Breaking: Entitled white dude slings around bogus journalism-ethics complaints in reactionary response to insecurity over his former spot atop a hierarchy! Call it DinerGate.
The Inn at Little Washington, an inn and restaurant in the small town of Washington, Va., is, by virtually any standard, one of the most acclaimed and prestigious places on Earth to get a meal, and has been since it became the first place to get a five-diamond AAA rating for both lodging and dining, way back in 1989. A list of all the accolades and awards and shit it has received in the past 25 years would be longer than a list of all the places I've stopped for gas in my entire life. With that in mind, you might expect its proprietor and chef, Patrick O'Connell, to shrug off the occasional less-than-absolutely-fawning review without deploying the rhetorical weaponry of a buncha pimply Call of Duty dorks.
But, nah. When Washingtonian magazine, the D.C. area's foremost ranked-lists-of-local-businesses purveyor, recently dropped the Inn to 22nd on their annual 100 Very Best Restaurants list—a list the Inn at Little Washington had topped the previous two years, before overhauling its menu—O'Connell released a statement in reply. After the standard recitation of some of the accolades and praise his restaurant has received, he whips out the following bit of patronizing passive-aggressive concern trolling:
Most of us understand that, in today's world, as print media struggles for survival, creating controversy sells magazines whether it's ethical or not.
That's right: Evidently, liking 21 restaurants better than the Inn at Little Washington is a breach of restaurant-lists journalism. Which Patrick O'Connell, chef, hotelier, owner of the Inn at Little Washington, dispassionate and disinterested media observer, knows all about.
In any event, all O'Connell earned for himself with his "This is clickbait!" nonsense was a detailed and gently damning response (farther down in the same article linked above) from Washingtonian critic Todd Kliman, which not only convincingly explains the joint's dive down the rankings, but also goes in on the Inn's longer-term shortcomings of imagination and creativity. Which, I mean, who'd ever guess that the kind of dude who'd dust off that hoary old "Slow news day?" shit in response to an unfavorable review would lack for imagination and creativity?
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