The Chron ran an article on Sunday that we really, really wanted to write some commentary on after reading it. "Food bloggers dish up plates of spicy criticism"; subhead "Formerly formal discipline of reviewing becomes a free-for-all for online amateurs."
We really wanted to say something because, well, we think it's a huge load of crap, and somebody, aside from one of the injured parties, has to call bullsh**. For crying out loud, they upset our beloved Tablehopper. They took her quote out of context. How dare you, sirs. How dare you?
So that was Sunday, and here we are on Thursday writing a bit. Why the wait? Well, ranting can be tiresome . . . plus we thought maybe someone else would get to it. But nobody did, and we've been getting emails asking why. And we care about our readers' concerns. Sorry for the delay.
We know from our  vast media experience that the article's authors probably didn't write the headline or subhead . . . but, gwarsh, how smarmy! "Formerly formal discipline . . . becomes a free-for-all." It's like old, ink-stained media is Real Madrid and Sam, Marcia, and their peers are kindergartners playing AYSO games.
Hello? Whose palate do you think is a closer match to a 30/40-something, net-obsessed San Franciscan:
-- A: Sam of Becks and Posh, who started her blog out of passion (and blessed SFist with her writing for a spell), or
-- B: Michael Bauer, who started a blog in the context of his paid profession because someone over at the House of Bronstein told him to?
Nobody here is saying that traditional food critics don't have value -- an amazing value. We trust Michael Bauer's opinion and rather enjoy him, in fact. But Tablehopper feels like a trusted friend. Becks and Posh is like that coworker you glare at because you want to be just like her. The folks on Yelp are like the rowdy guys you used to hang out with in the high school parking lot (in other words, fun, funny, but turn the BS filter on "high"). Chowhound boards are maybe the smarmy, smart folks that you overhear talking about stuff at the cafe (we trust 'em, but their tastes are probably more refined than ours, in general).
And, Stacy Finz/Justin Berton (and their editor/s)? We're adults. We have a pretty good idea which provides the most value for us. No need to thumb your nose . . . or scold.