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Ernie,Thanks for sharing your perspective. We don't have a restaurant critic, so that's definitely not the issue here. I also appreciate your joke about being a travel reporter. Many resorts would gladly pay for a reporter to visit in exchange for a favorable review, but no reputable newspaper would agree to that. The cost of such trips is why most newspapers don't have travel reporters. The metro papers pay free-lancers for travel pieces, but I don't know how they make sure that writer hasn't accepted a deal from a resort.I'm with you on Aruba.Chris
I can appreciate your dilemma, Chris, but I think I'd have to agree with your first respondent. The dollar value of the free meal is nominal and the fact that Ms. Miles isn't the food/restaurant critic for the Advocate allows her and the rest of the VA staff the same latitude that any John Q. Public citizen is being afforded by the restaurant - excpet of course, whoever *is* the VA restaurant reporter. (Although I for one wouldn't even find that a serious issue since this offering isn't tendered with an expectation of favorable reporting.)Where I would be concerned is if Hu Dat or any restaurant offered free meals exclusively to the restaurant critic, especially on an ongoing basis. Obviously that situation would present a conflict of interest and likely compromise of the accuracy of the reporter's reviews.However if ya'll are looking for a travel reporter I might be able to make myself available... I hear Aruba's nice this time of year. :-)Ernie