Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mario Batali... Anti-Blog Crusader

Apparently, Mario Batali doesn't have enough on his plate.

Besides running successful restaurants, appearing on television, teaming up with NASCAR for cookbooks and endorsing everything from Crocs and prep boards to peelers and knives (don't forget the pasta sauce!), Batali takes umbrage with the world of food bloggers.

In fact, his post on the topic is called 'Why I Hate Food Bloggers'. Which he then contradicts in the first line by saying he doesn't hate anything. Come on Mario, if you're going to say you hate something in the very title of the piece don't puss out in the first line.

Anyway, Batali's upset because he doesn't feel like bloggers play by the same rules as "truly responsible journalism" (should we direct Mario to all the high-profile cases of plagiarism at respected publications that have come to light in recent years?) and you know what, he's absolutely right.

I'm betting that a lot of food (and restaurant) bloggers are like me. We don't get stuff for free to review (and if we do we mention it). We don't get preferential treatment when trying a restaurant. We aren't pals with chefs, restaurant owners and other highly paid critics.

And we have the temerity to actually say what we think (or, as Batali calls it "rant their snarky vituperatives") without having an editor – who may be pals with or belong to the same country club as the chef/owner in question – tell us to tone it down or go easier.

Batali concludes his piece by saying that he just expects and wants more from many of the food bloggers. Isn't that all we're asking from chefs?

Thanks to TV Food Fan for the link.


krys said...

Damn skippy!!!

John said...

Amen! Damn, who would've thought Batali was such an arrogant twat? But what Batali is talking about - fact checking and journalistic integrity of food bloggers - is neither as interesting nor as informative as what is said by the commenters. Particularly those towards the beginning of the comments section, who speak up for Batali like Scientologists defending L. Ron Hubbard! I liked the thoughtful responses of commenter and blogger Foodette, #67.
What I liked even more was the one commenter #37, who said very specifically, "I don't need to be a carpenter to know that I'm buying a shitty table. Why do I need to have worked in a kitchen to judge food?" There were other insightful comments, and they get more so towards the middle and end.

vicky said...

I think the point of Batali's commentary is that it is too easy for bloggers to make false statements, pass on untrue rumors, slander and write whatever they please about anyone without being held to account. I think he's right.