Ever get the feeling some people have no perspective?
Ever get the sense that some journalists get a little shrill in their pursuit of sensationalism (and, in the process, get a little sloppy with facts and too generous with opinion or fail to see how they interject their biases into the story)?
Apparently, that is the case with the folks who run CNN’s “Political Ticker”. Now they are decrying the choice of Shafer Cabernet “Hillside Select” 2003 to be poured for “leaders of the U.K., France, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and 11 developing economies” who are in Washington D.C. to address the current economic turmoil.
Author Becky Brittain’s and coworkers’ feathers are ruffled over the price of the wine – which they report to be $499, but a cursory check with wine-searcher.com shows $325 as the highest price and $135 as the lowest. Granted, this is not petty cash and given the current economic low, some people might get touchy about this, but a little fact checking goes a long way, people. Besides, as Kendall-Jackson demonstrated recently, many producers may send their wines to the White House gratis.
The financially conscious should take heart, though: high prices reduce consumption.
Seriously, folks, this is not a case of callous and insulated bourgeois quaffing delicate elixirs while the streets burn. This is a diplomatic dinner with foreign dignitaries. The White House should serve elegant foods and wines that showcase the finer side of American culture (I make that statement with the qualifier that I’ve not had this wine and can’t say if it is fine and elegant).
Would it be more appropriate to serve Subway subs or Big Macs? The rules of hospitality and decorum dictate that one hosts their guests graciously. This choice of wine is nothing but that. I have no beef with Charles Shaw Chardonnays, but I would not pour their reds to my honored guests. Perhaps if the authors of this particular “Political Ticker” post understood wine as more than something to ” wash it all down”, they would not be trying to make a commonplace and perfectly appropriate thing salacious and somehow shameful.
This is shoddy journalism on the part of Brittain and co-workers. And to think, I urge fellow bloggers to aspire to loftier journalistic ideals. Next time I make that exhortation, remember: this is NOT the kind of writing and reporting I have in mind.
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