In the latest Verb, food writer Jessica Bickford writes about the Green Spot Cafe. Apparently it’s just the perfectest place to eat EVAR, because  Bickford’s Verb column contains zero criticism. As, um, always.

(I’d link to it but I can’t find it online so you’ll have to, ugh, pick up a copy of Verb to read it.)

Meanwhile over at the Leader-Post, another food writer, David Ramsey, visits the Chimney. Does he have any criticism of anything? Of course not. He does, however, interview the owner. Hey, don’t take my word for it: read it yourself.

Now, I’m not saying The Green Spot and The Chimney are good, bad or mediocre restaurants. I don’t eat at either regularly so I dunno. But I seriously doubt either are perfect despite Bickford and Ramsey’s 100 per cent criticism-free columns.

Every single bite either writers takes are always delicious. And that makes their columns pointless.

Except that actually, they’re not pointless. Oh, they’re pointless for readers, all right. But for Verb’s/the Leader-Post’s employer’s bottom line? That’s another matter.

In fact, it’s pretty damn obvious that both writers’ jobs, whether it’s explicitly spelled out or not,  is to suck up to restaurant owners in the hopes this praise acts like advertiser catnip to drum up more business for Verb and the Leader-Post. Bickford and Ramsey write what one could call stealth advertorials: fraudulent columns that pose as honest writing but really exist just to promote a business in the hope that this will attract that businesses’ owners to advertise.

The problem — aside from the fact that this doesn’t serve readers — is that they’re not marked as advertorials in any way, which means they’re essentially misrepresenting themselves to readers.

Sadly, this is how things often work in Regina. A news outlet prints/broadcasts fluffy praise not to inform the public but to ingratiate itself to a business owner. That business owner then buys ads to reward the media outlets and their trained shills.

Anyone who actually understood marketing would laugh, it’s so stupid. You don’t buy ads because someone blew smoke up your shorts. You buy ads because you want to connect with a media outlet’s audience. If you know what you’re doing, that is.

It’s just too bad that the result of this blowjob carnival is a shortage of reliable information for Regina diners — which should be the main point of food writing.

I’ve got nothing against advertising or advertorials but let’s not confuse them with articles, please. Jessica Bickford and David Ramsey need to either write it for real, or stamp “advertorial” on their bogus columns. The stuff they’re doing now is dishonest. Regina deserves better.