Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The Ivy restaurant in London may be overrated, and overpriced, and overexposed, but we at FoieBlog would still go there if given the chance. We may keep a low profile, but we get giddy at the idea of rubbing elbows with celebrities while enjoying a plate of Sautéed Foie Gras with caramelised apples and a raisin jus. Who's that sitting with Sienna?
As such, a recent Bloomberg News article, Ivy Chef Hix Reveals Tips On Getting A Table, caught our attention - and kept it until the end of paragraph three. In the offending paragraph, the restaurant's Chef Director, Mark Hix, muses about what a laid back, casual experience The Ivy is, despite it's revered status. It reads:
'You can have a hamburger, you can have a Caesar salad, bangers and mash, you can eat foie gras.'' (An animal-rights group has protested outside the Ivy, saying foie gras is produced by cruel force-feeding of geese.)
This is exactly how the text appears in the article. The parenthesis are provided by Bloomberg, not FoieBlog. If you read the article in full, you will see that it is nothing more than an interview with a chef about his restaurant that neither poses the question of protests to him, nor raises the issue of Foie Gras in any context. Yet Bloomberg felt the need to include this line without giving Hix the chance to respond.
FoieBlog is not familiar with the writer's, Bloomberg restaurant critic Richard Vines, position on Foie Gras, nor do we know what Mark Hix thinks of this added line. However, it it is so off subject, so gratuitous, it can be nothing more than a political statement, whether by Vines' or the editorial staff at Bloomberg.
At the bottom of the article, as is the case with all of Vines' reviews, there is a disclaimer (also in parentheses) pointing out that the opinions in the article are Vines' own. Since the line in question isn't presented as an opinion, but is presented in parenthesis, it's hard to tell who's responsible for it.
In any case, it's not an isolated incident in the world of "journalism." FoieBlog has come across this sort of offhanded comment before in other publications, so often, in fact, that we've started to ignore it, attributing it to the uninformed masses of reporters thrust upon a subject they've only heard bad things about. To be fair, many of those articles are actually about the Foie Gras debate, but some are reviews like Mr. Vines'. We will no longer be so lax.
Irresponsible, activist, and just plain bad journalists are at as much fault as our pals at Farm Sancutary and VIVA! for misleading the public on the Foie Gras debate. Even the smallest inclusion can lead to tainting the uninitiated reader's opinion on the subject.
Please, Fourth Estate, leave that to us bloggers.
UPDATE: FoieBlog has tried to contact Mr. Vines and the Bloomberg editorial staff on this issue, but they have failed to respond to our inquiries. FoieBlog is not surprised.