11/26/2012 09:38:00 AM

NY Times Public Editor Defends Guy Fieri Takedown

Signed plates at Guy's American Kitchen 
And the controversy surrounding the astoundingly negative review that Pete Wells wrote about Guy's American Kitchen just don't stop. In a bizarre bit of food-world pathos, the industry that so readily made Fieri's frosted tips the butt of their jokes came to the celeb chef's defense, largely saying that the Times critic went too far with the takedown. Well, Margaret Sullivan, the Times' Public Editor (essentially the paper's referee) filed a column supporting Wells this week, making the case for excessively negative reviews. She says she believes that the critic went into the restaurant with an open mind, and supports the type of "exuberant pan" that appeared in the paper. From her column:

"Is it ever really acceptable for criticism to be so over the top, considering that there are human beings behind every venture? I think it is. That kind of brutal honesty is sometimes necessary. If it is entertaining, all the better. The exuberant pan should be an arrow in the critic’s quiver, but reached for only rarely."

She even manages to get a zinger or two in there herself: "My sense is that Mr. Wells’s heart was pure, but that the material was irresistible — even if the cuisine, awash in Donkey Sauce, was not." Despite the industry's protests, it looks like it's going to take a lot more for folks to leave Fieri alone.


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