New York Times republishes Charleston travel feature, stirring controversy

The New York Times recently praised Butcher & Bee’s chalkboard menu. But as local readers pointed out, it left the chalkboard behind when it moved to Morrison Drive.

The New York Times paid a visit to Charleston this month — sort of.

The venerable newspaper published a travel feature on the Holy City last week, and to many local readers, its advice for a weekend in town seemed off the mark for several reasons.

Maybe it was the plug for Two Boroughs Larder, a Coming Street restaurant that’s closing at the end of the month. Or the description of The Ordinary, which opened four years ago, as the city’s “most vibrant new restaurant.” Or the reference to Butcher & Bee’s chalkboard menu, which was left behind in the eatery’s recent relocation to Morrison Drive from Upper King Street.

Something about it felt dated, like the Times hadn’t been here in a couple years, mused Geoff Yost, a partner at Charleston design firm Annex, in a blog post.

Turns out, they hadn’t. The piece was mostly lifted from an article the Times wrote in 2013, as the Charleston City Paper pointed out Tuesday.

For its part, the Times says it was simply promoting a few old favorites from its archives of “36 Hours” columns. Each article had a few tweaks, Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said, before it was included in the Travel section’s roundup of 10 popular cities.

At the bottom of the article, Rhoades Ha pointed out, was a note to readers: “This article was originally published on Nov. 21, 2013 and updated on July 19, 2016.”

Reach Thad Moore at 843-937-5283 or on Twitter @thadmoore.