Watching Beirut Die

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Watching Beirut Die

Postby Jenise » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:26 pm

The celeb chef Anthony Bourdain who eats his way around the world on the Travel Channel program No Reservations was filming in Beirut when the bombing started. His account of those few days before he and his crew were evacuated on an American naval ship is quite powerful.

Here's a link to an article detailing that on Salon.com: http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2006/07/28/bourdain_beirut/index_np.html

Also, apparently the Travel Channel got enough footage to make a show out of though of course it's not the show they intended. That will air on August 21st.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:20 pm

This glib and silly piece has not increased my already-microscopic respect for Bourdain.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby ChefCarey » Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:39 am

Stuart Yaniger wrote:This glib and silly piece has not increased my already-microscopic respect for Bourdain.


I find him a refreshing change from all the rubber-stamped, PG-rated, squeaky clean corporate entities hawked by the Food Network.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:51 am

That's setting the bar awfully low.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Chris » Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:07 pm

Bourdain's "No Reservations" show is not on The Food Network - it's on the Travel Channel, just FYI.

I agree, though, that a little of him can sometimes go a long way.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:13 pm

Stuart Yaniger wrote:That's setting the bar awfully low.


Yeah, but imagine what the piece would be like had it been Rachel Ray doing the "$40/day" thing in Beirut. A case study in how to maintain maximum perkiness in a war zone....


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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Jenise » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:27 pm

ChefCarey wrote:
Stuart Yaniger wrote:This glib and silly piece has not increased my already-microscopic respect for Bourdain.


I find him a refreshing change from all the rubber-stamped, PG-rated, squeaky clean corporate entities hawked by the Food Network.


Chef, I'm with you. I like him. Now, I wouldn't want to be married to him, but he's interesting from a distance. And people I know who know him say that what you see on the program, that's the real Tony. He's not one person in real life and someone else on camera like most people on TV.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:55 pm

Mike Filigenzi (Sacto) wrote:
Yeah, but imagine what the piece would be like had it been Rachel Ray doing the "$40/day" thing in Beirut. A case study in how to maintain maximum perkiness in a war zone....



"I ordered the hummous. That was SOOOO yummy and only $3! They dressed it with EVOO..." interrupted by two gunmen storming in and dragging her off screaming for her life. Shots ring out off camera and the screaming stops. Ululation and victory chanting.

That would be so sweet.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Barb Freda » Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:41 pm

Agreed, Stuart...
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Sam Platt » Sat Aug 12, 2006 12:47 am

Any television show host who is not Nancy Grace is okay in my book.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby ChefCarey » Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:41 am

Chris wrote:Bourdain's "No Reservations" show is not on The Food Network - it's on the Travel Channel, just FYI.



Non sequitur. There was no indication, implied or otherwise, that Bourdain is on The Food Network. Merely an analogy (with the emphasis on the "anal" for The Food Network.)
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby ChefCarey » Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:44 am

Sam Platt wrote:Any television show host who is not Nancy Grace is okay in my book.


I'd rather have her on television where one can turn her off than in my kitchen where she might do some real damage.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby ChefCarey » Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:45 am

Stuart Yaniger wrote:That's setting the bar awfully low.


I've set foot in some pretty low bars in my life, it's true.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Lou Kessler » Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:20 pm

ChefCarey wrote:
Stuart Yaniger wrote:This glib and silly piece has not increased my already-microscopic respect for Bourdain.


I find him a refreshing change from all the rubber-stamped, PG-rated, squeaky clean corporate entities hawked by the Food Network.


I feel the same way. He's not boring, which is more than you can say for most of the people doing food shows.
Like somebody else said on this thread about Boudain what you see is what you get.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Paul Winalski » Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:19 am

Given the sorry events currently taking place in Lebanon, I'm thoroughly revoled and disgusted that a member of the foodia media would take advantage of this situation to earn a few bucks.

This is vulture journalism at its very worst.

In a just world, this idiot would be blown up by a bomb from either side (Hesbollah or Israel, take your choice--a pox on both their houses!).

If anyone deserves to be a victim of this conflict, it's cretins like this one.

BAH!!!!

-Paul W.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Carl K » Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:28 am

Paul Winalski wrote:This is vulture journalism at its very worst.


-Paul W.


In many ways I agree with you. However, looking at it from a strictly business point of view, an organization such as The Travel Channel would need to do something to recover the funds spent on sending their crew to Beriut (assuming that they were the ones to foot the bill) and an article like this would allow them to recover at least some of those funds.

Still, that doesn't make it an easier read.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby ChefCarey » Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:05 am

Paul Winalski wrote:Given the sorry events currently taking place in Lebanon, I'm thoroughly revoled and disgusted that a member of the foodia media would take advantage of this situation to earn a few bucks.

This is vulture journalism at its very worst.

In a just world, this idiot would be blown up by a bomb from either side (Hesbollah or Israel, take your choice--a pox on both their houses!).

If anyone deserves to be a victim of this conflict, it's cretins like this one.

BAH!!!!

-Paul W.


I think you're a bit harsh here. I speak as one who worked for a year as a journalist/photographer in a combat situation - Vietnam. How is it that you can be more critical of him than I?
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Jenise » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:26 am

Paul Winalski wrote:Given the sorry events currently taking place in Lebanon, I'm thoroughly revolted and disgusted that a member of the foodia media would take advantage of this situation to earn a few bucks.

This is vulture journalism at its very worst.


Wow, strong words. I don't see it like that at all, Paul. Rather an opportunity to see some actual footage of some wonderful locations that may well have been obliterated by now but which deserve to be remembered and celebrated.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:01 am

Jenise wrote:Wow, strong words. I don't see it like that at all, Paul. Rather an opportunity to see some actual footage of some wonderful locations that may well have been obliterated by now but which deserve to be remembered and celebrated.


I'm glad you said that. I was going to respond with a flame earlier but decided to hold back ... ;)

Having spent a good part of my life as a vulture, I was trying to see the problem here. "Vulture journalism" surrounded the death of Princess Di, maybe ... but here? I have no problem with Bourdain's personal take on a tragic situation that needs to be covered, and not just with one-sided war-as-video game coverage from the major networks.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Jenise » Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:02 pm

We're on the same page, Robin. I lived in the Middle East and loved living there. But such were the events at the time that I wasn't able to travel in Lebanon and it has been a bit of unfinished business that I get back there. I have been absolutely sickened watching the war-as-video-game, as you put it so well, because of the huge heavy civillian death toll and the millions of people who are now homeless as a result of the bombing. But also, selfishly, a little for me, because the Beirut I wanted to go was being destroyed. Bourdain is one of the few eye witnesses to the Beirut-ness I wanted to savor and the reason I may never do so.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:27 pm

Jenise wrote:We're on the same page, Robin. I lived in the Middle East and loved living there. But such were the events at the time that I wasn't able to travel in Lebanon and it has been a bit of unfinished business that I get back there. I have been absolutely sickened watching the war-as-video-game, as you put it so well, because of the huge heavy civillian death toll and the millions of people who are now homeless as a result of the bombing. But also, selfishly, a little for me, because the Beirut I wanted to go was being destroyed. Bourdain is one of the few eye witnesses to the Beirut-ness I wanted to savor and the reason I may never do so.


The other positive aspect I see to Bourdain's coverage is that there will be at least some portrayal of Beirut really as having been headed in a positive direction prior to the latest violence. For a lot of Americans, I think "Beirut" is synonymous with "war zone" and has been for the last thirty years or so. If this show demonstrates that Lebanon really has the potential to be something other than either a battlefield or a terrorist haven, it should open at least a few eyes. I am no expert on the situation there, but it would seem like a good thing for our country to provide help in rebuilding the infrastructure in southern Lebanon once this is all over so that Hezbollah doesn't come off as the only group sympathetic to the civilians there. If more Americans see Lebanon as a place of hope for the Middle East, we might be more willing to help. (Or maybe I'm just wildly naive.)

Mike

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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Jenise » Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:15 pm

For a lot of Americans, I think "Beirut" is synonymous with "war zone" and has been for the last thirty years or so.


That's absolutely the case. But even among Lebanese, it's so. I spoke to a Lebanese woman this past weekend--although Lebanon is, in her words, smaller than the County we live in, and she lived there until '97 when she would have, I am guessing, been about 30 years old, because of the occupation she herself had never been to southern Lebanon or Tyre where an uncle lives.

And I think you're so right about helping the people of southern Lebanon, to not do so is leave them with only Hezbollah to be grateful to. And we know where that will lead.
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Paul Winalski » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:07 am

Jenise wrote:Wow, strong words. I don't see it like that at all, Paul. Rather an opportunity to see some actual footage of some wonderful locations that may well have been obliterated by now but which deserve to be remembered and celebrated.


On second, third, and fourth thought, I take back what I said. I got caught up in my grief that Beirut and Lebanon have again been caught up in the Middle East conflict, just when it was looking like things were going really well for them. In my worked-up state, I took potshots at a messenger. I apologize for that. Jenise, I think you have the right take on the situation.

Sorry about that, chief!

-Paul W. :oops:
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Re: Watching Beirut Die

Postby Jenise » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:40 am

Paul, that's cool. Thanks.
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