Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Frank Bruni and Anne Rice on Paula Deen

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 6:44 AM


Be sure to check out New York Times columnist Frank Bruni's column about the Paula Deen flap yesterday. Bruni's words doubtlessly have extra weight since he is the paper's former dining critic. Example of his estimation of Paula:

There's a dearth of reflection, a deficit of introspection, and that's not just a generational thing and not just a regional thing, as some of her fans and other observers have begun to assert, unprepared to surrender their image of Paula the Southern Eccentric to the reality of Paula the Deep-Fried Boor.

Meanwhile, Fox News scanned vampire writer Anne Rice's Facebook page. Samples:

"What's happening with Paula Dean? Is it fair? I never heard of her until today, and wow, this looks like a crucifixion," Rice wrote on Friday on her Facebook page. "I may be wrong but aren't we becoming something of a lynch mob culture? Is this a good example of that?"...

"Why does this country still hate the American South so much? You think there isn't deep hateful racism in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles? I can tell you, that you are wrong. It's easy to hate Southerners, isn't it?"

I don't know, Anne. The Supreme Court just shot down the Voting Rights Act. That seems pretty loving. Do white people like you and Paula ever realize black people hear your dumb comments? Or do you think it doesn't matter if they do?

UPDATE: The Internets have gone berserk over Bruni's column, many calling him a hypocrite for his defense of Paula against the "unsavory cultural elitism" of Anthony Bourdain in 2011. Eater has the story. But Slate's L.V. Anderson wrote a reluctant defense of Bruni against the charge of hypocrisy, while complaining about his psychoanalyzing and "florid" language. (Y'all might want to check out former CL dining critic Besha Rodell's take on the scandal in LA Weekly.)

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