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About this morning's "Spirits" column: I have absolutely no respect for this- " 'Cellphone use shall not be permitted...' Naturally, the first thing I did was send a text message to a friend... Oops!" etc. :lol:

A reporter's job is to discover and enlighten. But this column crossed a line by flagrantly disregarding H2M's request. And what's with the "na-nanny boo-boo" style of writing? At least my sense of irony enjoys the juxtaposition of this piece with Dave McIntyre's debut.

BTW, in the interest of full disclosure: I was asked me to post about H2M before the press got to it. I delayed while trying to think of a subtle but not arrogant "I have a secret" way of writing it. Sorry I let you guys down. :)

[this post has been edited a gazillion times]

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I have absolutely no respect for this: " 'Cellphone use shall not be permitted...' Naturally, the first thing I did was send a text message to a friend... Oops!" etc. :lol:

A reporter's job is to discover and enlighten. But this column crossed a line by flagrantly disregarding H2M's request. And what's with the "na-nanny boo-boo" style of writing? At least my sense of irony enjoys the juxtaposition of this piece with Dave McIntyre's debut.

BTW, in the interest of full disclosure: I was asked me to post about H2M before the press got to it. I delayed while trying to think of a subtle but not arrogant "I have a secret" way of writing it. Sorry I let you guys down. :)

H2M's big mistake here was not making Mr. Wilson (and everyone else) agree to the terms in advance. If Mr. Wilson had done so, he would have clearly violated his source's request for anonymity and privacy. As it stands, an argument could be made that after he read the rules, and stayed for drinks, he had implicitly accepted an oral contract.

Regardless, I would never let him interview me for anything.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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About this morning's "Spirits" column: I have absolutely no respect for this- " 'Cellphone use shall not be permitted...' Naturally, the first thing I did was send a text message to a friend... Oops!" etc. :lol:

A reporter's job is to discover and enlighten. But this column crossed a line by flagrantly disregarding H2M's request. And what's with the "na-nanny boo-boo" style of writing? At least my sense of irony enjoys the juxtaposition of this piece with Dave McIntyre's debut.

BTW, in the interest of full disclosure: I was asked me to post about H2M before the press got to it. I delayed while trying to think of a subtle but not arrogant "I have a secret" way of writing it. Sorry I let you guys down. :)

[this post has been edited a gazillion times]

Reporter's aren't in charge of honoring sources' requests, they're in charge of reporting. A fine column.

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Reporter's aren't in charge of honoring sources' requests, they're in charge of reporting. A fine column.
Granted he only writes about spirits in general, but a legacy of less than honorable behavior will hurt him in the tight-knit boozing community in DC. You don't bite the hand that feeds you or in this case makes your drink.

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Granted he only writes about spirits in general, but a legacy of less than honorable behavior will hurt him in the tight-knit boozing community in DC. You don't bite the hand that feeds you or in this case makes your drink.

It will only hurt him until the next boozerie needs a little print.

Besides, Hummingbird to Mars was an open secret anyway. Even I knew about it.

I'm not sure why anybody is upset that a journalist acted like a journalist.

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H2M's big mistake here was not making Mr. Wilson (and everyone else) agree to the terms in advance. If Mr. Wilson had done so, he would have clearly violated his source's request for anonymity and privacy. As it stands, an argument could be made that after he read the rules, and stayed for drinks, he had implicitly accepted an oral contract.

Regardless, I would never let him interview me for anything.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Fascinating subject. I'll preface my thoughts by noting that I am not a journalist and know nothing beyond what common sense tells me about journalistic ethics.

Even assuming a contract was formed after he received the slip of paper and decided to stay (which is pretty questionable), is it a canon of jurisdictional ethics that a journalist should not breach a contract? I would think not, and that instead the question is whether he breached any journalistic canon by disclosing facts that he learned while in the establishment. That seems unlikely to me. Further, so far as the column reveals, he didn't interview anyone. To the extent he received any request for confidentiality at all, it was from the establishment itself. As a matter of journalistic ethics, can an institution (rather than a person) be a "source" whose confidentiality can be protected?

Change the circumstances a little: Imagine that Jason Wilson is a political affairs reporter, and that he is invited to a private political event. Once inside the door, someone hands him a slip of a paper that says "Thou shall not write about this." Yet he stays and hears a politician openly propose to invade Iran. Surely the reporter would not be prohibited from reporting this news because someone handed him a piece of paper. Indeed, some people might be seriously offended if he did NOT report it because he thought he was bound by that piece of paper.

The fact that the stakes are lower in a column on alcohol doesn't change the fundamental circumstances.

(It's a totally separate and unrelated question whether he acted imprudently in publishing this information, because he might jeopardize future access to sources. Beat reporters have to make judgments like that all the time, but they are exactly that: judgments, not ethical rules.)

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I know I'd personally consider the possibility of a loogie cocktail in my future. Looks just like foam! [This is not to say that I think any of those mentioned would ever do something like that.]

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I'm not sure why anybody is upset that a journalist acted like a journalist.

In my case, mildly irritated.

As for the open secret: something about the operation struck me as personal enough to rise above plain old business; therefore when asked to abide by certain terms, I felt that I should do so.

It comes down to this: outing the operation is legitimate journalism. Doing so by reprinting the terms and then flaunting how you disregarded them is skanky. The rest of the column was interesting and informative. I've enjoyed Wilson's columns in the past, but now I have very little respect for his person. <shrug>.

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It sucks when you get up and read the paper in the morning to find out you lost your job. (via DB)

oh no! will you actually lose your job because of that column? if so that's awful. I adore the bar at Central, especially the lime-pepper rickey, though i do think the drinks at H2M were lovely as well (i went once).

best wishes!!

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In my case, mildly irritated.

As for the open secret: something about the operation struck me as personal enough to rise above plain old business; therefore when asked to abide by certain terms, I felt that I should do so.

It comes down to this: outing the operation is legitimate journalism. Doing so by reprinting the terms and then flaunting how you disregarded them is skanky. The rest of the column was interesting and informative. I've enjoyed Wilson's columns in the past, but now I have very little respect for his person. <shrug>.

If any of you would like to ask him directly about this, he's on our Food section online chat, going now live until 2 p.m. He'd be happy to respond there.

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If any of you would like to ask him directly about this, he's on our Food section online chat, going now live until 2 p.m. He'd be happy to respond there.

Link?

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Clearly there was no problem with his writing about it, or he would a) not have been invited in the first place or b] specifically have been asked to make his visit off the record before he came in. What I do have a problem with is his blatantly ignoring the "no cellphones" rule and then making a point of his having done so - that's just rude.

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I, for one, would interpret "no cellphone use" to mean "no talking on cellphones." I understand the rationale behind such a rule -- people talking on cellphones tend to speak loudly and it can be distracting to others.

However, I can't see any rationale for prohibiting people from typing on a Blackberry or phone.

I consider myself a pretty courteous person and if I had been given those rules, I would not feel prohibited from typing an e-mail or text message.

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Clearly there was no problem with his writing about it, or he would a) not have been invited in the first place or b] specifically have been asked to make his visit off the record before he came in. What I do have a problem with is his blatantly ignoring the "no cellphones" rule and then making a point of his having done so - that's just rude.

It's possible they didn't know who he was--when i went, i said i was coming with 2 friends and never mentioned my friends' names, and when they arrived (we came separately), they just said they were meeting me, so i don't think their names were ever taken. Also, when I arrived i was specifically told/asked that if i was a blogger or journalist that my visit be off the record.

That being said, the fact that they gave him a recipe and didn't pay attention to the fact that he was (he says) at the bar notebook in hand, does indicate that they weren't too worried about an article.

I just thought the tone of the article--listing the agreement and then telling how he violated it--was just sort of snarky and gratuitous, and for no real purpose. what was the point of sort of saying where the location was, especially if it's not always there?

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However, I can't see any rationale for prohibiting people from typing on a Blackberry or phone.

I consider myself a pretty courteous person and if I had been given those rules, I would not feel prohibited from typing an e-mail or text message.

Having gotten the hairy eyeball for discreetly checking messages on a Blackberry in a couple of places with posted "no cellphones" rules, I tend to err on the side of "no cellphones means no cellphones." I certainly would not be snapping camera phone pictures - that's clearly far outside the spirit of the rule.

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In my case, mildly irritated.

As for the open secret: something about the operation struck me as personal enough to rise above plain old business; therefore when asked to abide by certain terms, I felt that I should do so.

It comes down to this: outing the operation is legitimate journalism. Doing so by reprinting the terms and then flaunting how you disregarded them is skanky. The rest of the column was interesting and informative. I've enjoyed Wilson's columns in the past, but now I have very little respect for his person. <shrug>.

My sentiments exactly. Very disappointing to see someone behave so inappropriately and without regard for others even if in the name of journalism.

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I note the usage of the word "project" by Mr. Wilson early in the article. I think about the people involved in Hummingbird to Mars. I think about the hours they work at their regular jobs (40+ per week is an understatement). With that in mind, it would certainly require a massive amount of passion in furthering their field to commit to a project that requires two more nights of difficult, detailed work. They set up guidelines to maintain the atmosphere and the ability to produce their cocktails at the high level of quality they require (not to create a nightclub-type exclusivity). So, it disturbs me greatly when I read Mr. Wilson's description of how he reacted to these guidelines. To be specific, it is the seeming mocking glee he embraces to dismiss them. As a member of this community, I'm delighted by the differences in opinion, style, concept, and taste that those interested in spirits and cocktails hold. It enriches our field, both in execution and enjoyment. The tone of the article, however, I find unacceptable. If you enjoy cocktails, if you look forward to a future with a lively cocktail scene in our metropolitan area, if you want DC to be able to attract more talent to such a scene, then you might be concerned about the Washington Post treating some of the area's most talented, passionate mixologists without respect. It shows that paper we circulate the most doesn't care for disagreement in cocktails, only to belittle it.

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I note the usage of the word "project" by Mr. Wilson early in the article. I think about the people involved in Hummingbird to Mars. I think about the hours they work at their regular jobs (40+ per week is an understatement). With that in mind, it would certainly require a massive amount of passion in furthering their field to commit to a project that requires two more nights of difficult, detailed work. They set up guidelines to maintain the atmosphere and the ability to produce their cocktails at the high level of quality they require (not to create a nightclub-type exclusivity). So, it disturbs me greatly when I read Mr. Wilson's description of how he reacted to these guidelines. To be specific, it is the seeming mocking glee he embraces to dismiss them. As a member of this community, I'm delighted by the differences in opinion, style, concept, and taste that those interested in spirits and cocktails hold. It enriches our field, both in execution and enjoyment. The tone of the article, however, I find unacceptable. If you enjoy cocktails, if you look forward to a future with a lively cocktail scene in our metropolitan area, if you want DC to be able to attract more talent to such a scene, then you might be concerned about the Washington Post treating some of the area's most talented, passionate mixologists without respect. It shows that paper we circulate the most doesn't care for disagreement in cocktails, only to belittle it.

Oh c'mon. The whole fucking column was a love letter to bartenders. I hope people who sling gin for a living -- and I say that recognizing the talent and passion a good gin-slinger (like Adam) brings to his game -- have thick enough skins to handle a modest bit of razzing when they do silly (but cool) shit like launching a secret cocktail party.

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It will only hurt him until the next boozerie needs a little print.

Besides, Hummingbird to Mars was an open secret anyway. Even I knew about it.

I'm not sure why anybody is upset that a journalist acted like a journalist.

I think I have to agree with Charles here. On all three points.

I thought the article came across as mostly complimentary.

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I think I have to agree with Charles here. On all three points.

I thought the article came across as mostly complimentary.

It would have been really easy to write the article without the "look at how cool I am for breaking the rules" shtick.

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It would have been really easy to write the article without the "look at how cool I am for breaking the rules" shtick.
Yes, but it matches, the "look how cool we are/this is" aesthetic of the event in question.

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It would have been really easy to write the article without the "look at how cool I am for breaking the rules" shtick.

And it would have been really easy to sling gin without the "look how cool we are for having a speakeasy" shtick.

All in good fun. Style points all around -- the writer and the bartenders.

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