt the livelyhood of the owner and his staff, for a relatively minor violation. Sure, one can point it out, but why? Do we really think Courdouroy is cutting the salad on the same board as the raw chicken?

I think there is a half-admirable, half-unfortunate tendancy of eGullet -- and particularly the DC board -- to circle the wagons and take aim at the messenger whenever one of our favorite restaurants is attacked.  Let no one speak ill of Ray's, Palena, Courdouroy or Bistro du Coin, among others, or tempers flair, motives are questioned personal attacks are levied and, occasionally, a mountain is made out of a molehill.

It's tough to see a friend take a shot.  But criticizing Kaniska for reporting what was probably in the Washington Post and what was indeed true is unfair and a fundamental misunderstanding of the ways of the internet.  Neither his site nor this one should be a cheering section, it should be a place of news and intelligent commentary, everyone should be as free to report what was overpriced, poorly cooked, or dysfunctional -- even if one of our friends is the perpetrator/victim -- as we should be be to fill cyberspace with praise.

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Bus, this is a very good point.  One thing to quibble, those praising or criticizing those restaurants actually visited that restaurant and experienced their particular meal and whatever happened to generate the praise or criticism.  What is the point of simply pointing out a health code violation already publicly available when you were not there to experience it?  Is a blog just a means to see yourself in print by repeating existing information?

There's a little ad hominem for you.

Anyone who ever came close to working in a restuarnat knows that there are health code violations and there are healthcode violations puke.gif

As I know well. The DC Board of health -- and whatever you think of them, they have no dog in this fight -- decided it was a healthcode violation.

I just don't see the need or point in highlighting Courdouroy's violantion without finding out the details first.  It only serves to hurt the livelyhood of the owner and his staff, for a relatively minor violation.  Sure, one can point it out, but why?  Do we really think Courdouroy is cutting the salad on the same board as the raw chicken? 

It's news. You're either reporting news or you're running a PR firm.

I think there is a half-admirable, half-unfortunate tendancy of eGullet -- and particularly the DC board -- to circle the wagons and take aim at the messenger whenever one of our favorite restaurants is attacked.  Let no one speak ill of Ray's, Palena, Courdouroy or Bistro du Coin, among others, or tempers flair, motives are questioned personal attacks are levied and, occasionally, a mountain is made out of a molehill.

It's tough to see a friend take a shot.  But criticizing Kaniska for reporting what was probably in the Washington Post and what was indeed true is unfair and a fundamental misunderstanding of the ways of the internet.  Neither his site nor this one should be a cheering section, it should be a place of news and intelligent commentary, everyone should be as free to report what was overpriced, poorly cooked, or dysfunctional -- even if one of our friends is the perpetrator/victim -- as we should be be to fill cyberspace with praise.


Edited by Bux (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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So now bloggers are considered journalists? I knew they were opinion-makers (look at their presence at theDem and Rep conventions). But in this case its just re-reporting news. I just don't see why.

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Information, my friend. Sort it, organize it, interpret it and pass it along: that is the way of the blogger. And in the marketplace of information sources, tear out the best market share that you can, with attitude, accuracy and aplomb.

It seems pretty obvious to me.

Edit: Maybe this should be a new thread?


Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Hm, I guess I am old fashioned and oblivious.

Information, my friend.  Sort it, organize it, interpret it and pass it along: that is the way of the blogger.  And in the marketplace of information sources, tear out the best market share that you can, with attitude, accuracy and aplomb.

It seems pretty obvious to me.

Edit:  Maybe this should be a new thread?

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I apologize in advance for not having the time to read the thread thoroughly. I'm in Washington for about the next 2 hours and had been looking forward to dashing to Corduroy for an early dinner. Is the general consensus that this is still a good thing to do? I haven't read thoroughly about the shut-down and follow-up activity.

Thanks.

This is exactly the problem with this type of public posting.

In my opinion, if Corduroy had been closed down several times, or had been closed for a BIG problem, then yes! It's news!

But for there to be this much public discussion about the restaurant's being closed for (among other things) possible paper mites, for heaven's sake, is a) pointless and b) unnecessarily damaging to Tom and to the restaurant's reputation.

I understand that the point of a blog is to disseminate information and opinion, but I see no point in publically posting something that to me appears to be actively trying to harm a restaurant, and for no other discernible reason than people who like food like to eat there.

For those who argue that Kanishka's blog posting (and then posting links to said blog on discussion sites) was harmless -- or maybe even did Corduroy good -- I point to three specific things that Kanishka wrote that bely that wishful thinking:

1) the title alone: "Corduroy Unsafe?" with a big, green, poisoned face

2) the posting of the link on mentioned discussion boards

3) from the eGullet response: " didn't have time to call Corduroy to find out the back story."

The first is at best yellow journalism, the second is a blatant attempt to stir up controversy, and the third is an essential part of journalism (whether traditional or non) that was ignored.

In short, I find it hard to believe that this was supposed to simply be a " 'hmm, thats odd' story" and instead feel that this was a malicious, pointless attack -- perhaps to show up those dratted "foodies," perhaps just to drum up readership, but in any case unjust and completely unnecessary.

For what it's worth, I have no evidence for this, having never been faced with this situation before, but I firmly believe that I would have the same reaction if this scurrilous post had been made about any other respectable restaurant, whether or not it was a place that I personally enjoyed.

Sarah, yes, Corduroy is a lovely place to go. It's got good food and a great staff. I know that you will enjoy your meal there -- try the spring rolls! :smile:

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For what it's worth, I have no evidence for this, having never been faced with this situation before, but I firmly believe that I would have the same reaction if this scurrilous post had been made about any other respectable restaurant, whether or not it was a place that I personally enjoyed.

Two days ago, someone linked to the DCist post on Corduroy in the Les Halles thread with the headline "dcist says Les Halles made the list of unsanitary spots". No one sprang to the defense of Les Halles or suggested it was scurrilous to make any reference to this public information. Maybe Les Halles is not considered a "respectable" restaurant.

That post did generate a defense of Corduroy, though, since anyone following the link would have seen the info about the Corduroy closing. There is really no need to try to suppress this. The Corduroy chef made a very good defense of his restaurant. The closing was reported in the Post, but someone reading it there would not have learned the backstory, unless perhaps they found the discussion on dcist or here.

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1) the title alone: "Corduroy Unsafe?" with a big, green, poisoned face

I shouldn't have done that. Bad decision on my part, but I'm not a pro. Still learning. The image should have been selected better and the headline should have been "DOH Shuts Down Corduroy for a Day" or something similar.

2) the posting of the link on mentioned discussion boards

I post the link to the story on this discussion thread after Chef Power did what I thought was a very admirable thing and responded with the whole story. As some have noted, this was in the Post as well--probably buried--and Chef Power probably didn't have a similar forum.

Someone else posted a link on another thread and they are free to do so.

3) from the eGullet response: " didn't have time to call Corduroy to find out the back story."

Did the Post call Corduroy and do the same? A serious question because I don't know the answer.

I've been reading eGullet for a few months because this forum provides insight into happenings all over the area food wise. Its a great resource and I respect the posters here. eGullet isn't always a source either--its a great place to link to because it provides a democratic forum for food discussion. I never posted a link to my Sietsema story on eGullet, though I mentioned it in passing and wrote it because I was having similar thoughts to those writing in the Sietsema/3 stars thread. I only posted the link to the Corduroy post here after Chef Power's response, and only then for the reasons stated above -- I though he went above and beyond the call of duty.

To sum up my feelings about this entire thing: I'll try to do better investigating if I hear of something odd (FYI: the story lead was sent to me by my editor), blogging isn't the same as journalism necessarily, and yes you should eat at Corduroy.

K

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To sum up my feelings about this entire thing: I'll try to do better investigating if I hear of something odd (FYI: the story lead was sent to me by my editor), blogging isn't the same as journalism necessarily, and yes you should eat at Corduroy.

K

First, eljo, I can't speak for anyone else, but the reason I responded to the DCist post on Corduroy was that a link to it was posted here on the Corduroy thread. If a link to the other article had been posted on a Les Halles thread, with the same title (e.g., "Les Halles Unsafe?"), etc., I think I would have responded in the same manner.

Second, Kanishka -- thanks for your response. My only hesitation would be that I believe that Post piece wasn't a piece on Corduroy, per se, but their regular (?) listing of places with DOH violations. Therefore, I'm not sure that Chef Power needed to respond, as it was a simple stating of the facts -- his was simply one of several restaurants in a list.

I really do appreciate your (rare!) ability to step back and listen to what others are saying. I'm sorry if I came off as overly harsh -- I just had a real (negative) gut reaction to the whole debacle.

Thanks!

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It's tough to see a friend take a shot.  But criticizing Kaniska for reporting what was probably in the Washington Post and what was indeed true is unfair and a fundamental misunderstanding of the ways of the internet.

I call vache-merde.

The DC-ist blogger protests that s/he was not interested in creating a buzz with this post. If that's true, why the sensationalist (and irrelevant) factiod in the lead paragraph about New Star Market? That, plus the headlne and "Mr. Yuk" graphic both seem to be calculated to raise the possibility that something is seriously amiss chez Corduroy.

Of course, it makes for much more exciting reading than "Corduroy shut down for several hours until a replacement garbage disposal arrived from Baltimore." I bet that wasn't reported in the Washington Post.


The knife is mightier than the pen.

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It's tough to see a friend take a shot.  But criticizing Kaniska for reporting what was probably in the Washington Post and what was indeed true is unfair and a fundamental misunderstanding of the ways of the internet.

I call vache-merde.

The DC-ist blogger protests that s/he was not interested in creating a buzz with this post. If that's true, why the sensationalist (and irrelevant) factiod in the lead paragraph about New Star Market? That, plus the headlne and "Mr. Yuk" graphic both seem to be calculated to raise the possibility that something is seriously amiss chez Corduroy.

Of course, it makes for much more exciting reading than "Corduroy shut down for several hours until a replacement garbage disposal arrived from Baltimore." I bet that wasn't reported in the Washington Post.

I don't think this ( from The Post) sounds particularly appetizing:

The District

Corduroy

1201 K St. NW

Closed Feb. 24 for unclean food contact surfaces and equipment, uncovered food in refrigerator and inoperative garbage disposal. Reopened Friday.

Nor do I think the graphic was particularly alarming. I thought it rather funny, and rather than making me fear unclean surfaces, made me think that the writer was taking a swing at the DC Department of health overreacting.

Finally, the article was apparently true. This is considered good reporting.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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umm, it's called a "blog" and not a "newspaper" for a reason people. :wacko:

Accusations of "yellow journalism" overstate and oversimplify the case in just the same fashion as the post about Corduroy supposedly did.


Edited by benjy (log)

arsenal rule

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