Posted: 1/27/2012 4:52 PM
Aardvark wrote: YBD:Tony, enjoy your new gig as the Food section's new Beat Reporter. God help those of you that own a restaurant!AA:Funny you should mention food.I knew the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's restaurant reviewer, Mike Kalina. Kalina was a hustler with his fingers in all sorts of schemes. He wanted to have a coffee table book or a tv series. He took me out to lunch once to get some advice on his doing a cooking/travel series. I THOUGHT he was going to buy lunch, but no check was ever handed to him. Uh, oh.Years later, he got in trouble with a little scam. Seems he'd write a scathing review of a restaurant, then tell the owner that if he really wanted to improve the business, he should contact this particular guy he knew about tablecloths or produce, etc. Once the guy had the business, Kalina would come back nine months later and "on second look, Joe's Place has improved by leaps and bounds!" When the authorities turned up the investigative heat, Kalina drove his car down to the lot right off the Mon, ran a pipe from his exhaust into his side window, and left the motor running.Hopefully someday Grossi will explain what he meant by Lerner being "the most irrelevant billionaire." But Lerner's position is irrelevant. Had a reporter been covering an ongoing environmental story (neighbors protest expansion of nearby cement plant), he could have let it slip that EITHER "Cemex President Ralph Anderson" OR "housewife Betty Lovitz" (neighbor's spokesperson) was a "pathetic figure." In either case, he's still bounced from the story.Was the reporter being honest? Well, it's certainly how he felt. But he has to keep that to himself.It's easy to think that powerful billionaires merely point thumbs down and others acquiesce. Like I said, the Browns conceivably didn't have to do anything here. The PD merely followed protocol. If a waiter didn't like his tip and let the customer know it by pouring water over his head, did the restaurant owner really have to hear one word from the customer in order to be prompted to fire the waiter? Would it have mattered if the customer was a judge or a hot dog vendor?
Posted: 1/27/2012 9:00 PM
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