Should Critics Wear Microphones?

No, that is not a microphone on my lapel.
No, that is not a microphone on my lapel. Photo: Striatic/Flickr

There are a few basic rules for restaurant critics that we all kind of agree on: You shouldn’t announce that you’re a critic when you arrive, and you shouldn’t accept free food. But, can we add wearing a microphone on your lapel to the list? During Chuck Cohen’s profile of San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Michael Bauer, the author admits that he once dined with a former Chicago Magazine critic who did just that: “Every few minutes he would lean over to talk to his lapel. It was like being in a Saturday Night Live sketch.” At least it was a former critic. That said, we found out that this practice is more widespread than we first thought.

A source in Philadelphia — anonymous, of course — related that a certain prominent critic reportedly “rigs up a tape recorder/microphone on his arm, and often talks into his sleeve when on assignment.” Perhaps microphones are needed to help critics remember the many details of a long dinner. Still, there has to be a more discreet way of getting this done, right?

Now that we’ve opened the subject, does anyone else have a rule they’d like to add to the list?

Food critic undercover in San Francisco [Christian Science Monitor]


Should Critics Wear Microphones?