Declaring War on The New York Times
“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one,” wrote A.J. Leibling, the late, great New Yorker journalist.
If you want to pony up $30,000 to $80,000, you can buy a full-page ad in The New York Times and write a long letter that says pretty much anything you like.
Last Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007, three such letters appeared:
1. From aggrieved restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, whose new steak house was dissed by The New York Times food critic, Frank Bruni.
2. From JetBlue founder and CEO, David Neeleman, apologizing for the mess he made in dealing with the ice storm the week prior.
3. From Douglas Durst and Anthony E. Malkin of the Continuing Committee for a Reasonable World Trade Center on a forthcoming Port Authority vote.
All three writers made serious errors.
I just hate it when people spend a lot of money to communicate and then do it badly.
I have had several spiffy lunches in top New York City eateries as the guest of iconic restaurant critic, Mimi Sheraton, whom I adored.
This was in the late 1980s. I had a newsletter about junk mail, WHO’S MAILING WHAT!, and Sheraton had a newsletter about food. I forget who introduced us, but every now and again she liked to pick my brain about the newsletter nitty-gritty—customer acquisition, offers, renewals and the like, and so would invite me to lunch.
Sheraton did not like to dine alone, and she is very, very good company. Buy me a nice lunch and you can ask me anything.
One time she called and told me to make a reservation in my name for the upstairs room at “21.” A Time profile of Sheraton explained that she consumes all meals incognito. “Sheraton refuses to pose full-face for the camera, to make it harder for restaurateurs to identify her and proffer extraordinary service.”
- New York City