On the Deep, Deep Wrongness of Buzzfeed

You probably think I want to talk about that Trump dossier, but I don't want to talk about that at all. I want to talk about their list of Best Irish Pubs in Each State. An outlet that goes this wrong on such a simple topic can't be trusted to get anything else correct.
“Great food, service and atmosphere. The sausage crack dip and the fish and chips were amazing.”
“We split the fried grouper sandwich, and their version of a club sandwich — and both were incredible.”
In Georgia, they named Shenanigan's Irish Pub in Dahlonega (home of Georgia's military college, the University of North Georgia, as well as the first gold rush in the United States). As it happens, I've eaten at Shenanigan's several times, most recently last night. It's a perfectly fine college bar with a few Irish pub trappings. The food is good. The beer selection is not horrible. Still, there's no dart board. The music is not Irish. The food is almost entirely non-Irish, too, mostly just American pub grub with a couple of 'Irish Pub' standby options.

I mean, it's fine. You can go there, you'll have a good time, you'll enjoy your meal, and there's a dog-friendly area on the patio so you can bring your pup along with you. There's nothing wrong with it.


In the city of Savannah stands Kevin Barry's Pub. Kevin Barry was a teenager executed by the British in 1920 for Republican activities. There's a picture of him on the second floor in Liberty Hall, along with other major figures of the Irish revolution. The rest of the second floor is taken up with the Hall of Heroes, dedicated to the United States military to which Irish families have contributed so much, where portraits of fallen servicemen (and at least one woman) line the walls along with flags and unit memorabilia. By the portraits of the fallen are wire hooks designed to hold glasses of whiskey, which their comrades often buy for them and hang there until they evaporate.

On the first floor is a large music hall, in which one of the best Irish musicians in the American South plays every night. My favorite of them, Harry O'Donoghue, will be there next on 20 February.

One of these places is the real thing. The other got some nice reviews on Yelp. Buzzfeed can't tell the difference, and that's a huge problem with the kind of journalism that they represent.


jaed said...

It could also simply be that Buzzfeed knows its readership, and knows which place those readers would be more comfortable in.

Grim said...

If that were the case, they'd have named Paddy's Irish Pub. It's just the sort of "completely authentic" experience your young tech professional is looking for. (By which, of course, I mean not at all authentic but as convincingly faked as possible in an upscale way.)

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The one for NH is in a tourist burg (skiing, climbing) in the Whites. I've never been to it myself, but the area has no Irish history. I may make an effort to go to it, because I'm likely to go through there on my way back from Quebec in two weeks.