NY Press food reviewer, publisher's ethics
- Peter Krass Mar 13, 2001 12:04 PM
According to the Village Voice, the NY Press has fired restaurant reviewer James Morrow after he panned Acme, a long-time advertiser at the Press. Unclear whether the restaurant asked for his firing, or if the publisher took it upon themselves. Not that the NY Press was known as a paragon of chowhound wisdom, but...
It's distasteful,no doubt about it.
But the fact that NY Press isn't a "paragon of chowhound wisdom," as you nicely put it, could also be seen as the reason for mr. Morrow to be replaced. Maybe the new reviewer (should there be one) will be some sort of hound.
I reviewed for NY Press for a couple of years (a decade ago, when it was a very different publication), and while there's a whole lot to dislike about the paper and the people who run it, I never felt the slightest whiff of cozy-to-the-advertisers pressure (I'd have been out of there in five seconds if I had). Of course, things might have changed...but I doubt it. Russ Smith strikes me as incapable of this particular type of transgression.
I thought the article you linked was pretty lite, actually. The Voice, which competes directly with NY Press, turned on their smear-with-insinuation shtick that so often turns me off to their stuff. Nothing was backed up at all. And casually dropped in the article, with nary a word of consideration, was the fact that in his article the Press reviewer GOT THE CUISINE OF THE RESTAURANT WRONG. He called what's CLEARLY a cajun restaurant "tex-mex". I'd have fired him too. Man, if he can't get right the cuisine right--in a RESTAURANT REVIEW, for crying out loud!--what ELSE does the guy get wrong? How can he possibly know/care about food if he doesn't even bother to check this most central point? It's like a film reviewer calling Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon "a musical". It's not something you just let pass. I mean.....nobody's perfect, everybody makes mistakes. But not that. It was a jaw-dropping low in food journalism, in my opinion.
As for the Press hiring some 17 year old intern to write restaurant reviews.....whatever. It's not like the quality of their food writing has so far to drop.