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12/06/2011

The Wine Advocate's Robert M. Parker, Jr. Did He Not Begin as a Paper "Blogger," in the Days Before the Internet

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“It has been said often enough that anyone with a pen, notebook, and a few bottles of wine can become a wine critic. And that is exactly the way I started when, in late summer 1978, I sent out a complimentary issue of what was then called the Baltimore/Washington Wine Advocate.” -- From THE ROLE OF ROBERT M. PARKER, JR. and OUR WINE CRITIC ETHICS and STANDARDS on erobertparker.com   
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Robert Parker in La Rioja for Pancho Campo's Controversial WineFutures-Rioja Conference 2009. Photo: Larioja.com

Is "blogger" a pejorative term? Parker and Pancho Campo seem to think so. Was not Parker, starting The Wine Advocate, before the advent of the internet, in fact a paper blogger?Isn't Parker a "newsletterist" and indeed a blogger himself.

From Robert Parker's statement about the possibility of lawsuits against "these bloggers" threat posted on erobertparker.com and copied on several websites.

"This blogger posted about Miller/Campo charging for tasting Spanish wines or for visiting Spanish wineries a while ago.We launched an investigation at that time despite the fact that both Miller/Campo denied all the allegations. We found no substance or truth to any of the allegations. Now he has brought similar charges. This time we have requested our lawyers to fully examine every allegation again, and they have also retained an additional lawyer, from Madrid, to study the allegations, and if again false, consider legal action. Jay chooses and controls 100% of the wines he tastes and wineries he visits.

He uses the Spanish Wine Academy (Pancho Campo is their President) to assist in organization. We would never permit a winery to pay us for the privilege of tasting their wine or visiting the winery. Moreover, Campo also understands his organization cannot charge wineries for Miller's visits. Both of them have full knowledge that is an appalling conflict of interest that would not be tolerated under any circumstance.* There have been trade conferences organized by the Spanish Wine Academy that Jay has been paid a fee of $10,000 (which seems reasonable) and far less than the amounts reported by this blogger.

I have been asked by our USA lawyers to refrain from commenting about this given the potential lawsuits by Jay, by Pancho, and possibly by TWA against these bloggers. Until we are 100% certain of all the facts, I think this subject, which appears to be a reckless and malicious disregard for the truth and clearly aimed at damaging Miller, Campo, and TWA, needs to be closed."- - Posted by Robert M. Parker, Jr. on eRobertParker.com on December 1 and copied on several forums.

(“It has been said often enough that anyone with a pen, notebook, and a few bottles of wine can become a wine critic. And that is exactly the way I started when, in late summer 1978, I sent out a complimentary issue of what was then called the Baltimore/Washington Wine Advocate.” -- From THE ROLE OF ROBERT M. PARKER, JR. and OUR WINE CRITIC ETHICS and STANDARDS on erobertparker.com)
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