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Member Since 24 May 2010
Offline Last Active Apr 01 2011 02:23 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Food blogger ethics

31 January 2011 - 04:38 PM

Jason doesn't need me to defend him, but singling him out for attack when the practices you describe (whether he has engaged in them or not) have been so widespread as to require action by the FTC sends me the strong signal that some personal animosity is at work.

Why don't we discuss the topic itself?

Apparently Perlow does need defending, as Hollywood's edits of my comments seems to indicate.

In Topic: Food blogger ethics

29 January 2011 - 03:59 AM

Actually, it's not an honor system any more - in theory at least. It's obligatory (the problem is enforcement).



In a nutshell: amateurs must play by the same rules as professionals.

Wilfrid, the FTC regulations/guidelines cover disclosure for advertisers on blogs. I derive no income from my blog and I have no advertisers.

The issue isn't "income," although one could argue that a comped meal is just like cash. The issue is whether a blogger who does not reveal comps is being honest with his readers. My contention, as you well know, is that it is not.

In Topic: Food blogger ethics

28 January 2011 - 11:11 PM

It would not be a bad thing. However, my question is -- to what end? Do you think this "full disclosure of comps" is the answer? Do you think that solves all of the issues we are talking about? My point was that those who want to will be spending a great deal of time "accounting" and keeping score, and in a sense, it might accomplish nothing. But, again, no it wouldn't be a bad thing.

What about barter? Soft-dollars? Advertising? More? You show me a guy who gets zero in comps and I'll show you a hundred other ways he can benefit. Like I said before, where does it end? No right or wrong answer as far as I am concerned.

It's a simple question of moral nous. If you have a relationship with a restaurateur or receive some material gain from him/her that might be perceived as resulting in a conflict of interest, you reveal it. It really is not difficult for anyone other than Perlow and Shaw.

A simple, "I know the owner and he has comped me on occasion." Or, "we were recognized so our experience might not be typical." Or, "the chef sent out some appetizers for us to try because he knows who I am."

In Topic: Food blogger ethics

28 January 2011 - 02:44 AM

Note, I'm not addressing the hypocrisy angle. If you're soliciting / getting free meals or free courses etc I feel you should mention them. Regardless of whether you think you're above being influenced. That's pretty basic, as I see it.

Very basic, RP.

Obviously, though, there's one blogger here that disagrees with you... In his rant above he said that folks that feel this way can "shove a stick up your ass".

I stand by my comments. Over the years, I've learned that I can decide whether a person's comments stand the test of time, and whether they agree with my tastes. In that sense, accepting / soliciting freebies etc is a relatively small part of may assessment for somebody with a decent docket of results over time. It doesn't really affect my judgment if I'm already in agreement with the person's general tastes and I'm properly calibrated with them.

But, for somebody where that calibration doesn't exist, a new blogger / shill, etc, unreported or solicited freebies would constitute a much bigger part of my judgment.

And, we all have our petty or major squabbles with people on this board in the past. I'm willing to set some matters aside, and judge people on their recent production.

As a manager over the years, I've found that any other strategy would probably drive me nuts. We all have our histories. They inform my outlook, but they shouldn't drive my decision making. That's just my opinion, I'm sure others have other points of view.

This is where reasonable people can disagree. You feel that accepting or soliciting free food and drink is not necessarily a bad thing when judged against the body of work of a reviewer. I think that anyone who claims to be impartial and doesn't reveal to his readers any free food or drink, or any treatment that the typical diner wouldn't get is being dishonest and self-serving. It is the appearance of impropriety that is damning; whether something in fact improper occurred is immaterial.

In Topic: Food blogger ethics

27 January 2011 - 11:39 PM

During the time he's written Off the Broiler Jason has built a reputation for integrity.

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Don't forget humility.