Thursday, November 15, 2012

All the News That's Fit to Print

I rarely watch the evening news for various reasons, but Phil still turns it on and last night I couldn't help hearing that the bad review in the NYT of Guy Fieri's new restaurant on Times Square was mentioned. On the news! The review in the Times yesterday was perhaps the worst review of anything I have ever read. My favorite line was that the marshmallows taste like fish. Why marshmallows I wanted to ask?

But why was the restaurant or the review mentioned on the news? Fieri is certainly more of a celebrity than a chef--is this why? Will this bad review and the media delight in it hurt or help him? Perhaps tourists, clearly the intended patrons of a restaurant on Times Square, will only remember his name and it will be a huge success. I know (ahem) a lot of men who love his FOOD NETWORK show.

If you google his name today, not a single publication or news outlet fails to mention this review. Maybe there is not such thing as bad publicity but read the review and you will wonder.

With all that's going on in the world, can an 18 minutes network newscast afford to waste time on this? Well, yes, because the news spends its last 5 minutes on similar stories every night. Stories geared to the aging population that hasn't discarded its habit of getting their news this way.

Do you listen to the evening news? How do you get your news?

For the record, I read the NYT in the morning although not thoroughly. And I listen to NPR off and one over the day. And I catch bits and pieces from MSNBC, which is on after five here, pretty much nonstop. 

32 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - I often wonder at the stories that make the news, myself. To me, there are so many more important stories out there than a bad restaurant review. That's why I'm careful about where I get my news...

Anonymous said...

Good point, Patti. We do not watch the national news but do watch the local news at 5:00. Jackie gets annoyed because nearly every day I am ranting about something they cover that is not news. I did not see the Guy Fieri story here - interesting, as the restaurant is in Times Square and it got coverage in the Daily Mail - but because this is an ABC/Disney-owned station we get nightly "news" coverage of the latest doings on DANCING WITH THE STARS and any awards shows that (amazingly) happen to be running on (can you possibly guess?) ABC.

Jeff M.

Loren Eaton said...

I get my news mostly from The Wall Street Journal and various online sources. I never watch the evening news. It irritates me.

F.T. Bradley said...

I get my news from the BBC if I take the time, but mostly Reuters. My husband watches CNN in the evening, so I catch that by default. Bad reporting there, bad sourcing, I don't like it...

I caught that Fieri story, and couldn't help but question the nature of the review. It's one thing to dislike the food and restaurant, it's another to turn it into your sarcasm showoff. The way this story went viral felt a lot like schandenfreude.

I miss the days when news was news and not entertainment. Geez, I sound old :-)

Jerry House said...

Rightly or wrongly, the news has always been focused on personalities. What bothers me more is how the news -- network, local, and print -- have a tendency to sensationalize and/or exaggerate what they report. Ambiguous or innaccurate reporting combined with poor writing skills...ptah!

(BTW, I'll give three points to anyone who remembers the uncorrected blunder Scott Pelley pulled on last night's CBS news.)

The internet, PBS, NPR, BBC News, and Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert provide my news. I also look forward to the Sunday Washington Post for Dana Milbank's partisan column and for Steven Pearlstein's well-reasoned column. And J. D. Rhoades' wonderfully snarky weekly colum for the Pilot.

Anonymous said...

I looked up the NYT review and I'm surprised it wasn't edited. It is sophomoric and not up to the Times's usual snooty standards. I have no problem with a bad review - did you see the review of Lady Gaga's father's restaurant? - but this is almost childishly gleeful.

As for "real" news I get it from various newspapers online (including the Times) as well as local news (NY1 - New York 1 - has all New York City news only).


Jeff M.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Patti, I no longer watch television news unless there's a manmade or natural catastrophe happening in my neck of the woods or somewhere in the world. The last evening news I watched was an analysis of the US elections on CNN and BBC. Indian news channels have a single credo: exaggeration equals entertainment. I still read newspapers, both print and online.

Chris said...

I get mine from an amalgamation of online sources. I can't remember the last time I watched television news.

When I travel, I usually find a sports radio station to listen to. This trip there isn't one, but there is an NPR affiliate; I used to listen to NPR all the time, but switched off when the health care debates were going on two years ago or whenever it was, and haven't been back. Two days of listening, though, and if I ever hear the words "fiscal cliff" again I'm going to drink poison.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Whoever invents a new term for fiscal cliff has my gratitude.
I wonder if anyone under 60 watches the evening news.
I would like to listen to PBS Newshour, which is sacred turf for most academics but Phil gets exasperated with the length of time they spend on stories that don't interest him.

Gerard said...

I used to always watch the network evening news but the changes over the years annoy me. There seem to be more commercials than before.

Other sources:
- We subscribe to two daily, local newspapers.
- I sometimes listen to New Zealand National Radio (just because).
- I like to watch CSPAN's WASHINGTON JOURNAL. Especially when nutbags call in.
- Various online sources.
- Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine. "All the Gator News Fit to Link To"

Thomas Pluck said...

I get my news from BBC America (actual news) NPR radio, NPR.org, and my local paper (NJ.com) and the Sunday paper at my mom's, for coffee.
TV news is a cesspool. I watch Colbert and the Daily Show to have them filter it.

But the reason Fieri's review is "news" is because he's a ubiquitous, obnoxious d-bag who became a celebrity because of the Food Network. He's not a chef, either. I actually phone auditioned for a show on the Food Network once- my handle IS Tommy Salami, after all. They didn't care as long as you were boisterous and had a "big personality," so I passed on it. I didn't want to be little Guy Fieri (not that I was anywhere near getting that job).
The real food shows are on the Travel Channel now (Bourdain, Zimmern, Adam Richman).

Deb said...

Our local paper--the Times Picayune--has recently been reduced to three print editions a week. Ring the death knell now. I listen to the BBC and NPR in the morning; read a number of news and political blogs during the day, and usually catch Rachel Maddow's show in the evening. I try to watch a local news broadcast before I go to bed if only for Saints updates and weather.

Re Guy Fieri: I'm amazed that such a spiteful and childish review got printed and then blown up. Tourists are going to eat in Times Square and are unlikely to read the Times restaurant reviews before doing so. I imagine native New Yorkers do not usually eat in Times Square but would choose a local favorite. So again the question of who the review was intended for and why it was published must be asked.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The new one on PBS "THE MIND OF A CHEF" shows promise. Boudain narrates.
I have never seen Fieri's charm either. And I hear he is pretty nasty to his staff.
We have lost sight of what news is. I know UK has the reputation for being celebrity hounds, but they cover real news too. More and more, we cover presidential politics, celebrity gossip, entertainment, products. (Like what is going on with Apple, for instance) Is that really news?

pattinase (abbott) said...

The FREEP has seven print editions a week, but only three get delivered. We also still have the Detroit News. Neither is anything like what they used to be. All of the FREEP reviews are borrowed--except for plays/music. They do cover local news fairly well. And sports, of course. They never really came back after their protracted strike years ago.

George said...

The NY TIMES review of Guy's restaurant has to be the most snarky review I've ever read! Sources close to Guy say he is ready to "go to war" with the NY TIMES. As you mentioned, all publicity is good publicity, but somehow I'm not motivated to rush to Guy's restaurant and eat a meal.

John said...

ABC TV News (local) is the only watchable news in Chicago. NBC has annoying mike holders (I can't call them reporters), CBS is nothing but insulting tabloid news. ABC sadly still includes the box office receipt report every Sunday. When did that become reportable news for the general public? Who really cares about that other than movie producers?

I agree with Fleur. I don't see TV news, in the US at least, as being anything other than another form of entertainment. It's as if Network has really come true, hasn't it? And we're so insular. To get any idea of what's going on the world you really have to watch a news show produced and aired outside the US. And I'm too cheap to get cable or satellite TV.

Bryon Quertermous said...

The only thing I detest more than television news programs are morning drive "personalities" and I hate them both for the same reasons. Everything is so forced and ridiculous. Becky likes to watch the local news at 10 and it makes my soul bleed every time it comes on. I listen to NPR in the morning and read the Freep and the NY Times websites. I get my breaking news from Twitter.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And FACEBOOK. I cannot tell you how many times, I have found something out first on facebook. Although it probably means I am on there too much.
I always pictured Chicago as being a more hard news oriented city.

Anonymous said...

Acually Patti that annoys the crap out of me - you're watching the news and they are constantly shilling for Facebook and Twitter.

If I wanted to do that I would so just give me the damn news and weather!


Jeff M.
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Charles Gramlich said...

I thought that guy was some musician or something.

Kieran Shea said...

uh, if i'm not mistaken...he's not a trained chef.

pattinase (abbott) said...

But he is a trained monkey.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I like Guy. I don't think he pretends to be something he's not, and I still like the show. The review, as George said, was not fit for the Times (IMHO).

Jeff M.

Todd Mason said...

Overblown, self-congratulatory, off-point coverage in the TIMES? Say it ain't so! Hey, at least it wasn't lies to further Bush Admin policy...*or is it*? (Guy Fieri, whom I've assiduously ignored during his entire run as a person on camera, v., say, Cheney...the lid to be blown off this by Ed Schultz!)

PBS NEWSHOUR is, at times, a whole lot of government mouthpieces allowed to chatter endlessly, unchallenged. Why that is more annoying than any exposure to Chris Matthews's uninformed self-regard, I'm not sure.

Don't you know the Roadmap to the Fiscal Cliff is a Non-Starter? Another term for "fiscal cliff" would be "protecting financial markets at the expense of societies as a whole," but that's a concept that Very Important People won't yell at each other "entertainingly" on the floor of the House nor in response to David Gregory's similarly uninformed smug softballing, so thank goodness our government can go forward safely without much in the way of challenge in pretending that it isn't a distortion meant to serve the wealthy on the backs of the rest of us.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Re: Chris Matthews-because all they talk about is Presidential Politics, which is Phil's primary interest.
If there was a network that talked about fiction 24/7 I would be there too.

Todd Mason said...

But the poor quality of Matthews chatter doesn't detract?

Cap'n Bob said...

I went at least ten years strenuously avoiding the news from any source and I didn't miss it at all, although I was late for work a few times because I didn't turn my clock ahead. Nowadays I catch it occasionally, but at the rate I'm boycotting various networks I may stop again. All news is bad news and I don't need the aggravation.

Richard R. said...

Barbara watches the NBC local and national, followed by the CBS local and national, every night but Sunday, when the programming schedule is strange. I catch the CBS local for the weather guy (dry or rain?) then bail. I did watch the national during Sandy and do for similar events but otherwise the political circus drives me mostly nuts and I rant and that makes an unhappy atmosphere here, though Barbara mostly agrees with me she doesn't like the ranting approach. Don't blame her. So I go away and... (can you guess?) ...read.

Ron Scheer said...

TV is an entertainment medium. News programs have always suffered from that bias.

The election got me sucked into TV news again like it did four years ago, and it got me watching Rachel Maddow again, too.

Enough said. Nobody's going to read this anyway.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I READ IT! And people keep coming back to this one. I think this election upset us even more than the last one. And finding a way to vent is helpful. I can't vent here. When I did in the past, strange commenters turned up. But this sort of sneaks it in.

Kent Morgan said...

I read the daily newspaper after I get up in the morning and have either CBS or NBC TV on in the background just in case. I used to be a big CBC radio fan in the morning, but the host has turned me off, but I do catch the CBC news in my car during the day. I listen to the Canadian national news followed by the local news on Global around dinner time and at 10CST I often catch one of two Twin Cities TV stations for news. Now that I have weakened and got an iPhone, I check CNN, Huffington Post and the Winnipeg Sun during the day. Until two months ago I took the Sun for local news and sports, but I've let my subscription run out.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We actually hear a lot of CBC news because it is where a good classical music station. It has become more like US news over time.