Former good NYT restaurant critic Frank Bruni has morphed into current bad NYT columnist Frank Bruni. Perhaps he just wasn't writing what he knows. Today, Frank's column ventures back into the topic of food! The result: disaster.

We're no Hendrik Freakin' Hertzberg ourselves, of course, but we do know that what makes a good column is a straightforward, insightful idea. Frank Bruni's idea today: "Anthony Bourdain is kind of a food elitist but I agree with him but also I can see how Paula Deen has a point so I will pay lip service to her but really I agree with Anthony Bourdain or maybe not."

Anthony Bourdain said mean things about Paula Deen. So **former New York Times restaurant critic** Frank Bruni spends a column sanctimoniously offering up weak platitudes in defense of Paula Deen and Rachael Ray and The Food Network, which in fact represent the very forces against which Frank Bruni was aligned during his entire career as a restaurant critic! But now that he's a Very Important Columnist, Bruni prefers to season all of his food-related opinions with a hefty dollop of Weak Sauce:

Besides, treating Deen, Lee & Co. with anything that smacks of moralizing and snobbery isn't likely to move them or their audience toward healthier eating. It's apt to cook up resentment. And we've got enough ill will and polarization in our politics. Let's not set a place for them at the table.

A "cook up" joke and a "place at the table" joke in the same paragraph? We're not putting you in the garbage disposal (in the kitchen, get it?) yet, Bruni.

[NYT. Photo: Getty]