Bataligate: Twempest In A Tweet Cup

A quick disclaimer: I don't much care about the morality of sound judgement of comparing bankers/customers/anyone to Hitler or Stalin.

A bunch of online outlets are linkbaiting the crap out of this Bataligate bullshit.   It's lazy, layup blog-o-journalism, taking advantage of the current political climate along with riling up the primary readership of financial trades.

Let's dissect Eater's coverage:
Despite having apologized for comments comparing bankers to Stalin and Hitler, the internet backlash against Mario Batali rages on. Yelpers have been dropping one-star reviews for his New York restaurants; the #BoycottBatali and #BataliGate hashtags on Twitter are blowing up; financial types are trashing his restaurants on Bloomberg terminals; and bankers are bad-mouthing the chef in the Wall Street Journal: "I must have spent more than $5,000 on his stupid black truffles over the years, and now he says I'm Hitler?!"
They reference four sources: Yelp, Twitter, Bloomberg Terminals and the WSJ.  Let's actually look at those sources:

While Yelp ostensibly does not allow reviews that have nothing to do with, you know, actually eating at a restaurant, the ratings for Batali's New York restaurants Babbo and Del Posto have taken a bit of a beating since BataliGate began. Two Yelp users in particular, James P and Steve G, seem to be leaving generically bad reviews on the restaurants, but a (since removed) ad by one Joe D. doesn't mess around with the fakery, calling Batali "idiocy in orange crocs." 
I did a quick check, and Yelp may have deleted reviews, but so far there have been a total of three negative reviews of Del Posto since this came out and a total of six reviews of Babbo.  If you heard "Yelpers have been dropping one-star reviews for his New York restaurants", would you think nine bad reviews, some from the same person?

the #BoycottBatali and #BataliGate hashtags on Twitter are blowing up; ... a select list of tweets
Maybe I got this wrong, but a search of twitter as of earlier today showed a just over a total of 200 tweets combined.  Also, not mentioned in this is that a fair number of said tweets are overall neutral or supportive of Mario Batali.

How do I know?  I scored each tweet.  Yes.  I read all of that shit, and scored it positive, neutral or negative.  You can even check my numbers.

Of the 193 tweets from a total of the 159 users who "blew up" the #boycottbatali and #bataligate hashtags, I could only determine 75 of them to be clearly negative.  53 of them were overwhelmingly positive.  Let's assume the margin of error is 100%.  That would 193 negative tweets.

I bet Bourdain's scrotum had more of a negative response on twitter.

Wall Street Journal

The WSJ got quotes from two bankers reacting negatively to being compared to Hitler or Stalin.   Probably not hard to do.  Their coverage was pretty balanced, but you know, is this really a story?


I don't really have access to the data they reference, and you know, if there is a place where you are going to see the heat on something like this, it will be on Bloomberg terminals.  I totally believe there will be a bunch of negative reviews piling up there.


I am not naive.  The people that were supportive of batali during this twempest are probably no more likely to eat at his restaurants because of what he said.  And people with a negative response are less likely to eat at his restaurant (assuming that they ever were going to go).  I believe this will cost him some business in the short run.

My issue is not about the finance industry or Mario Batali. It is with the total number of articles dedicated to this bullshit.

Whats worse is that I just wrote about it, continuing these shenanigans.


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