Tuesday, December 18
The Times claims that Food Network passed on Mario's new public television show, which is a food tour of Spain with Gwenyth Paltrow and other guests. (And sounds delicious, btw. I'm not a major public television watcher, but I love food from the different regions of Spain.)
The exact quote is: "Mr. Tuschman of the Food Network said it had passed on that series. 'It was not the right fit for us.'”
Now, saying something was not the right fit doesn't necessarily equate "we were offered the show and didn't choose to buy and run it"-- it could simply mean the concept in general was something that he and other FN execs felt would not be a good fit.
It's just weird that the Times throws that random quote in, follwed by: "Mr. Batali, who still participates in the Food Network’s Iron Chef America competition, said the show had not been offered to the Food Network."
And then NO explanation for the seemingly incongruent statements. Was this a passive aggressive response by Mario--who perhaps feels betrayed by the network he helped found--or simply an honest answer to a question? He may or may not have even known that Tuschman said FN had passed on the show. The way the statements are presented, that isn't clear.
But I do get the feeling that Mario feels a little betrayed...
In regards to his on-again, off-again relationship with the network, Mario attempted to set the record straight by pointing out why he thought his presence was dwindling:
“They don’t need me. They have decided they are mass market and they are going after the Wal-Mart crowd,” which he said was “a smart business decision. So they don’t need someone who uses polysyllabic words from other languages.”Wow. Wal-Mart, Mario? They sell their wares at Kohl's. Give them some credit!