Celebrity Defense

RECEIVED Mon., July 29, 2013

Dear Editor,
    Virginia B. Wood's description of Anthony Bourdain as an "unrepentant former heroin addict who gets drunk and stoned on television," and thus not as worthy of an Emmy nomination as Paula Deen made me livid [“Food-o-File,” Food, July 26].
    It is the 21st century, Virginia. Do you really believe that addiction is a moral failing from which one must repent, as opposed to an illness, which addiction professionals have been trying to explain to us for a generation? And how do you know he is drunk and stoned on TV and that it isn't just an act? It worked for Dean Martin.
    Most importantly, Bourdain's recent public takedown of Justin Bieber for his tweet about urinating in a restaurant's mop bucket shows that Anthony cares about the people who clean the floor. Can that be said about Paula Deen?
Sheila Sorvari
   [Food Editor Virginia B. Wood responds: While I'm not a particular fan of either performer and don't consider either of them Emmy-worthy, my point was that their behavior over long careers is judged by different standards by corporate sponsors and television executives. What I've discovered from writing about these two multimillionaire celebrities is that they both have legions of rabid fans ready to defend them against any criticism, deserved or not.]
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