Tag: media

When food magazine’s give awards…(the response)

Wine Spectator responds with their side of the story. (My post from yesterday)

The Executive Editor of Wine Spectator, claims in his forum post, that they did do research on the restaurant.  “On the Web site Chowhound, diners (now apparently fictitious) discussed their experiences at the non-existent restaurant in entries dated January 2008, to August 2008.”  Also, they called the number listed and got a voice mail left by a real person (however never spoke to a real person live).  He further goes on to explain the entire wine list was actually a pretty good list, that many of the wines on the “base” list actually scored pretty high, and that they judged the wine list as a whole.  He also points out that the Award of Excellence is their lowest tier of restaurant recognition, and even though they are a victim of fraud at the hands of Mr. Goldstien, it doesn’t take away anything from other legitimate winners of the Award.

I personally don’t buy the argument that Wine Spectator is just the victim of a malicious blogger looking to sell a few more copies of his book.  They are trying to be an authoritative voice on wine, and they fact checked by just using an user-run internet site?  We’re supposed to believe that they didn’t have a single contact in a major Italian city that could have verified the restaurant was real?  I’m still waiting for the next part of this story, the one where Wine Spectator sues Mr. Goldstien for libel.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/when-food-magazines-give-awardsthe-response/

When food magazine’s give awards…

What does it take to win the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence?  Apparently $250 according to this post by author Robin Goldstein.  The Award of Excellence is given to the world’s best wine restaurants, at least that is the idea.

While working on a paper about standards for wine awards, Mr. Goldstein submitted an application for Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.  His application was for a restaurant called “Osteria L’Intrepido.”  Along with the $250 fee, he submitted a menu of pedestrian nouvelle-italian cuisine, and a wine list.

While it is bad enough that a restuarant that doesn’t exist could win the award, it is even more telling when you actually look at the wine list, particularly the reserve selections.  The reserve selections were intentially chosen from some of the lowest scoring wines in Wine Spectator over the last few decades.  Below the cut, check out the reserve selections along with the scores and some excerpts from the Wine Spectator reviews.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/when-food-magazines-give-awards/

Special Comment: Advertising Terrorism

Another Special Comment from Keith Olbermann:

Advertising Terrorism

An excerpt:

But to forgive you for terrorizing us, we would have to believe you somehow competent in keeping others from doing so.

Yet, last week, construction workers repairing a subway line in New York City, were cleaning out an abandoned manhole on the edge of the World Trade Center site, when they stumbled on to the impossible:  human remains from 9/11.

Bones and fragments.

Eighty of them.

Some as much as a foot long.

The victims had been lying, literally in the gutter, for five years and five weeks.

The families and friends of each of the 2,749 dead–who had been grimly told in May of 2002 that there were no more remains to be found–were struck anew as if the terrorism of that day had just happened again.

And over the weekend they’ve found still more remains.

And now this week will be spent looking in places that should have already been looked at a thousand times five years ago.

For all the victims in New York, Mr. Bush–the living and the dead–it’s a touch of 9/11 all over again.

And the mayor of this city, who called off the search four-and-a-half years ago is a Republican.

The governor of this state with whom he conferred is a Republican.

The House of Representatives, Republican.

The Senate, Republican.

The President, Republican.

And yet you can actually claim that you and you alone can protect us from terrorism?

You can’t even recover our dead from the battlefield–the battlefield in an American city–when we’ve given you five years and unlimited funds to do so!

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/special-comment-advertising-terrorism/

The death of habeas corpus

The President finally signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006.  This is a scary bill, that hopefully will get wiped off the books, either by the Supreme Court or by the next Congressional session.  A lot of the stuff going on at the governmental level reminds me of the Antibalas’ song “Who is this America?”  Honestly I don’t know.

A Special Comment by Keith Olbermann.  See below the cut for the text of Olbermann’s comment.  (He says this much more eloquently than I could)

Glenn Greenwald’s take.


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Olbermann’s Special Comments

Perhaps the harshest mainstream critic of the Bush Administration is Keith Olbermann of MSNBC.  In resent weeks he has used the “Special Comments” section of his show Countdown to intelligently attack the stupidity of the administration.  Finally more of the media is beginning to wake up and acknowledge the uniqueness of his work. (from the Washington Post)

Last night’s Special Comment

It amazes me (and Olbermann) the stuff that comes out of the Bush Administration.  The seem to try to bend everything to perpetuate a culture of fear.  Trying to make us blind to the principles from our constitution that they are infringing on every day.  Make no mistake, if we continue down the road set out by this administration, we will be attacked again.  The actions of this administration do not protect us.  We are heading towards some sort of theocracy.  That is not a country I want to be a part of.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/olbermanns-special-comments/

Who is This America?

The scandal developing around former US House Rep. Mark Foley just blows my mind.  First of all, the breach of trust by the congressman is staggering.  But perhaps even more unsettling to me is the spin being put on this by the Republican leadership.  I’ve seen spin at first trying to down play the seriousness of the emails to even claiming that Foley was a “victim” of the 16 yr old boy. WTF? are you kidding me.  What is even more surreal about this whole thing, is that Foley helped craft the legislation that more than likely will should land him in jail.

Here is an excellent post on some of the aspects of the Foley scandal from Glenn Greenwald’s blog Unclaimed Territory: Various Foley Scandal Items 

What should be even more troubling to the administration and Republican leadership, is that it increasingly looks like this scandal could consume the upper echelons of the Republican House leadership.  The current Speaker of the House and House Majority leader have both been suspected of trying to cover up the Foley matter.  For details read this post from Greenwald’s blog: John Boehner = Denny Hastert plus Key Questions for Tom Reynolds.  Even the conservative Washington Times is calling for Hastert to resign.

So three high ranking Republicans were at least at some level involved in a cover up.  At least until the evidence was to great to overcome.  Then it was on to spin city.

I really don’t know what it means to be an American right now.  I’m really not sure it is something to be proud of.   I wonder if it is possible to restore what we’ve lost as a country in the past six years.

Update: This is ridiculous! According to Mr. Foley’s attorney, Mr. Foley was abused by clergy as a child and is gay.

So now the spin is trying to make this a “gay” issue.  As I read on another blog earlier, they are right, in one way it is a gay issue.  The fact that this man had hide who he was, be ashamed of who he was, because our so called “Christian” nation looked down on him is deplorable.  However, whatever may have happened to him as a child is still no justification for his actions.  His actions would have been just as disgusting if they were directed to a female congressional page.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/who-is-this-america/

A Definition of Cowardice

On Monday’s edition of Countdown, Keith Olbermann chimes in with another Special Comment.  The subject of this comment, Fox News interview of former President Bill Clinton.  [View Transcript (video is also available on the MSNBC site)]  I’ll quote a highlight below:

 Bill Clinton did what almost none of us have done in five years.

He has spoken the truth about 9/11, and the current presidential administration.

“At least I tried,” he said of his own efforts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. “That’s the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They had eight months to try; they did not try. I tried.”

Thus in his supposed emeritus years has Mr. Clinton taken forceful and triumphant action for honesty, and for us; action as vital and as courageous as any of his presidency; action as startling and as liberating, as any, by any one, in these last five long years.

The Bush Administration did not try to get Osama bin Laden before 9/11.

The Bush Administration ignored all the evidence gathered by its predecessors.

The Bush Administration did not understand the Daily Briefing entitled “Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S.”

The Bush Administration did not try.

Moreover, for the last five years one month and two weeks, the current administration, and in particular the President, has been given the greatest “pass” for incompetence and malfeasance in American history!

President Roosevelt was rightly blamed for ignoring the warning signs–some of them, 17 years old–before Pearl Harbor.

President Hoover was correctly blamed for–if not the Great Depression itself–then the disastrous economic steps he took in the immediate aftermath of the Stock Market Crash.

Even President Lincoln assumed some measure of responsibility for the Civil War–though talk of Southern secession had begun as early as 1832.

But not this president.

For me this is a scary thing.  The current administration seems to have no concept of humility.  As a country we have a huge responsibility to act as true leaders in the world.  We have done that in the past.  We are not doing it anymore.  If unchecked, we are heading to an authoritarian style of government.  Slowly our supposed “freedoms” are being whittled away in the name of “security.”  But are we safer from the actions of the current administration?  I would say in fact that we are moving further away from a world were some sort of peace is possible.  A place where instead of dividing, we as a world would be coming together.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/a-definition-of-cowardice/

the media starts to stand up…

I liked Keith Olbermann when he was a sportscenter anchor on espn.  I like him more now that he is working in news outside of the sports world.  Now granted I don’t have msnbc, so I’m basing this comment on a few clips i’ve seen in the last few weeks on the crooks and liars blog.

On Sept. 11th, on his show “Countdown,” Olbermann talks about President Bush’s legacy 5 years after the Sept. 11th attacks.  Here is the link to the entry on crooks and liars: 9/11 Special Comment [Click through to view the video files].

In Monday’s Special Comment on Countdown, Olbermann talks about the President’s “justification” of the methods used in the “war” on terror.  [The President owes the country an apology] It amazes me that more of the country isn’t deeply ashamed of this administration.  It amazes me that the people of this country are still seemingly silent.  Maybe in November the mid-term elections will show that the “silent majority” really is fed up with Bush.  But what does it solve if we just get the Democrats back in control of Congress?  The administration seems to ignore the will of Congress now, and Republicans are in charge.

We like to call ourselves a “Christian” nation (especially the conservatives).  But are we truely living the gospel message?  Are we caring for the sick, the poor, our elders?  I don’t see it.  Heck, we don’t even do it for our own citizens, much less the global world that we want to lead by example.  We as a nation are falling short in our stewardship of the global community.  We need to be building up communities, even if they believe differently, instead of tearing them down.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/the-media-starts-to-stand-up/

tribute or exploitation

Splashed across the top of the CNN homepage is a banner stating: “CNN Pipeline presents CNN’s TV  coverage of 9/11/2001 free, in real time.  Starting at 8:30am.” (Read the CNN Release)

I’m not really sure what to make of this.  Part of me is disturbed that they are going to be re-airing this.  I wonder what the reasons are behind it.  Whether or not it will be used to exploit the public and continue the culture of fear that this administration likes to promote.

On the other hand, I think it is important for us to remember the events of that day.  To remember the courage of those who gave their lives to help try to save people trapped in the burning buildings.  To remember those who are still giving their lives because they helped despite the air being unsafe after the collapse.

I truly believe that Sept 11, 2001 will be one of the defining moments of my generation.  Much like the assinations of JFK and Martin Luther King Jr. were defining moments of my parents generation.  I feel that the American people rose up and did a wonderful thing in the days after the attacks.  But I also feel that the current administration has tarnished that legacy.  By continuing to promote a culture of fear, of war and of moral superiority, I feel we discount the courage and love so many people showed in the days after the attacks.

It really makes what happened in South Africa after the fall of apartheid all the more amazing when you think about it.  Here was a situation where a minority of people had been exploiting the majority population for years and years.  Yet when this situation finally came to an end, a few men had the courage and strength to stand up and say, “I forgive you.”  They worked for reconciliation and peace.

A quote from Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain as Merton talks about Aldous Huxley’s Ends and Means:

The point of his title was this: we cannot use evil means to attain a good end.  Huxley’s chief argument was that we were using the means that precisely made good ends impossible to attain:  war, violence, reprisals, rapacity.  And he traced our impossibility to use the proper means to the fact that men were immersed in the material and animal urges of an element in their nature which was blind and crude and unspiritual. (Merton. 202-3)

One small glimpse of grace in our chaotic world.  Just imagine if we approached all our conflicts with a goal of reconciliation and peace.  With grace in our heart.  What a wonderful world that would be.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/tribute-or-exploitation/