Reviewing the review: David Burton’s goose is cooked

by The Masked Barfly on April 28, 2014

Wellington has one daily newspaper, and that newspaper has one restaurant critic, who certainly has his own… distinctive style. The Fly has decided that David Burton needs some accountability. We’re giving him his own series.

Normally the Fly is prepared to see David Burton’s reviews as some kind of strange performance art, but his “review” of Goose Shack is a whole ‘nother matter. In fact, it’s a such horrible piece of classist bullshit, so the Fly can’t even use the regular rating system. Behold this opening passage:

“To every pair of hip, comfortably off breeders in their thirties, Berhampore must seem quite the burb du jour.

The Victorian-Edwardian-bungaloid housing stock is equally as charming as adjacent Island Bay’s, but not yet as expensive; and you can still sneak your kids into decile 10 Island Bay School.

Most of the suburb enjoys the same sunny, west-facing aspect as adjacent Newtown, only there are none of Newtown’s towering high-rise council flats (whose tenants I believe repeatedly burgled my old house in Daniell St).”

Let’s remember that this is in theory about a place you could go to dine at. Yet Burton has decided instead to perpetuate the stereotype that people in council flats are criminals. To what end? Well it’s enhancing his edge, isn’t it? He used to live in a rough area. David Burton is so daring! Now, my editrix Joanna would have me add that when she was also burgled in Newtown, it was in fact the police who told her it was likely to have been people from council housing – which isn’t a particularly useful thing to say, but the Fly is still not going to excuse Burton here for this pile of shit. And as a Fly, I normally thrive in shit!

There is a total of one paragraph about the food in this piece. Just one.  The editors of the Dominion Post should be ashamed that they allowed it to be published.

PS: Island Bay School is zoned, so if you’re buying in Berhampore just to get your kids into it, you’re probably shit out of luck.

Island Bay School Zone - not including Berhampore Island Bay School Zone – not including Berhampore
Maximus May 1, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Burton writes about food? Really? I thought it was just random thoughts in a situationalist comedy. Or Aaron Gilmore in disguise : “don’t you know who I am?”

Florence of Arabia October 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Exactly, Maximus! Burton is an out of touch dinosaur. Time for him to hang up his biro. If he could take that cliquey rag Cuisine with him on his way out that would be fantastic.

David Burton August 16, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Come on “Masked Barfly,” you sniveling, yellow-bellied coward. Step into the ring and tell us your real name. At least I don’t hide behind a pseudonym (gosh, that’s another big word – would you like to borrow my dictionary?).
Nobody enjoys being systematically defamed and libeled like this, but really I don’t give a shit what you think about me, given your Greet ‘n Eat blog reveals you as just another jealous blogger who wants my job. What I DO value are the opinions of my peers in the journalism industry, who have given me 28 food writing awards to date, and last Monday nominated me for the Magazine Publisher’s Association’s Food Writer of the Year, 2015.

riched August 17, 2015 at 4:22 pm

I am guessing that those 28 food writing awards were for fiction?

You may have been a good food reviewer in the past, but the time for you to have retired gracefully was probably four years ago.

Your review’s now seem to centre on your self importance. I am not sure how you get away with the fact that each week a 1/4 of your review is on the food and the rest about you or the colour of the wallpaper?

Do us a favour and jog on! Perhaps it’s time give a hipster reviewer a chance?

P.S. We hate that you call us waitrons, its demeaning and lacks respect. We do not call you out for being a drunk lush now do we?

Ansel August 19, 2015 at 5:42 pm

ss9 – 11 of the Defamation Act provide a pretty substantive defence. If this is a genuinely held opinion, then it’s just tough. (that goes both ways)*

Also, defamation and libel are a bee-arch to prove and need to have pretty solid evidence of an intent to defame; a genuinely held opinion is just that: an opinion.

Not a fan of Mr B, but not going to get into this fight. (no gloves and not in the mood to clean up bio-hazard), so let’s smooth down our ruffled feathers and just agree to disagree, maybe…

*not a lawyer, but remember this from when I did study law.

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