News Flash: Old Media is dying. Newspapers are collapsing more than frequently than (insert celebrity with eating disorder/drug problem joke). Online content is taking over as our main news source faster than (insert celebrity cocaine joke). They’re slow, unwieldy, and bound by the silly formats and stodgy ideals of yesteryear like (insert Rush Limbaugh joke). Nowhere is this more apparent than in my own beloved local paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I don’t know if it’s because we’re in The South, but the AJC has always been S-L-O-W to cover anything that’s not happening within 10 feet of their office. I’ve seen business news I read 4-5 days earlier online putter through the now-defunct Business section long after relevance. Just this weekend, they had a story on the new Pepsi and Mountain Dew “throwback” sodas using real sugar…2-3 WEEKS after the news broke online and everyone talked about it and it was over. I mean, I understand fact-checking might take time or whatever, but seriously, that’s as fast as the cogs in the AJC machine can turn? This post you’re reading is based on a Twitter conversation I had 24 hours ago, and I feel like I’m late to the party for not posting until now. How you feeling, Grandpa AJC?
The sad thing is that the online version of the AJC is just as slow and behind the times as the print version is*. It was really no surprise when just yesterday they decided to cover the story that people are drinking more whiskey these days. O RLY!?! By “these days” I mean the past 2 years, of course. Anybody who has even remotely been paying attention to the world of booze knows that bourbon and rye and their delicious whiskey-brethren have been increasing in popularity for some time now. The AJC goes so far as to include all “brown liquor” so they can mention Zacapa 23-year rum in one sentence, but ok, whatever. Journalism.
So, with all that time to write the article, you’d figure they’d get everything totally accurate, right? OF COURSE NOT. First, when talking to someone at Craft’s new incredible bar that everyone is talking about, do they talk to Bombay Sapphire award-winning bartender and mixologist-on-staff Stephanie Ruhe? Naaaahh…instead they talk to general manager Leo Barrera, who DOES give a good answer to their question, but…c’mon guys. Ruhe is one of maybe 2 or 3 well-known mixologists in Atlanta and she WORKS THERE, you couldn’t ask her instead?
Then the kicker. They talk about that venerable cocktail we all know and love, the Old Fashioned. While it’s been beaten to death over and over on the interwebs in widely publicized debate, and we all know the Clear Winner is NO MUDDLED FRUIT** in the drink because that’s how it was made Oh So Long Ago (and also, who wants orange pulp in their cocktail? Gross), what recipe do they attach to the article? The “Classic Old Fashioned”, muddled garbage and all, copyright 2005. THAT’S NOT CLASSIC, THAT’S WILLFUL STUPIDITY. 2005? CLASSIC!?! That’s a mistake an unpaid intern should have figured out.
Look, I love the daily paper, even though I know it’s slowly dying out and even though it’s doing the exact opposite of what it should be doing to survive at every possible turn (The Wire was right!), I still read it most days. I have a heart, ya’ll. I truly enjoy sitting down with the paper every day while I eat/shit something. Sure, I could read the daily news on some electronic whatsamahumpy instead, but there’s something viscerally satisfying about taking a few minutes to sit down, flip through the paper, and slow life down for a little bit. I just wish the news they printed wasn’t so slowed down and poorly researched.
*The AJC seriously has The Worst online newspaper I’ve ever seen. Navigation nightmare. Day-late content. Infuriation central. Some brands could lose their print versions and still be successful online. The AJC is not one of them. Also, FIRE SONIA MURRAY. She’s horrible and knows nothing about music. Just sayin’.
**I side with uber-mixolgist David Wondrich on this one, who is quoted as saying (in regards to muddled fruit being added to the Old Fashioned): that it is “an example of the indignities that so many American cocktails had visited upon them under Prohibition. Anything to hide the taste of the liquor. A special no-no is the common practice of muddling the fruit with the sugar before pouring in the hooch. This turns a noble drink into a sickly, sweet, gooey mess.” A-FRIGGING-MEN SIR.