Can I sue my critics?

Belfast leads the way? As a second negative judgement against a restaurant reviewer hoves into view, Susan Tomes wonders whether it might provide a useful response for artists whose work is slated in the press by critics who just aren’t up to the job.

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  • I cant help feeling that there is a big difference between reviewing food and reviewing music.

    I ran a fanzine in my younger days, and even at that age, I found it easy to tell when bands were a little ‘off’ or just going through the motions. Susan obviously comes from an entirely different musical genre and rightly points the huge degree of practice and work that is required to sustain a career as a professional pianist. Nevertheless, most music critics of that genre will be able to judge levels of performance reasonably accurately.

    The whole area of Restaurant Reviews, however, seems to be much more open to inaccuracies. No matter how good the level of cuisine, reviewers may be inclined to give less favourable reviews based on their own culinary preferences.

    I also think that there exists a huge degree of snobbery when it comes to these reviews, mainly due to competition among the reviewers themselves. Way too much importance is placed on the opinions some of these individuals and it is tragic to think that the reputation of a quality restaurant could be erroneosuly damaged in this way.

  • snakebrain

    There’s a strong argument for allowing reviews, whether hostile or otherwise, to be printed. However, the problem is that there is no check on the reviewer’s credibility.

    If I owned a restaurant and a reviewer wrote an extremely hostile review, which was likely to damage my business, AND I felt that the review was unfair, and not based in sound knowledge and judgement, I would have a legitimate complaint.

    If a review is fair and even-handed, I would have no such right to complaint.

    The problem lies with poorly-qualified reviewers. I’m sick and tired of reading reviews in the NI press which say a restaurant was “nice” and the staff were “friendly”. That is worse than useless.

    It’s interesting that AA Gill has been churning out scathing reviews in the Sunday Times for years, and is rarely, if ever challenged. I’d attribute that to the fact that he is known to know what he is talking about.

  • I got a lot of stick for writing anti-DUP op-ed articles here. Can I get some money too, please?

  • I’d like to take this opportunity to publicise the fact that McHugh’s belly of pork sat like a lead weight in my stomach for several hours and then gave me the scoots.