Apr 08 2011
That small curly black hair perched next to his crusty, ravaged orifice resulted in an irritable missive by Tim James on Grape. Writing about an expensive wine released by Bilton Estate, his criticism was not only leveled at the producer of this R3╬ô├╢┬╝Γö£├¡000 bottle, the way the wine was made nor the winemaker that assisted on the project.
No, Timothy also had a go at the media, implying that most of those invited to taste this wine were not serious wine journalists. Obviously considering himself as a member of the latter, he writes: Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├║I havenΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗t tasted the wine and am unlikely to. The serious end of wine journalism was largely not invited to the launchΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼┬¼.Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├æ
This statement did, of course, have the desired effect of urging journalists to comment on the whole do, as can be found in the notes under the article I have linked here.
I was reminded what my professor in media ethics at Johns Hopkins said of these kind of squabbles: Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├║Journalists fighting with each other is a lot like a dog licking its ass Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£Γöñ it might be good for the dog, but it sure ainΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗t pretty to look at.Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├æ
The point missed by many, however, is TimothyΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗s admission of not being a dedicated or committed wine journalist. For he states quite openly that he is not likely to taste this Bilton wine because he did not crack the nod for the launch event,
In other words, if I donΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗t get a freebie, IΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗m not writing about it. Finished.
As a wine columnist for the Mail&Guardian, a newspaper serious about things moral and ethical, as well as being a Cape Wine Master, Wine Journalist of the Year, international contributor and deputy editor of the PSG (Platter Sighted Guide), one would have expected more of Tim.
Would a talked-about new South African wine release made in an original Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£Γöñ if controversial style Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£Γöñ not warrant a writer of his ilk making a plan to taste the wine himself instead of sitting on the sidelines waiting for a freebie and doing what is effectively and unethical hatchet-job on a label he has not experienced? Surely this is what readers and opinion-formers expect from a writer with his responsibility and of his seriousness.
Or is Tim attempting to take-over the helm at Freebie Central where Melvyn Minnaar, columnist for right-wing sensationalist Afrikaans Sunday paper Rapport, reigns supreme?
The inside track, backed by a bit of virtual snooping, is that Grape is being crushed by other blogs in the popularity stakes. A while ago Tim made a big noise about burying hatchets and toeing the line. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
But those measures can back-fire, and in this case it couldnΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗t happen to a nicer dwis.