Last Time We Praise the Register

Back in October, we wondered out loud what was happening to the Orange County Register's once-vaunted food section. Today, further bad news: the wine column penned by Register investigative reporter Chris Knap is no more. But in ending his 12-year run, Chris couldn't help but take a swipe at me and be the kind of lockstep groupthink that would've made Old Man Hoiles spin in his grave*.

"My dyspeptic colleagues over at the OC Weekly gave me a backhanded compliment last month in the service of otherwise bashing the Register," Chris begins, and he's already wrong. We're mucho happy over here, Chris--wait, a teddy bear just passed by riding a unicorn! And my compliment to him couldn't have been more straightforward if it caromed off Chris' forehead: when I noted his column last appeared on October 25, I wrote, "A raised glass to hoping he's on vacation, and that the syndicated crap from the San Francisco Chronicle that the Reg published the past couple of Thursdays is just filler." Raised glass, wine column--get it?

He doesn't, because Chris next writes that I claimed his column went kaput on October 25. Although I did write, "Knap's last wine column, by the way, was on October 25," it was followed by the above compliment, which anyone with half an education should know qualified* the last statement to show October 25 was the last time his column appeared, not that it ended on that date.

We can play the semantics game further, but here's what I don't get: why does Chris get so pissy about me criticizing the Reg drawing-and-quartering its food section? He took issue with me "taking a swipe at us for cutting back on various food features and columns," and that's absolutely true. I LIKE the Register's food section, Chris: I don't like your invisible owners whom you freely admit "have their teeth in Freedom Communications' britches" chopping down a once-great paper--and hey, neither do your colleagues.

Chris: Instead of blasting your non-journalist overlords, you'd rather take shots at my critique (note to readers: Chris also made a backhanded compliment toward me, writing my "broad-humored 'Ask a Mexican' belies his erudition in matters of both history and food." Gracias, Chris, but you should've said "Ask a Mexican" is a column**--your readers probably think "Ask a Mexican" is a film starring John Wayne). Tell us and your readers since you didn't in your column: will a local writer replace you, or will the Register food editors just replace you with syndicated crap? More importantly, when will the bloodletting at the Register's food section end? We await your backhanded response...

*I think it qualifies it; maybe quantifies? Don't ask me--I barely received a quarter of a an education when it came to grammar.

**Those who throw stones...

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