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Friday, May 4, 2007

Think I'll Pass

Time to crank up our new feature, Think I'll Pass. Twenty-eight dollars for a burger? I can't go for that, even with the money I saved by cancelling my subscription to a derivative newspaper.

Comments (16)

the burger was initially planned for $6.50 and was expected to add 2,000 new service jobs to the local economy.

Hurley must be scared his PFDR disability checks are running out now that he is in a real job.

Oh, sorry, I forgot Randy fixed that, he can keep working and collecting those disability checks at least for the next 31 years of increasing property taxes.

For anyone who may miss my point, I'm accusing the O story of being derivative of WW's, not the other way around.

Nice try but wrong.

A&E goes to bed on Wednesday and is planned weeks in advance. Just a coincidence. Not a happy one, but that's all.

WW comes out on Wednesday morning. When you see that someone has the same lead on a story as yours, you should change it if there's still time. But that requires attention and care.

"Is planned weeks in advance": I added that for a reason.

I know what I'm talking about here.

You're not right.

Ugly coincidence. Looks bad. But nobody felt it sooner or worse than the people at A&E.

"Is planned weeks in advance"

Yes, but copy and leads can be changed on Wednesday afternoon, can't they? Keep apologizing, but I'm not convinced.

Can I have a bite?

If I may, and nicely:

We're talking about a weekly feature section, not breaking news. When a feature section has been planned, reported, written and edited over a span of a couple weeks, and is then being laid out on press day, and then you discover that somebody else at a different publication has written about the same thing, you 1) aren't "derivative" and 2) can't turn around on a dime and produce work of the same stripe and quality.

In this case, it's hamburgers. But take this example: Wilamette Week ran a review of "Spiderman" on wednesday. The Mercury ran one Thursday. The Trib and Oregonian and New York Times and every other daily paper in the country ran them today. Does that make the ones published today "derivative"? Should no one else have run a review because somebody else had one in print first? Does it make you inattentive or careless if your paper comes out on a different day? I don't think so.

It would be one thing if we were talking about news stories with timely data in them. Then the only excuse for being late would be new information. But in a feature section, overlap with other publications is inevitable given that you're all pretty much responding to the same new restaurants/movies/books/CDs. And you don't throw out your own work simply because someone else publishes a day or two earlier than you.

BTW: I don't work in journalism. But I have done so in the past, in addition to teaching it at the high school level. And I've had the frustration of those editors on seeing my "brilliant idea" "scooped" by a day or two. In a general interest publication with a weekly publication schedule like the Oregonian arts section, it's simply inevitable. It sickens the staff, I can tell you. But you have that much more incentive to do a better job. BEcause first to print doesn't equal best, of course.

somebody else at a different publication has written about the same thing,

It's not just that. The O reporter led with the exact same point that the WW story did. There was time to change that, but they didn't.

They don't seem that similar to me -- except for the announcement that the new burger in town costs a lot, which is the real headline and should come first. After all, it's why both papers did the story, I would guess. And after that, they're very different stories. One is a restaurant review, the other compares burgers around town.

But the main point I'm trying to make is that just because somebody publishes on Wednesday and you publish on Friday doesn't rise to the level of a moral flaw. Heck, the best story on the sujbect might not be printed for another month somewhere else.

peace out

Whatever. "$28 burger" all over both stories.

Enjoy your Oregonian.

While you can.

If I had the energy I'd show you how the O gets beat on story after story, several times each week. But it's not worth it.

Aside from the "who published first" argument, I didn't see any mention of the competing burger at Driftwood in the Oregonian story.

That's something I might actually go for - when it's $11 during happy hour, of course.

OK, so it's a $28 burger. But will it float?

"Hurley. It's how you'll feel when you get the tab."

Get yourself a Passport Unlimited card and it's 2-for-1 at Hurley's, and a lot of other places. (That would make it a $14 burger, eh?) Then blow your "savings" on some good wine (and don't forget to tip well!) (I have absolutely zero relationship with them, but they're at www.passportunlimited.com if you like to eat out.)

The $28 burger does seem silly, but foie gras ain't cheap (and who knows when PETA et al will finally succeed in banning it). Then again, I walked by Thomas Keller's Per Se in NY a couple of weeks ago...$250 for the tasting menu, without wine. The foie gras dish was an extra $30. And that's IF you could get a reservation. And "gentlemen" have to wear jackets.

Shoot...for $250 I should be able to eat naked if I want.

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