Monday, July 12, 2010

Rant: Alton Brown, I Call You Out!

I am calling you out Alton Brown. I want answers and explanations, to ascertain the rationale for your apparent double standard. I want to determine whether your convictions are sincere or not. Are you a true friend or foe to the bluefin tuna?

Alton Brown is an author and television personality, a host of a few Food Network shows. I have seen him most often on the Iron Chef and own one of his books. I had no previous issues with Alton, and thought he did a good job hosting, albeit sometimes he was a bit cheesy.

Last year, there were major boycotts and outrage, supported and initiated by Greenpeace, against the Nobu restaurants for serving bluefin tuna. Numerous celebrities came forward to support the boycott, calling for Nobu to stop serving the endangered fish. Alton Brown stepped up and stated he would not enter any restaurant that served bluefin.

Alton has been praised for his support of sustainable seafood, receiving the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 2009 Honored Educator of the Year. You can even read a recent interview with Alton about these issues. But how far does his advocacy go? Does it stop when it would adversely affect his income? Is his salary more important than saving the bluefin tuna? Is Alton engaged in a double standard?

I would never expect to see Alton working for Nobu. That would seem to be in direct opposition to his avid support of the bluefin. Yet it appears that Alton is working for a place that serves bluefin and that really bothers me. It seems to be a double standard, motivated purely by profit. Yet where is the public outrage? Alton Brown, you need to come forward and explain yourself.

Alton is a host on Iron Chef America, a show which I watch sporadically. The other night, during a recent battle between Chef Makoto Okuwa and Iron Chef Michael Symon, Chef Okuwa apparently served bluefin, otoro. How many other times have they used bluefin on the show? Why is Alton thus working for a show that permits the use of bluefin? Why is Alton financially benefiting from the exploitation of the bluefin?

I have not seen Alton take a stand against the use of bluefin by Iron Chef. I have not seen Greenpeace or the Monterey Bay Aquarium step forward and call for a boycott of Iron Chef until they stop using bluefin. Why is this so? Is Alton's outrage only when it does not interfere with his paycheck? I am sure the Iron Chef gig is very lucractive so does Alton not want to rock that boat? Where are his convictions?

If Alton is truly concerned about saving the endangered bluefin, then he should step forward and castigate the Iron Chef for its use. He should step down from his hosting gig until Iron Chef agrees to no longer use bluefin. Though I don't expect that will happen.

Some may say that Iron Chef America uses only a small amount of bluefin tuna so it is insignificant but it is the principle that matters. A man who publicly calls for restaurants to stop using bluefin should not be working for people who do use bluefin. Instead, he should be speaking out against that very place, as he speaks out about so many other places. He should remain true to his convictions, and not make exceptions where he is financially benefiting.

Alton, explain yourself. The bluefin deserve answers.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Passionate Foodie,

You called me out, now here I am. Concerning the tuna used in the Uni battle you referenced, you should consider that the challenging chefs bring many ingredients of their own and some of them hit the counter without our prior knowledge. I was surprised and none-too happy to see that piece of contraband hit the counter but since the chef wasn't specifically informed that he could not bring that ingredient into the kitchen I didn't think it right to castigate him for doing so. Moving forward I have requested that the producers of the show forbid the use of blue fin just as they've disallowed foie gras and foreign caviars. Furthermore, if bluefin does come out during a battle I'm going to rip the offending chef a suitable new orifice for being a culinary barbarian. They may be able to cut that out of the show but I'll do it anyway.

In closing, I'd like to point out that you can courteously invite someone to reply to a query without making accusations of greed over integrity. Implying that I would set my standards aside for monetary gain is rude, undeserved, inflammatory, and journalistically unprofessional. If we ever have a chance to meet in person, perhaps we will discuss this further.

Sincerely,
Alton Brown

Anonymous said...

But "rude, undeserved, inflammatory, and journalistically unprofessional" is what the blogosphere's all about!

BrixChick_Liza said...

Richard---thanks for bringing that forward. I saw that and was thinking ill of Iron Chef for doing that---almost like Project Runway busting out an ocelot coat challenge--but didn't have the background and now have both sides in one fell swoop! Whew! I can go back to watching my shows (and feeling personally guilty about my foie gras secret shame) You ARE a Passionate Foodie! THANKS!

Richard Auffrey said...

Hello Alton:
Though I do question whether it is the actual Alton Brown who has commented here, I will respond as if he did.

Thanks for commenting so quickly on my post. I was no expecting such a rapid response. I will comment on your response, numbering my comments for ease of reference.

1. How many times has bluefin been used during the 8 seasons of Iron Chef America?

2. If foie gras & foreign caviar were already previously banned, then why has it taken until now for you to call for a ban on bluefin use? Why wait 8 seasons to ban it? I would think the endangered bluefin would be a far more serious issue than foie.

3. Rather than just calling for a bluefin ban, shouldn't you rather call for the use of "only sustainable seafood?"

4. According to a prior statement by Bruce Seidel, Executive Producer Of ICA, "...everything is approved beforehand by our culinary staff. Our senior culinary producer, Jill Novatt, she approves everything." So, the bluefin would have had to been approved by ICA staff.

As bluefin was not banned, then Chef Okuwa would have had no reason to try to smuggle it onto the set. So, it only makes sense that some ICA staff were fully aware that bluefin was being brought into the kitchen. So to imply no one at ICA knew of the bluefin seems disgenuous.

5. Is there any statement online, on the ICA website or somewhere else, where the foods banned from ICA are listed?

6. Until my post and your response, I am sure there were plenty of people questioning why bluefin was used on ICA. Yet without a public response from you, some people would make assumptions about the issue.

7. As for the style of my post, it is not a newspaper or magazine article. It is much closer to an editorial piece, and the title of the series is "Rant" which gives an idea of what you will find there. It is more hyberbole, to be a bit provocative and highlight a very important issue.

Richard Auffrey said...

Hello Alton:
Though I do question whether it is the actual Alton Brown who has commented here, I will respond as if he did.

Thanks for commenting so quickly on my post. I was no expecting such a rapid response. I will comment on your response, numbering my comments for ease of reference.

1. How many times has bluefin been used during the 8 seasons of Iron Chef America?

2. If foie gras & foreign caviar were already previously banned, then why has it taken until now for you to call for a ban on bluefin use? Why wait 8 seasons to ban it? I would think the endangered bluefin would be a far more serious issue than foie.

3. Rather than just calling for a bluefin ban, shouldn't you rather call for the use of "only sustainable seafood?"

4. According to a prior statement by Bruce Seidel, Executive Producer Of ICA, "...everything is approved beforehand by our culinary staff. Our senior culinary producer, Jill Novatt, she approves everything." So, the bluefin would have had to been approved by ICA staff.

As bluefin was not banned, then Chef Okuwa would have had no reason to try to smuggle it onto the set. So, it only makes sense that some ICA staff were fully aware that bluefin was being brought into the kitchen. So to imply no one at ICA knew of the bluefin seems disgenuous.

5. Is there any statement online, on the ICA website or somewhere else, where the foods banned from ICA are listed?

6. Until my post and your response, I am sure there were plenty of people questioning why bluefin was used on ICA. Yet without a public response from you, some people would make assumptions about the issue.

7. As for the style of my post, it is not a newspaper or magazine article. It is much closer to an editorial piece, and the title of the series is "Rant" which gives an idea of what you will find there. It is more hyberbole, to be a bit provocative and highlight a very important issue.

Anonymous said...

First, I don't know how many times bluefin has been used but I sincerely suspect that I could count them on two hands. I can't even remember Morimoto using it...not in recent history at least.

True, the ICA culinary staff may have known, but I am not always privy to that complete list unless I show up at 5am to check the racks myself which I admit I sometimes fail to do. Also, I am neither an executive producer nor a producer of ICA and technically have zero power to effect program policy. (Unlike Good Eats) I can complain, I can berate chefs, and jump up and down and hold my breath but in the end of the day I cannot ban an ingredient from kitchen stadium. That said, I have made an "official" request to have blue fin as well as other unsustainable fish banned from the premises and will continue to jump up and down and hold my breath until I get my way. But as you watch the show, remember that even the Seafood Watch list does change and you may see a battle from an earlier season that was shot when a particular fish (say red snapper) wasn't on the list.

Also, I would like to point out that the producers have made a point to focus on sustainable options such as kona kampachi. And, I've made two Good Eats episodes focusing specifically on sustainable seafood.

So there.

Anonymous said...

By the way, as of 1900 UTC today, Bluefin has been officially banned from Kitchen Stadium. You heard it hear first.

ABN

Richard Auffrey said...

FYI: I have now confirmed that the commenter here is the actual Alton Brown.

authorjaneward said...

Great exchange, thanks for confirming!

Anonymous said...

Who did you you think it was? Who would pretend to be me? Who would pretend to be anyone else for that matter?

Anyway, this entire conversation is moot because it wasn't bluefin. It was a "fatty" piece of Atlantic Yellowfin. Bluefin hasn't been allowed in kitchen stadium for quite some time. Serves me right for typing before doing my homework.

Oh well, serves me right for reading a blog.

Anonymous said...

And yes, that was Alton again.

Casson said...

This is good stuff. Thanks Richard, and thanks Alton. I've been waiting for this moment!

Maybe now we can get Nobu to back down as well. I'm really not looking forward to paying his restaurant another visit in a bluefin costume.

Cheers,

Casson Trenor

David Dadekian said...

This has been a great exchange. Thank you Alton Brown for participating. Though I really want to say you may be right about some blogs, but Rich is a good person and puts together a very thorough and informative site. Even if he managed to make one small mistake. :)

Couves said...

Hi Alton! I love your sardine and almonds diet. Just add kale and you have the trifecta of Portuguese health food.. :) Anyway, I’m a huge fan of everything you do - keep up the good work!

Jacqueline Church said...

First, let me say that it's more likely than not these days when some TV personality is Tweeting, Facebooking or responding to blogs -- safer to assume it is some PR staff assigned to do so in the name of that personality. So, I would have made exactly the same assumption that any response would have been from a staff person not AB himself.

Second, if you want someone to aspire to, or meet a higher journalistic standard, then why bother to read the blogs at all. When you do, why make a wholesale insulting broadside assault. "Oh well, serves me right for reading a blog."

That's just unfair and as low as you are accusing Richard of being.

I was disappointed that "Feasting on Waves" was not, as advertised by AB himself in Monterey (the year he emceed - the year before he was honored - ) a show about sustainable seafood.

Instead, it was as "Feasting on Asphalt" was. An entertaining travelogue. Let's just be clear about truth in advertising. And let's hold ourselves to the same standards we accuse others of failing.

I would also add, after meeting AB in person at Monterey and hearing about his dedication to the issue and his upcoming show...I was excited to have his commitment to supplying a recipe and disappointed to not have his participation in my sustainable seafood blog event "Teach a Man to Fish." After being told "we can do that." I took the nonresponse from AB's people, coupled with the show NOT being about sustainable seafood at all, to mean that AB had not turned over a new leaf and perhaps the statement of this was disingenuous.

I hope I'm wrong. I love Good Eats for its geeky attention to cooking science. I would love nothing more than for AB to become an advocate for sustainable seafood. The oceans need all our help.

So far, this is the first statement I've seen that AB is actually doing anything to address these issues. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see a single statement on AB's website about sustainable seafood. Curious for such a dedicated advocate.

Just FYI - Google Alton Brown and the first entry notes his site "Includes recipes, web favorites, rants and raves, and a look behind the scenes of Good Eats." So I'm guessing he's not above a rant or two himself.

I look forward to hearing how Alton might actually be addressing the issue of sustainable seafood. I'd love for it to be so, and though I was actually born in Tokyo, you might as well say I'm from Missouri...

Couves said...

Ms. Church: I’m not sure you’re helping your cause by pointing out the failings of a high profile advocate for sustainable seafood. Keep in mind that environmental activism is not the core of what Alton does on Food network. You seem driven by the cause - that’s great! - just keep in mind that not all of your supporters are going to be hardcore activists like yourself.

JacquelineC said...

Couves - it's not the only thing I do, either. I'm simply noting that AB may be guilty of the same faults he scolds Richard for. And if you find AB a "high profile advocate for sustainable seafood" after you read what I wrote, then I respectfully say that we have a different measure of what that means. Did you find a single mention on his site that I missed?

Couves said...

Ms. Church:
Alton was recently
interviewed
by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In this interview, he mentions that he doesn’t like to preach to his audience about food.

Perhaps this is why he’s more of a low key advocate who doesn‘t mention the cause every chance he gets? This may not be what you want, but it’s Alton’s decision to make. (Do you really think it’s your place to tell AB what to put on his website?)

You know, sometimes the new guy in church is just going to sit quietly in back and go on to live a life of renewed service and piety. You want to ask him why he wasn’t at the church retreat and to point out to him all the ways you think he lacks devotion. If you treat people this way, don’t be surprised when you don’t get a positive response.

I’ve been an activist too and, believe me, I know how you feel. But I respectfully suggest that you not be so quick to judge.

spiceweasel said...

Richard, take a good look at your motives here... Do you really think this is some great moral failing of a hero, or you stirring the pot to get hits on your site?

Some chef whipping out a blue fin in Kitchen Stadium is hardly worth this fuss, nor does it mean anything about AB"s integrity on the sustainability issue. Should I cross the street when I walk past Nobu, and spit on the sidewalk? Don't get all TEA party self righteous, it's TV for %$@#'s suck, not the UN. I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill hoping that you can goad a tv celebrity into responding... which you did! AB, WTF? Whattaya falling for this for? This is hardly the Op Ed page of the Times, blow it off.

Richard Auffrey said...

Hello SpiceWeasel:

I saw this as a potential double standard by a person who claimed to support sustainable seafood & bluefin in particular. If you publicly make grand pronouncements about such matters, then you should be held accountable if your actions do not live up to your convictions.

If Iron Chef has already seen fit to ban some caviar and foie, then there is absolutely no reason bluefin should not have been banned some time ago. Fortunately, it is now banned.

Because it is TV, it does make it important as many people watch Iron Chef. And if bluefin is used on that show, without any issue raised about its endangered status, then less people will worry about the fate of bluefin. Alton was in a position to help influence Iron Chef, and he had not done so before now on the bluefin issue.

This was far more than just an attempt to garner more hits. I don't advertise on my blog, so additional hits really don't gain me anything.

I am just glad that ICA has changed their rules and banned bluefin.

spiceweasel said...

I see this more as having an unrealistic expectation of people in the public eye...a person who supports a cause–and is smart–should use his or her access to the media to educate, not make a spectacle, which I think he does, and has done all along.

ICA is, after all, his employer. He's got a job to do, this isn't his mouthpiece.

Now I didn't see this episode, so I don't know what AB said, if anything at all, but what good would it have done to have him jump up on his desk and wave his arms and yell about the Blue Fin. Humiliate the chef on camera? What good what that have done? Just make a five minute spectacle that would be forgotten in days, more embarrassing than impactful, and would jeopardize his personna as being an intelligent, thoughtful educator.

But your statement, "If you publicly make grand pronouncements about such matters, then you should be held accountable if your actions do not live up to your convictions." is a little overly dramatic and hits him directly below the belt.

In my mind its just makes a stronger statement for him to win over ICA chefs, producers, and audience one spoonful of sugar at a time. Make it a learning moment.

And PS: you wouldn't be blogging if you didn't want the "hits" -- has nothing to do with advertising.

Richard Auffrey said...

Spiceweasel:
It appears you are missing the point, as well as avoiding certain issues I raised.

I did not expect him to suddenly berate the chef on ICA. But he has been working for ICA for 8 seasons now, and until now, bluefin has not been banned there. And there is no evidence that Alton previously called for a bluefin ban on the show. Despite the fact foie and foreign caviar were previously banned. That makes little sense. The bluefin issue is quite serious and should have been addressed a long time ago.

Alton is more than just an employee, and obviously has great pull on the show. He was able, in a matter of hours after my initial post was made, to get ICA to ban bluefin from the show. So obviously ICA takes big stock in what Alton says and believes. Alton though should have called for this ban some time ago.

So Alton is capable of convincing people more than just a "spoonful of sugar" at a time.

Moe Howard said...

Richard - I wouldn't know Alton Brown if I tripped over him but he sure sounds like a pompous ass. So what if you were a little rough with him. He had some explaining to do...... and he did. End of story.
I wish the mainstream media would do the same instead of kissing every personalities and politicians ass.
Nice job Richard. You have a new fan!

Anne said...

I have met Alton Brown twice. The second time he almost tripped over ME(literally) and, in the ten years I have watched any of his programs, I've only seen him be a pompous ass occasionally. It's a human failing we all possess.
However, I have a few issues, both with Mr. A., and Mr. B.
Starting alphabetically.
Richard, you put forth many good points in your post, of that there is no arguement. Still, to assume that Mr Brown has that much pull with the makers of ICA is taking that point for granted. In addition giving the post the title that you did, automatically puts the person who is 'called out ' on the defensive, rather than opening up the lines to a more civil, and (dare I say it) adult exchange.
Now, onto Mr. Brown(who I realize may not still be reading here, but what the heck).
As a blogger, I take issue with your snide assessment of us all. Granted, there are plenty of bad ones out there, and I realize that this post may bring a lot of them to the forefront. That said, there are many good ones out there, are not on line to start fights, aggravate, spread lies, or cause controversy.
In demeaning them all, you are throwing the baby out with bathwater, and in a way, may be missing out on something you don't realize could work to your benefit.
I know my words could be falling on deaf ears, but, I just wanted to put in my .02.

Richard Auffrey said...

Hi Anne:
First, Alton obviously does have that much power as he was able in a matter of hours to get ICA to ban bluein.

Yes, my post titles was provocative, as was much of the rant. But that was part of the intent, as this is my Monday Rant series. It is much more of an editorial, not a straight news article.

Richard Auffrey said...

Some additional comments:

1. As I stated in my orginal post: "Chef Okuwa apparently served bluefin, otoro." In its most common use, otoro refers to bluefin. Sure it can be used for other types of tuna, but that is a much rarer usage. It is certainly a valid assumption that it was bluefin.

2. There does not appear to be a list online on those foods banned from Iron Chef America. I do not see it on the ICA website. So, how can people know what is and is not banned from the show? There should be such a list that the public can access.

Alton stated bluefin has not been allowed in ICA for almost two years, but he apparently did not know that until he checked some records. I would expect him to have known something like that.

3. Would Alton have responded to my questions if I had not been as provocative in my original post? That is questionable, especially given the fact many people have claimed that Alton does not read or comment on blogs, including some fan sites devoted to Alton.

4. I do appreciate the fact that Alton did step forward and provide answers to my questions. It certainly cleared up the issue of bluefin on ICA, an issue that was previously murky.

5. And finally, an early Happy Birthday to Alton (which is July 30).

janie said...

Personally, I would have tried to contact someone at ICA/FN to verify that is was blue fin tuna before publishing a post trying to call someone out like this. I would do the research before publishing a post instead of having to be corrected later by the person you have called out.

Anne said...

TY, Janie. ITA with what you said.
So, what you are saying, Richard, is that you DELIBERATELY chose to be provocative, to hopefully insure an answer from Alton.
Perhaps that is why he may have so many problems with bloggers. As I stated earlier, he is as human as the next person, it is HIS perogative as to whether he choses to answer or not. Instead of just posing the question, you had to issue a challenge, like a 12 year old bully in a school yard.
In my experience, Mr. Brown is a man of some pride, who while he does have strong beliefs and convictions, chooses to carry them out and express them quietly.
I don't know if he would have answered you if you had asked differently, and btw, you could have ranted without name dropping.
Added to this is the fact that it wasn't bluefin at all. For that, I think Mr. Brown deserves an apology....but I won't hold my breath.

Anne said...

One more thing, I'm curious about. While it seems that you have been watching Iron Chef America a great deal, I do wonder if you've ever tuned into Mr. Brown's other program on the Food Network, "Good Eats". If you had, and had viewed an episode from last season, entititled "The Once and Future Fish", which was all about Sustainable Seafood,. and another episod called "Gills Gone Wild", all about Wild Salmon, I think you may have relized that you jumped the gun on this one
I suggest you give it a viewing.

Richard Auffrey said...

Janie:
It is nice to hear you claim you would have acted differently. But your own actions go against that statement. You have assumed I did not try to contact someone at ICA/FN. I never stated here that I had not attempted such an action. Based on your own words, you should have emailed me first to ascertain the truth, instead of making your assumption. Easy to give advice, but tougher to follow your own advice.

Richard Auffrey said...

Anne:
Being provocative is certainly not limited to bloggers. It has long been a part of newspapers, television, radio and other media. Yes, I asked hard questions but the issue is certainly an important one. And the end result was very positive.

My assumption was very logical. The tuna was referred to as "otoro" which nearly always is bluefin. Chef Okuwa uses bluefin in his own restaurant so he is not adverse to using it. I am unaware of any prior public statements by ICA that bluefin was banned. Even Alton did not remember bluefin had been banned.

I have seen some episodes of Good Eats, and own his Good Eats book. I am aware of his sustainable seafood efforts and made reference to such in my earlier post. And that is a significant reason the apparent use of bluefin on ICA raised my questions.

Anne said...

Mr. Auffrey-
I would like to ask you how linking "Alton Brown, you're one of my favorite people, but' to your page, serves any purporse. She only references your article briefly. I see no need to use that as a link, when in past days, there have been many blog posts that praise your article.
Would it not be preferable to use them?

Richard Auffrey said...

Anne:
Where exactly did I link to that other site? I don't see any such link here.

Are you also the Noel from FNH?

Richard Auffrey said...

FYI: If you come here simply to post nasty insults, your comments will be deleted. Keep such comments on your own blog, where I have seen plenty of very negative words about plenty of different food celebrities. I have seen your negative comments about me, despite the fact none of you seem to know anything about me. For example, you all seem unaware that I also write for newspapers and magazines, and are not just a blogger.

Anne said...

No, I am not Noel. I post on a library computer, so it's entirely possible that someone is using my username. I abhor FNH.
And I am sorry that person who commented after me was so crude. If you notice, I didn't, and would never use such insulting language.
As for the link, it was at the bottom of your comment page. It said, "Links to This Post" and the link was there.

Richard Auffrey said...

Anne:
The "Links" are automatically generated by the blogger platform. I don't chose them myself, and don't even see them when I view my blog.

Anne said...

I wasn't aware of that. Still, I'm glad it's gone.

Janie said...

You admitted in your post that you assumed it was blue fin tuna. I wasn't assuming that you didn't try to contact them.I just commented on what I would have done before I published a post on a blog calling out a famous person. It was a comment on a post. Comments are there to allow for folks to give their opinions on a post and that is what I did. You seem to be rather defensive about the whole thing, I'm sorry if you think I insulted you.

Anonymous said...

Richard, perhaps you should take your anger out on the Japanese, since they get 80% of the Bluefin Tuna, IN THE WORLD. They are the problem, not the USA.

Richard Auffrey said...

Anonymous:
I am fully aware that the Japanese consume the vast majority of bluefin. And I have commented about that in the past. Though they are the largest part of the problem, many others contribute to that problem as well, including the US.

Jamie said...

On the off chance that Alton might still be reading comments, why would anyone want to post as you? Beats me, but some years ago there was a fake Alton Brown on MySpace (the profile got some things obviously wrong, like saying you didn't have kits) who had a number of people fooled. It might be gone now, but at the time when some people on the GEFP including myself emailed people about it, MySpace refused to take it down. That's just one of the pitfalls of the Internet, people who can claim to be anybody, even celeberies,

Anne said...

How interesting-that link-"Alton Brown, You're One of My Favorite People, But.." is back, when I asked you once before to remove it. I find it interesting that if these links are indeed, generated automatically, this particular link was the only one that has appeared . Please remove it.
Thank you.

Álvaro said...

I'm a neutral observer who happens to support the decision to ban bluefin tuna.

However, I'm disturbed by the harsh and confrontational tone that this blogger is using when dealing with the issue.

Suffice to say, AB's "double standard" is very likely unintentional. He's certainly not a malevolent, cynical bluefin-hating, money-grubbing supervillain.

So why speak about him in such critical terms?

While advocacy on this particular issue is admirable, I really think a tone-check is in order.

Just so people come across as assertive and passionate, but reasonable.

My two cents.

Richard Auffrey said...

Alvaro:
I did ask some tough questions but it is certainly very questionable whether anything would have happened if I had written a gentle and polite original post. And in my comments to Alton, my tone did change.

If I had not been originally provocative, there might never have been a response. And in the end, much good came of it.

Anne said...

Man, I had hoped this topic was in the ground. The man still deserves an apology from you about the way you approached the subject.
It's things like this that fuel his prejudice against bloggers, making it hard for earnest people who'd love to talk to him to have a chance.
In addition, your continued admission that you were deliberately provocative to get a response does nothing to endear you to potential new readers.
It would be nice if the blogosphere could function as a community. All too often, save some notable exceptions, it's 'every man/woman for themselves.'

Richard Auffrey said...

Anne:
You are not commenting here out of any high moral ground. You are posting here only to be provocative yourself. I have seen your insulting words directed at me on your own blog. Are I going to see an apology for the insults you have lodged against me? Very doubtful.

Your own insults toward me certainly won't make the blogosphere function as a community. You are clearly uninformed about me, and know nothing of my background or other writings. You speak about matters you know nothing about.

Anne said...

I was expressing an opinion about what you had written, but, yes, I can see how that would be insulting.
I am far from perfect, and a passionate person as well, so, for any insult you felt, I apologize. I admit I could have chosen my words more carefully.
Suprised? Don't be. I am more about making the blogosphere a better place, than always having to be right.
Emotions are powerful things. And you are right, I don't know a lot about you, fell prey to a negative first impression. I'm human, after all.
I hope that you will respond to this.

Richard Auffrey said...

Anne:
Thank you very much for your apology and I am pleased that I was incorrect that you would don't do so.

I have written over 2300 posts on this blog, and only a very small percentage would be considered provocative. Of those, most would be part of my Monday Rant series. And even some of those are rather innocuous, such as ranting about powdered sugar on my waffles.

Being provocative is not per se wrong. And plenty of respected journalists have written provocative articles. Sometimes it seems the best way to make a point, to get something accomplished. Public figures especially need to understand such articles may get written about them. Part of the price of fame.

I don't see a need to apologize for asking some hard questions. And I did not ask Alton for an apology despite his negative comments and insults. I prefer to look at the good that resulted from the exchange.

Take care

Anne said...

Every now and then, one gets a nice suprise, no? That's what I wish I could convey to Mr. Brown himself.
While I can't speak for him, I do think he has his reasons. But, he could have been, well, more restrained. (I believe I took him to task in my very first post here, for that). I know he had his own blog, and some pretty rotten things happened to him--were said about him. I guess it's sort of my mission to try to get him to change his mind.
If you do ever get the opportunity to speak to him, I hope you have the same kind of experience that I did the two times we met. He really is a gracious and quite personable human being, without much affectation.