Service of Get Real

August 21st, 2023

Categories: Uncategorized

These peaches were $5.00/lb at the Union Square Farmers Market in Manhattan

I wonder about the decisions editors and reporters make in choosing to cover a topic or to follow a story. I am thrilled when they select to run my clients’ news–natch. This post isn’t a criticism. It’s more of a reflection of how out of it I must be for zeroing in on the following instances.

I love reading advice columns but one of the questions New York Times Ethicist columnist Kwame Anthony Appiah chose made me roll my eyes. I couldn’t help saying “really???” out loud. How many of us would like to have this issue and I suspect so few do so why cover it?

The question came from a person who had been married a decade and was 44. He never told his spouse that he had a trust fund that spun off $25,000 a month and keeping the secret was weighing heavily on him. Should he tell his spouse?

I could see Appiah responding to readers seeking advice because they secretly owed $millions or had done something dastardly that would soon be exposed. I can’t help but feel that the reader was showing off his enviable financial situation.

And then there was the scrumptious looking dessert that Yotam Ottolenghi wrote about in “Every Peach Shines in This Tart,” in the same paper. Had Ottolenghi noticed the price of peaches this summer? I made a nectarine pie for a party I attended earlier this summer as they were not selling for almost $1 each or $4.00+/lb. [They ran $5.00/lb at the farmers markets.]

Because it is a favorite fruit I looked into why they cost so much this summer. Will Jordan explained in southeastagnet.com: “The 2023 peach harvest will look different than usual with an estimated 90% crop loss this spring due two adverse weather factors. The lack of adequate winter chill and the spring freeze growers experienced in mid-March combined to decimate this year’s fruit production.”

In writing the subhead Ottolenghi must have felt a pang about singing peaches’ praises: “Peaches are at the height of summer perfection right now. But even the most mundane stone fruit manages to thrill when wrapped in flaky pastry.”

Have you ever thought: “why did this publication cover this topic?”

11 Responses to “Service of Get Real”

  1. ASK Said:

    Ottolenghi, whose followers can approach cult-like devotion, is somewhat known for using exotic, hard-to-find, and costly spices and foods in his recipes. I also find some of them too complex to bother with. I am not at all surprised he is flogging expensive peaches in this difficult season for the fruit.

    As for the trust-fund baby, I can understand his angst (keeping such a secret must be very, very difficult), but I have to wonder why he did it in the first place: to exert control, fear of his wife’s potential for spending, or maybe guilt at having so much. Unfortunately, if I were the wife, I would be really upset about his keeping such info from me.

  2. Anonymous Said:

    ASK,

    Regarding featuring peaches and costly or hard-to-find spices and delicacies, I suspect there is a snippet of elitism going on.

    The spouse in the trust fund case was a hardworking doctor. I can’t predict how I would have felt about learning of such a secret. I suspect I might have been relieved that it wasn’t the reverse.

    The spouse sure wasn’t curious to know what the partner did during the day.

  3. Martha Takayama Said:

    I constantly wonder and puzzle at the about the decisions and puzzle at the choices newscasters, reporters and magazine writers and editors choose to cover. I also Marvel at the scope or narrowness of the results!

    The most interesting example that personally left me at best disappointed was the apparently shocking information and coverage of a train surfer on the Red Line of Boston’s incredibly malfunctioning MBTA. I immediately sent information about an internationally exhibited and heralded 1988 essay on Train Surfing in Rio de Janeiro, which dealt with multiple political, social, geographic and cultural issues, done by distinguished Brazilian photographer Rogerio Reis. It can be viewed at :Tepper Takayama Fine Arts – Rogerio Reis. Examples are also on Instagram: at Tepper Takayama Fine Arts (@teppertakayamafinearts) • Instagram photos and videos and Rogério Reis (@rogerioreis.fotos): • Instagram photos and videos.

    I got absolutely no response. Yet days later on this morning’s news the same story was covered with the same bewilderment of the occurrence which was not of maximum importance as the day started and without any supplemental information that might make it more relevant. I can only wonder how the powers that be choose and why their vision or worlds are ever increasingly limited

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martha,

    A head-scratcher as to why they re-ran the same story without additional information. How fascinating that you have images and an essay about the same subject in Brazil. I can’t imagine why they didn’t mention this in a follow-up with an image or two crediting your gallery except the editors and reporters are at times inundated with responses and can’t read all of them.

    If there’s a way to post a comment about the story on the website, you should share the information you posted here.

  5. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: Truth is stranger than fiction.

  6. Francine Ryan Said:

    Francinine on Facebook: Even at $.89 each, a homemade peach tart is going to be a whole lot less than a store bought one {$35-$40] and fresh and delicious.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Francine,

    And maybe even a bit bigger but in addition to some $10.00 for ingredients, are you including the home pastry chef’s time at, say $20/hour?

  8. Francine Ryan Said:

    Francine on Facebook: Costco butter, which is sold in your parts, is roughly $12.00 for 4 lbs!

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:

    I’ve never tried Costco butter [and don’t have room for 4 lbs, don’t bake enough even at Xmas, am not a member and can’t see going up to Harlem to buy just a few things] but I’ve found that I get the best results with crusts using Land O Lakes and other commercial brands like Hotel Bar and when I use less expensive brands the results are disappointing. But I take your word for it as you are a good baker and cook.

  10. Lucrezia Said:

    No I don’t. Why question the author of an article? That’s what he/she wants to say. One can always disagree!

  11. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    Folks can write what they want to their heart’s content, but nobody need publish the work if it doesn’t apply to enough of the readers or for some other reason it does not hit the right cord or if it is considered untimely. How many times has a reporter agreed to write about one of my client’s products or events when a boss–the section editor or producer–nixes the idea. They have their reasons.

Leave a Reply