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#1 Jack Griffin

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 08:37 PM

I was approached today by an editor of a swanky NY magazine, to write an article about absinthe.  They did a story featuring my guitars last year, and the writer saw my Pernod Fils chromo on the wall, and asked about absinthe... I obliged, and we spoke for quite a while, and had a glass together.  It seems he spoke to the editor, and they decided an article would be a great idea, and the writer mentioned I have done some feature writing from time to time, as we shared some stories.  So, they asked me.

 

I suggested a brief intro on absinthe, a short bit about it's banning, the mythology, how it is real, and legal, and being produced here in the USA.  I then suggested featuring three craft producers, Gwydion, Cheryl, and Joe and Jules.  They loved the idea,

and asked me to send out feelers.  How cool is that?

 

They called me back, three hours later, after I had left messages with all three.  "My boss decided that he only wants 250 words, and then a few photos. He put the kabash on a larger story."  I explained that I was not interested in doing this, as something so short would not be something I could be proud of, nor would it communicate the points I wanted to share.  I felt it would not do justice to the topic, and would be merely "fluff."

He understood, and went as far as to agree.  I was then asked for Cheryl's number, so they could do it without me, if I was OK with that.  I obliged, as I want to support her, despite not being involved.

 

Hopefully, something good will come from it.  If it happens, I'll share it here.  I simply didn't want to have anything to do with something that would have so little info, as it would not have done what I wanted it to do; to dive in and show the dedication and passion of the distillers, the history, the story, and to make people want to experience absinthe. 

 

 

For perspective, what I typed above, is longer than the article they wanted.  Let's hope they do something nice.


Edited by Scott M., 06 January 2014 - 08:39 PM.


#2 Joe Legate

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 08:46 PM

Hilarious.  Don't take life too serious.  None of us will get out alive.

Thanks for the thoughts and the good attempts, Scott. :cheers:



#3 Georges Meliès

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 10:19 PM

250 words is indeed a joke. What a shame they didn't take this more seriously. I hope that after some more discussion they wake up and realize there's an interesting story here, worthy of a serious aritcle.


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#4 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 10:38 PM

Sorry to hear this didn't materialize, Scott.  I agree, 250 words isn't an article, it's a blurb.


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#5 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 01:51 AM

If I recall correctly, the position statement we just released on the Swiss IGP ended up in the 760 range for word count only after Gwydion did some serious liposuction on it... and that on just one facet of the modern absinthe story.

 

 

I wonder if these guys would try to cover a house with one gallon of paint.


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#6 Jack Griffin

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 06:08 AM

The irritating part is, they called me and asked me to do it, saying they needed it by Thursday, so I went into scramble mode. They then changed their minds about the nature of the story the same day.  No biggie, but the 30 cents per word would have bought me a tank of gas, even at 250 words.  I'm happy to see the fine tradition of being paid by the word has survived since the days of Dickens; why do you think he used so many words?

 

Who knows, it may lead to something nicer in the future.  I just wanted to see a shot of Gwydion at the tiki bar in a white hat holding a glass of Marteau.  Explaining that in itself, however, also requires more than 250 words.


Edited by Scott M., 07 January 2014 - 06:09 AM.


#7 JosephLabrecque

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 06:54 AM

Ah... publishers... minds like carousels. 



#8 Brian Robinson

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:56 AM

The irritating part is, they called me and asked me to do it, saying they needed it by Thursday, so I went into scramble mode.

 

I get those types of requests about twice a week.  It seems like all of these journalists either wait until the last minute to do everything, or they put a false sense of urgency to try to get people to act fast.

 
And the kicker is that probably 50% of the time, they never call or email back once I say that I'm happy to help.  Flighty to say the least.

 

I remember on two separate occasions (one CNN and one a local Fox affiliate) expected me to drop my workload and drive downtown for a television piece with about a two hour notice.  While I obliged since I didn't have meetings scheduled those days, it was still amazing to me their level of entitlement.


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#9 Dollburger

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:11 PM


The irritating part is, they called me and asked me to do it, saying they needed it by Thursday, so I went into scramble mode.

 
I get those types of requests about twice a week.  It seems like all of these journalists either wait until the last minute to do everything, or they put a false sense of urgency to try to get people to act fast.
 
And the kicker is that probably 50% of the time, they never call or email back once I say that I'm happy to help.  Flighty to say the least.
 
I remember on two separate occasions (one CNN and one a local Fox affiliate) expected me to drop my workload and drive downtown for a television piece with about a two hour notice.  While I obliged since I didn't have meetings scheduled those days, it was still amazing to me their level of entitlement.
My job has me working with print and tv media a decent amount and I'd say this sounds like par for the course. When I was new I usually jumped to their whims, but now I've learned to dig deeper into their actual deadlines. I'll go out of my way if I think the story is indeed urgent, otherwise they need to bend to my schedule.

Edit: words...

Edited by Dollburger, 10 January 2014 - 02:12 PM.


#10 Jack Griffin

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:44 PM

So, here's the "article."  This is the online version, but it's also in print. It's barely a blurb, yet not as bad as it could've been.  Those of you who've been interviewed know, it's a coin toss as to whether you will be quoted, paraphrased, or just plain mis-quoted, as is the case here.  During my 3 minute conversation, I suggested that "sharing absinthe with friends is the best way, and my favorite way, to enjoy it."  I said nothing about a "leisurely approach is vital to consumption."

Those words never left my lips.  Hell, I don't even know WTF that means!  

 

Nonetheless, I'm glad Cheryl got highlighted, and WS was mentioned. Those were the things I stressed the most to the editor.  Hopefully, it will stir up curiosity for some folks.

 

http://www.lipulse.c...-luxe-list-2014


Edited by Scott M., 29 January 2014 - 01:52 PM.


#11 Dollburger

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:36 PM

Thanks for the link! It is better than it could have been.

I'd like to see a poll showing how often people are misquoted in interviews, makes me very skeptical of our media quality in general.

#12 Georges Meliès

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:23 PM

Overall pretty well-done, even if you were misquoted. It certainly could have been much worse.

 

I've had two fairly high-profile careers which have led me to be interviewed more times than I could count for written articles, radio, and TV. I learned to accept that being misquoted is almost always a given, and that inevitably in TV interviews they end up picking the lamest 10 seconds of comments out of an hour or more of filming. So yes, being skeptical of media is wise. It's the rare journalist who gets it exactly right.


"A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world. What difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset?" -- (attributed to Oscar Wilde)


#13 Songcatcher

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:53 PM

suggesting that newcomers enjoy the drink in the company of friends. - 

 

So they can keep an eye on ya,... and make sure you don't go off on some murderous rampage while you're "on the absinthe."  

 

:drunk: :reaper:  :nono:   


The room it smelled heavy of drinkin',  

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#14 Jack Griffin

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:22 PM

You know, SC, you're right!  I hadn't thought of the wording he chose when he paraphrased me, and then used quotation marks so irresponsibly.  There is a 

message there, if one choses to interpret it this way!  There is one rule in journalism that is sacred; if you use quotes, be damned certain you're doing so accurately.

The part that really ticked me off, is I was simply referring him to Cheryl, when he asked a couple questions about absinthe, and I spoke briefly to answer him.  He NEVER told me I was being interviewed for this piece, in fact, the call was regarding my turning down the gig to write it.  It was during this brief call that I mentioned the WS, sharing with friends, etc... I even invited him to a tasting get-together I was having that week.  He said "I'll think about it and let you know."

 

At the end of the call, I asked "were you asking these questions because you're personally interested?"  He replied "No, we want to use your quotes. We might superimpose one over the photo of her absinthe."  I then asked "shouldn't you have prefaced our conversation with that fact?"  I then asked to see what he wrote before it went to print, and was told "no, we don't do that."  It was the most unprofessional encounter with a magazine, that I've ever had. Of course I knew they'd not allow me to see it first, but it was my way of letting him know he'd breached proper protocol.


Edited by Scott M., 29 January 2014 - 07:26 PM.


#15 Georges Meliès

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:07 PM

Sorry if I'm hijacking thread this but that reminds me of an interview I had with a local jounalist who came to my house to do a story on one of my collections. I made it abundantly, specifically clear that I would NOT discuss values. Aside from being irrelevant (IMHO), I have security concerns. When the article appeared they quoted other, distant collectors with their speculation on values of some rare items I have. I went ballistic. I had a lengthy email exchange with the editor. He had chosen to 'research' that because he felt readers would want to know. I reiterated my original insistance that it not be discussed, as a condition for my participation. I also pointed out very valid concerns about my security being compromised. He finally saw the light and apologized, but the barn door was open....

 

I had a similar experience with a TV producer. She was very nice and did an exceptionally good job overall, and respected my wishes. But the idiot 'anchors' who introduced and closed the piece added their own comments about my "sitting on a fortune". I went nuts. I am now even more insistant on the details before I'll even talk to a journalist.


Edited by Georges Meliès, 29 January 2014 - 08:07 PM.

"A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world. What difference is there between a glass of absinthe and a sunset?" -- (attributed to Oscar Wilde)


#16 Jack Griffin

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:46 PM

Yup. These days the bar has been seriously lowered when it comes to writing. Do you have a blog? Then you're a writer! Do you know how to use a semicolon?  Who cares?

There are exceptions; I know some honorable writers, who work hard at their craft. Most magazines however, are ad-driven, and the articles reflect this. The sad part is that as the bar is lowered, it is not raised back up, ever. Young people stepping in, only know what they do based on the current model. Damn... I sound like some old guy. "When I was a keed, I walked 6 miles to school...you had shoes? We had to wear old boxes on our feet, and we LIKED it!"   :wheelchair:




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