That's how it goes in this media age: A story that spreads within minutes one day is in the ground within a week. In leiu of a usual review, today Jonathan Gold shares his thoughts on why anonymity for restaurant critics is important, which we hope is just one more nail in the whole S. Irene Virbila-was-outed coffin.
Of course Gold, whose photo has also been circulated many times now, cheers anonymity. Even before his Pulitzer-celebrating photo was posted in the Weekly, he says he was "made" at restaurants in New York; and since the Pulitzer, his photo is Tweeted from a restaurant before the appetizers arrive. Still, he notes, the role of an anonymous critic is obvious: to not get special treatment. And if they do, a good critic will see through it and still deliver an objective review. "We are looking for things to praise, not things to mock," he says.
So as the Red Medicine vs. Virbila story finally wanes, Gold ends with this thought: "It was a panicked move, and I suspect they knew it was dumb even as they were doing it. They did no real harm to Virbila — if anything, they lent her pluckiness — but they made themselves look second-rate."
Two Cheers for Anonymity [LAW]