August 30 2008
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Abraham Lincoln
In between Steve Heimoff, Tom Wark and dozens of commenters, there has been vigorous debate about the Rockaway wine program that I coordinated. The stuff hit the fan at Steve Heimoff’s blog, but really exploded at Tom Wark’s site. See here and here. If you are simply a wine reader that doesn’t care about this car wreck, I apologize, but this isn’t an issue that is dying, particularly with such dogmatic idealism occurring.
In the wine blogging world, the house is divided. People want to talk about this dissension and flap advancing the cause, toughening up skin, etc. It’s all bull and justification.
It’s unfortunate, too. Most of this flap could have been prevented if folks checked facts before hitting the publish button. For an accurate near blow by blow account, I urge you to check out Tim’s post at Winecast.net
The net-net of the situation is that the bloggers that have participated in the Rockaway program that I created have been accused of some slanderous things like lacking integrity and ethics. Yet, both Steve and Tom Wark and some of the vigorous early commenters like Ryan from Catavino are guilty of proffering inaccurate and erroneous opinions—if they would have checked the facts their opinions wouldn’t have been so inaccurate and polarizing. To me, not checking your facts is a far more offensive notion than writing about a wine sample. So far, Steve is back-pedaling, Ryan acknowledges that we, apparently, didn’t communicate well enough (though he doesn’t acknowledge not understanding well enough) and Tom is stubbornly clinging onto his inaccuracies that led to an opinion that nobody but a sycophant would agree with. And, he’s also trying to hang onto whatever is left of his blog credibility.
In fact, as Joe from 1WineDude points out, Tom would appear to be guilty of many of the things he accuses us of doing, without having done a little thing like give full transparency, as Joe notes below.
Tom - this reviewer is *you*, right?
You don’t have to answer actually, because I checked the facts and it is actually you, as stated right here on your blog
I am correct in my understanding that the above is a program that requires you to -
1) ‘Write about this wine in exchange for receiving it’, and
2) Requires ‘the wine be written about within a certain time frame as a condition of receiving it’
You don’t have to answer that one either, because I checked the facts at thewinespies.com for you. And that is, in fact, what you have to agree to do in order to participate in the program and receive the wine:
“Review a wine that we send you, in time for us to post [your review] on one of our 1 day sales”
What you might want to answer is -
How is the above different from what you and others here have been citing as a mistake? Or had you actually made the exact same mistake before any the participants in this study?
“I think a mistake was made in demanding that bloggers write about this wine in exchange for receiving it. And I think a mistake was made in demanding that the wine be written about within a certain time frame as a condition of receiving it.”
I’m really struggling as to how to frame a logical interpretation of your two posts on this subject that isn’t somehow hypocritical on your part.
Also, my understanding is that it’s common journalistic practice to get the facts before publishing your writing.
We’ve established that you did not do that - according to multiple statements from the winery, the participants, and the organizer of the event.
Isn’t it also common journalistic practice to publish a retraction? From a recent correction/retraction policy I came across: “Retractions are judged according to whether the main conclusion of the paper is seriously undermined as a result.”
It’s a really nice bit of sleuthing on Joe’s part and certainly reframes this conversation AWAY from the Rockaway wine bloggers into an entirely different conversation—one about glory whores and those that use glory holes. I won’t cast aspersions or pejoratives or knife people in the back the way that I have been treated this week, but I think we all know who the “glory” folks are here.