And I guess I have to wade into the melted butter even though my biggest fan (not in the Loudon sense) has defended himself well, and one of the best food bloggers out there crafted a verbal-Astaire response as well. I’ll just say what I did all those years ago when a guy whose strongest credential was having eaten at the McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps was first anointed to pass judgment on an art form that probably means more to the city’s bottom line than even theater: WTF were the bosses thinking? Eric Alterman had a good warning that the worst Chimp enabler ever should “stay the heck away from politics,” but letting him back anywhere near food has just been proven equally embarrassing. What the AA is selling is not cuisine for the noble heartlanders. It’s processed crap, tarted up. (Whored down?) I got an email within hours from a friend in Philadelphia who is not even in the food world saying he spotted at least four egregious overstatements, and of course anyone sentient is still waiting for the correction on whether Les Halles is a very busy bestselling writer/television star’s restaurant 10 years on. Mostly, though, the drivel illustrated how far removed your average op-ed writer is from the red states they all claim to celebrate. The rubes aren’t rubes eating from Applebee’s salad bars. They must understand Liberace is not Fannie Farmer.