Friday, December 3, 2010
Update: The national media related blog Poynter has highlighted the story, Eats Beat in Fort Worth is happy to see FW BBQ so well represented, SideDish and Frontburner add some fuel and even St. Louis seems to care.
Update: We now have input from Pegasus News, Eater.com, SideDish and possibly the most spirited outcry from DallasFood.org. There's been so much traffic questioning her tactics that Leslie Brenner decided to post an explanation that falls a bit short from giving this blog much credit.
Earlier Today: This week I was reminded of an old article I read about Bonnie Bell Island in Dallas' White Rock Lake. There's no actual island, but some internet mapping companies had added it as an intentional mistake to be able to sniff out copycats. I too was trying to sniff out some possible pilfering when I read a recent Dallas Morning News list of the 'Best Barbecue in DFW'. As I read each of DMN critic Leslie Brenner's entries, I noticed these were not the usual suspects that had normally received accolades from the local media in the past. By the time I'd reached the end of the list I realized this was incredibly similar the list I authored in D Magazine earlier this year. In fact, eight of the nine joints listed by Leslie Brenner were included in my top sixteen list. Given the overall lack of previous coverage in DMN given to most of these places it seemed like parts of my list had just been reused and called original content, so I wrote to Leslie Brenner for clarification. I was told that my list, among many others, was just a starting point, and that since I am merely a blogger that I may not be 'familiar with accepted journalistic practices'.
After reading the entries more closely I noticed an odd mistake in Brenner's write up on Bartley's Bar-B-Que where she mentions that they smoke with oak. I mention this in my article as well, but I learned during a later trip to Bartley's that I incorrectly reported that fact. They use all hickory and always have. While I didn't report their wood source as an intentional goof, it amounts to my Bonnie Bell Island, and Brenner simply copied that incorrect information directly into DMN's BBQ list. Maybe all the homework I had done on the local BBQ scene was used to draw Brenner's conclusions rather than the innocent starting point as she suggested in our correspondence.
Another puzzling item on the DMN list is the absence of Pecan Lodge and Smoke which both received three stars (a destination restaurant for this type of dining) from the Dallas Morning News review staff, with Pecan Lodge's rating coming just two weeks ago. How were they left off? Maybe more importantly, why wouldn't the News use the expertise of their own staff who form the Texas BBQ Posse? As a group, they have bothered to seek out new and interesting BBQ around the state and have written several articles about their exploits in the News. Wouldn't these true sojourners of smoked meat bring more credibility to such a list? I think so.
One positive from all of this that cannot be ignored is that the hard working pitmasters at each of these local joints are getting more much deserved recognition. That can always be applauded.
Of course this subject affects me personally which can cloud judgment, so tell me, am I being over sensitive, or is all my whining justified? Should bloggers be given credit by 'legitimate' media outlets if their content is used? Share your thoughts here or on the Dallas Observer's site where they asked the same question. I look forward to the discourse.
- BBQ Snob
Posted by BBQ Snob at 1:00 AM
Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.
-THE PROPHETS OF SMOKED MEAT
-THE PROPHETS OF SMOKED MEAT