Thursday, July 20, 2006

Orchids and Onions: A.C. Douglas

I couldn't think of a better way to integrate this new feature (which will join Kulturpunkt and Foodscene) with a snappy title, so I just used the title every small-town newspaper uses.

Major orchids to A.C. Douglas of Sounds and Fury. In a post on the O.C. Register blog, Timothy Mangan reveals a disquieting "Payola"-esque situation at Fanfare Magazine.

I am going to reprint his second comment, a response to Joel Flegler's (the Fanfare editor) weak-kneed response to this just criticism:

That's an, um, interesting defense (or, rather, rationalization) of your magazine's CD review policy, Mr. Flegler. What undercuts that defense, however, is that nowhere in your magazine is that CD review policy made public. Would that you were as honest and straightforward with your magazine's subscribers as you apparently are with those seeking reviews of their CDs.

Here is a link to Mr. Douglas' post on his own blog. My take on the matter is this: such silly, venal policies that - at best - promise reviewing priority for advertising labels ensure that serious musicians without lucrative major contracts will remain in the shadows. It also ensures that there will always be doubt about the judgment of the reviewer and his review. This is a fine way to absolutely wreck an important part of the classical music world.

This is just the sort of thing that more of us need to do, that the classical press understand that their cozy spots next to the major labels is both unacceptable and silly.


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