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WBZ takes Phantom Gourmet off the air because of one host's incessant BLM hate posting

WBZ-TV announced tonight it's put the Andelman brothers' restaurant show "on hiatus" as it ponders co-host Dave Andelman's inability to stop ranting about Black Lives Matters on his Facebook page for at least ten days, and whether his apology yesterday was sincere.

In a statement, station President Mark Lund writes:

WBZ-TV is committed to our community, by working together, listening to one another, and supporting each other. After careful consideration, we have decided to place Phantom Gourmet on hiatus pending further review.

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Comments

I'd like to ask everybody to call the WBZ Newsroom directly, tomorrow, ask for station management who will be in-office, and voice your opinion during this review period.
Call 617-787-7145 during business hours tomorrow, and please, spread the word!!!

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The newsroom has nothing to do with this. Email the GM.

I do not work for WBZ TV.

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weirdly orange, grossly racist (obvious if you ever listened to the old Phantom radio show, where the "humor" frequently included cringe-inducing lampooning of black voices), and running a cheap-looking, patently fake reality-TV show before it was cool.

The Andelman boys have always been sexist, unduly self-entitled jackasses.

They've gotten a little subtler about whoring their TV show coverage to restaurants that buy ads from them in the years since I wrote this piece, but not much.

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...or a similar concept at some point?

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Billy Costa - Siegal's sidekick - also had a simular show.

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Actually enjoyed whoever or whatever it was :-)

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He was just there to make goo goo eyes and flirt with his female sidekicks...

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when the Andelmans didn't renew his contract (around 2002) and opted to put themselves in front of the camera instead.

Costa went on to host TV Diner, a restaurant review show on NECN, since cancelled. He now co-hosts Dining Playbook (which works local sports stars into the food coverage) on NESN.

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Post again. And this time with a link that isn't 9 years old.

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Isn't the point exactly that this is long-term behavior? What "more recent cite" do you want beyond the *actual recent behavior* that is the story?

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I'd say my blog post holds up pretty well, despite being 11 years old.

The show has barely changed an overly-pomaded hair since then. (Okay, it did replace the old crummy theme song with a new crummy theme song.) My drinking game for it still works, though I recommend turning on closed captions rather than having to listen to Dave's oleaginous, singsong voice-over work. How does one make oozing smarm so grating?

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It’s time for restaurant owners to finally open up how much they paid PG to be on the show.

PG comes to a restaurant and uses it to make content for its TV show, and all the food featured is produced by the restaurant at no cost to PG.

The secret sauce in getting your package replayed on new episodes or remixed into segments like the Great Ate segment etc is to pay for advertising. Some restaurants buy advertising before they are featured. And if you want to be on the show and talk to them or have PG feature your new project, then make sure you are paid up.

I know some of you owners/managers have copies of PG invoices out there. Let’s see what they charge!

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Then Al Barile would like to speak with you.

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So, fwiw, the article you wrote almost comes across as being an apologist for them ;)

Also, I am most surprised they you discovered Jim's because of them, which as you say is very good at doing exactly what it needs to do.

I actually learned a few things standing there waiting for breakfast too, like splashing a bit of water and covering some veggies, or how to properly make Chocolate Chip Pancakes (the key of course is to add the chips once the batter is down, rather than trying to be like blueberry pancakes and mixing htem in.

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Now open up food shows to women and underrepresented minorities.

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Yes, revoke the rule that said no women and underrepresented minorities.

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The rule written in WBZ's handbook that explicitly forbids women and POC from hosting their own shows. I'm sure it's written in plain English so as to be more easily subpoenaed in lawsuit.

Also, the Andelmans got to host their show for years because it's a great show and TV is a meritocracy, discriminatory policies are always written down in the rulebooks, good old boys clubs don't exist, and I'm a little teapot.

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I haven't seen The Phantom Gourmet in probably a decade at this point, but I used to watch it every weekend. Even then, I used to find myself screaming at my TV whenever Dave Andelman came on screen. Such a douchebag. He's like a townie Patrick Bateman.

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But I stopped watching the New Years Eve Three Stooges Marathon once Channel 38 decided to let the Andelman Brothers host it.

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Nice! A restaurant review show was cancelled!! This is a huge win in the effort to fix the problems in our country.

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if it means racists don’t get a platform then yes, it’s pretty great

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You couldn’t even be bothered enough to read far enough to read that it wasn’t cancelled.

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Note the username. I think maybe he's trying to poke fun at all the "woke" kids and how they say things like "canceled". This is, of course, supposed to wound antiracists to the quick, and make us stop what we're doing.

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Phantom Gourmet was not a review show. It was a pay-for-play informercial underwritten by the featured restaurants.

If it was a review show you would have seen restaurants rated and actual negative reviews.

It was strange how the Andlemans would say things like “I go there all the time” about half the restaurants and yet you never saw them at these restaurants. Sure, Dan. You’re driving out to that place in Bridgewater twice a month for bar pizza, bud light, and potato skins.

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If you saw an actual, purely honest food review show, the hosts would be controversial for their reviews of the food and nothing else.

Besides eliminating the overwrought production and camera tropes (Slow-mo chicken breading? Zooming in on a plate of mac and cheese?) and payola patina that Phantom Gourmet was infamous for, honest hosts would not hold back if the food is really and truly bad (perhaps not Gordon Ramsay or Bar Rescue level salt-the-earth roasting, but enough to warn off patrons that the food is horrible).

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That is why the original Phantom format was a Phantom. Billy Costa was the host of the show but if the review was negative it was not his fault. It was some secret guy nobody knew about. Back in the day they were never super nasty but they had some honest reviews.

It became a local version of Diners Dumpsters and Drives.

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I had forgotten (or faintly remembered) that Billy Costa was the original host. The posts in this vein confirmed it.

All of the food review programs have become derivatives of the same product - same shallow production values, same camera tropes, even the same host mugging for the camera.

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the andelmans are trash, but i used to see them eating at jim's deli in brighton all the time. that isn't a knock against Jim's, since that place rules, but PG did feature jim's once, but they never advertised with PG (to my knowledge at least). maybe that was an honest plug for a restaurant they actually liked...

TL/DR: fuck the andelmens. jim's deli is excellent.

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I can only hope they survive and are still around the next time I can actually eat in Brighton.

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Jim's appears to be holding strong. i have driven in from suburbia a few times to support Jim's and Pino's, the cornerstones of my diet when i lived in Brighton. Last time i was in Jim's, he was saying how relieved he was that the takeout business was strong and that he hadn't had to change his normal orders or lay anyone off.

that was a few weeks ago, but hopefully the restaurant is still doing well despite the environment.

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but I did credit them with leading me to Jim's Deli, which I then reviewed for the Boston Phoenix. Alex's Chimis was another one that they got to first and I followed with a Phoenix review.

They do occasionally hit some unusually good spots, mixed in with way too much obvious chicken-heading of mediocre clients.

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"chicken-heading"? seriously??

in a bunch of posts about rooting out racism, you're the first person to actually DEMONSTRATE some!

how about making a few cracks about our WATERMELON DIET, while you're at it?!

geesh. at least never heard the andelmans use a term like that.

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bad-faith concern-trolling.

I expect it's crystal-clear what I am saying about the Andelmans' business practices. I've often compared their show to trading sex for cash or other favors while acknowledging that sex work is hard work: no disrespect to actual sex workers, whose often pitiable circumstances are a galaxy away from those of spoiled, silver-spoon bro-dudes. Regardless, let's not be naive enough confuse the ministrations of the prostitute or stripper with love.

I'm saying the Andelmans' kind of pay-for-play operation must be distinguished from the mission of service journalists like restaurant critics, which is to offer deeply-researched reporting and honest opinions on their subjects on behalf of consumers. Strapping on the knee pads with feigned lust for any mediocre restaurateur willing to buy ads on your TV show and/or pay the tribute to your Beacon Hill lobbying racket is the opposite of that.

To your point, I sincerely welcome an explanation as to how my use of "chicken-heading" in this context could be construed as racist. To put it in clinical terms, I understood it to mean the act of fellatio for money or proximity to wealth, performed by the kind of person who uses sex purely transactionally. Did I get that wrong?

I'll speculate that you never listened to the Andelmans' radio show, where the snickering bigotry and misogyny were frequent and unmistakable. The notion I might even faintly echo anything like that horrifies me. I'm a self-styled liberal, but recognize my limitations as a privileged, square, middle-aged white dude. I'd like to understand why you consider my use of that word ignorant and offensive: it would not be my first teachable moment. Help me out here, please.

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you’re so right, people should do something substantive! billion dollar broadcasting agencies reevaluating their business relationships with people who are clearly racist is such a pointless move! what people should really be doing is, like, protesting or something

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Very thankful for your actions. It had to start somewhere if you plan on making any progress. Good for you, I think I’ll tune in now.

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How about some evidence of this racism.

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Benjamin Lipiecki collected the guy's rantings.

Take a look. Gosh, how could they possibly be racist when he doesn't use the N-word once?

He is bitching, over and over again, about vigils and protests directly related to an incredibly racist act (white cop kills black man) and more generally related to racist acts against blacks over, well, centuries.

Imagine, for a second, that Andelman were black, and that for ten straight days he was complaining about vigils by Jews after the Pittsburgh synagogue murders. Roughly how many seconds after reading those would you conclude he was a virulent antisemite?

This is the same exact thing, just swap in "racism" for "antisemitism."

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Learning to read and use the internet.

But Karens like you always say "do the work for me because I'm special" and call the racism valets when challenged.

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about this gentleman and feature it on my opinion show....

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with those paid opinions. Mike Bloomberg still owes me $50 for the sweet Spongebob meme I posted everywhere, and I've been waiting three years for the check from Soros for going to that protest on the Common

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a blank check to Obama's brother in Kenya with Antifa in the memo line. Soros then sends an electronic payment through a 5g network. The check will clear once you get vaccinated with Bill Gates mystery potion.

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Bend the knee or be canceled.

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of absolute fealty, something Trump demands of his lackeys like a feudal lord. Taking a knee is a sign of protest of centuries of American oppression of its own citizens of color.

You know, kinda like how giving a restaurant an on-air handie because it paid you to isn't the same as actually reviewing restaurants with a critical eye on behalf of consumers. The differences are subtle, but they're there if you squint.

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Thank you - I was about to post this.

The Andelmans are either being willfully stupid, or willfully ignorant. Yes, we all know they are right leaning / Pro Trump / pro big business tax cuts, but FWIW just posting to be a jerk and mock people who are suffering / being killed crossed the line in a big way.

The only thing they seem to care about or understand is money - so I say hit them in the wallet. Take them off the air for awhile, write their sponsors, don't go to the drive in, make your feelings known. If money is all they care about, they can take a hit. Their apology is insulting and I'm betting, once again, people freaked out at the backlash.

Having a counter opinion about some things, or even being unsure of how you feel is fine. (I think looking and public destruction is wrong, whether it is after a red sox win or in protest of a death because it becomes self defeating) but to openly attack in an ignorant fashion with behavior on social media I would have grounded my teenager for - for a grown ass man, he should know better.

I mean really, do we need another hour on the same 10 pizza places, a top Chinese food list that is mostly pupu platters, and giving 20-30 minutes as a paid advert from a restaurant at Foxwoods or mohegan sun?

It ceased being about ratings years ago. It is a cash grab.

I encourage people to tweet / email / write to their sponsors like Subaru, Dunkin, Dadgar Insurance, Emma's pub and pizza, etc. This isn't 'cancel' culture - maybe the Andelmans will learn a lesson - or put someone else in charge who isn't a tool.

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so glad we’re able to reach common ground on such hotbed issues as not being a fucking racist

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Why are you here, then? Triggered from the snow gun, snowflakes just melt and run off, right?

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Hi racist Karen. What did you call the police commissioner? Your homeboy? People like you make Van Jones nervous.

https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/05/29/van-jones-george-floyd-white-li...

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IMAGE(https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/free_speech.png)

I can't remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express.

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"I'm not doing anything illegal" is such a common response when people are called out for being a-holes, too. For example, someone I know approached their neighbor about a loud backyard party that went until 2:30 am the next day, and the neighbor's reply was "well what we were doing was legal." Never mind the fact that it was rude and prevented people from being able to sleep, they seem to just think that they can do whatever they want regardless of how it affects other people as long as it is legal in their minds. Unbelievable.

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Some cities and towns have noise ordinances on the books. Basically, no noise between the hours of X and Y. If there is such an ordinance or law on the books in that city or town where the party was hosted, most likely, the party became illegal after a certain time.

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Pay for play and overrated show anyway. Typically I get out and visit what my appetite and curiosity calls for.

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The original PG with Billy Costa was a scale from to 1-to-100 review show, but now it's just an infomercial featuring the same cheesy standing food photos(a hamburger with a fried egg or bacon on a stick). As for Billy, pretty soon the NESN show will get worn out and he and Jenny will regurgitate the concept again on NECN or wherever.

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The Andelman's also host on New Years Eve, a Three Stooges marathon on WSBK, sister to WBZ.

Perhaps CBS needs to find new hosts for that. Why not Dana Hersey?

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