I try not to repost too much from other beer blogs, but this is something I think deserves repeating. Jay Brooks gives the Today Show a solid, and well-deserved, trouncing for their segment "Best Microbrews For Fall." I've ranted in the past about poor drinking habits, or beer abuse, and the damage it does to the public's perception of beer and beer drinkers. This segment only serves to illustrate the point. Besides watching the hosts wrinkle their noses after nearly every sip, the most horrific point comes when one of the hosts drinks beer out of a construction hard hat fitted with bottle holders and tubes from which to drink. Just how clueless can they get? The Today Show goes from talking about "artisan production" to falling back to the same old alcohol abuse image the craft beer industry has been trying to overcome. That bit alone is enough to discredit the piece as any sort of serious beer journalism. Watch the segment below and judge for yourself.
Maybe Today should have added beer pong to the mix. I've often remarked how I enjoy seeing craft beer covered in the mainstream media. However, this piece is not showing advocacy of craft beer at all. (Granted, they never actually used the term "craft beer".) While I hardly consider the Today show to be a source of serious journalism, in this case viewers were seriously misled. A commenter on Jay's blog says "From our perspective, it’s better to have 5 million people exposed to beer as a topic, even though we might have changed the content of the segment had we had the opportunity to do so." I disagree, what good does it do to have 5 million viewers being misinformed about craft beer?
In fairness, the Today Show did do a respectable segment back in June with Marne Old and Sam Calagiane, but they took a step back with the latest piece.
Jay's analysis is here.
The Today Show segment is here.