User ID:

Remember me
Lost password?

Monday Manifestos
More Questions Than Answers In The News

By Charles Olken

I was hoping that this political cycle was over and that we could return to peace and quiet and wine drinking. No such luck, however. I was rudely shocked out of my naivete by an article that criticized balanced news coverage. It said that journalists had an obligation to speak about “truth”, not in the language of equivalency and “he said, she said” coverage.

OK, I can agree with that to a certain extent. We ought to have a press that does more than report blandly on the news of the day. And, as I was absorbing this not so difficult concept and trying to wrap my head around whether I want everything I read to sound like Fox News and MSNBC, I came across a couple of wine stories that were so bereft of analysis as to sound more like twelfth-grade journalism goes to press release school than truth. And I found myself asking, “What The Heck?” or something like that.

Let’s take the case of this “news”. Here is the opening paragraph—

“, a UK-based online winery, has brought together over 100,000 Angels to provide $3m investment for Tim Olson and Jeff Stai - two independent winemakers in California.”

Now, I happen to be a fan of both these guys, and I want to know what the heck is going on here. These two serious winemakers have seemingly just agreed to make stacks of wine to be sold at knock down prices through Naked Wine. What the article in question has utterly failed to address, and thus what the world is going to demand to know, is whether these folks, who are Olson Ogden and Twisted Oak respectively, have given up their own brands. Will these new wines substitute for theirs? Are their brands being cut back or even abandoned? Not one word about these questions in what purports to be a news report rather than a press release.

I care about those answers; we all do. What’s going on here? These are wine questions, and not political, but they do beg the issue: What The Heck?

The other story that absolutely left me floundering for answers came out of Massachusetts where a piece of legislation that would have opened up the State for wineshipping was abandoned by its author. Not one word of probing analysis as to why this overdo action in Massachusetts has once again been driven off the rails.

This too is a wine questions and, like the Naked Wine issue, will get explained at some point. It is too bad that the reporting left us hanging even for a little bit. The Massachusetts problem will get resolved in the right way sooner or later. The world is opening up for wine consumers in a movement whose success is inevitable because the consumers want it so. On the other hand, in the short term, I want to know what is to become of Jeff Stai and Tim Olson and their labels. Hopefully, what has happened is a just a side deal, a step on the road to cash flow. I want to know; we all do.


The CGCW Experience - Take the Tour

Meet the New CGCW

For thirty-five years, Connoisseurs’ Guide has been the authoritative voice of the California wine consumer. With readers in all fifty states and twenty foreign countries, the Guide is valued by wine lovers everywhere for its honesty and for it strong adherence to the principles of transparency, unbiased, hard-hitting opinions. Now, it is becoming the California winelover’s most powerful online voice as well. And, our new features provide an unmatched array of advice and information for aficionados of every stripe.


No Subject
by Thomas Pellechia
Posted on:12/10/2012 12:32:46 PM


Since newspapers and other periodicals don't want to pay for good reporting/writing, quite often all you get is a regurgitated press release, which is what both these "articles" probably are.

In any case, on your desire for "truth" in reporting: what exactly is truth?

The aim of reporting (even investigative reporting) is not to put forward the truth. It's to put forward what happened. Just sit on a jury and you'll clearly see how difiicult it is to find truth.

Leave a comment below, but please limit your comments to 1,200 characters or less. We find it helpful to make a copy of our comments to be sure that they fit. In that way, you can edit them if they run long.

(Please note: your e-mail address will not be visible after posting)



Note: Refresh your browser to see your latest comments.

Having technical problems with the comment system? Click here.