Of course I don't want to impugn the restaurants that have lined up the suit, including Herban Kitchen, Jezebel, March, and Chez Josephine. The proprietors have a real right to their disgust with the whole mess. So I will say only that the story broke on September 8, and follow-up editorials (and a correction, I might add) were printed in the Times, strangely enough, on September 11. You'd think the events of that day would have erased Frank Flynn and his misguided missive from the collective consciousness. You'd be justified in calling this frivolous lawsuit, first filed in January, a waste of time and taxpayers' money. And you'd be supported in your belief that instead of looking for a way to simultaneously punish Flynn (whose reputation and career have both been ruined sufficiently) and make a little dough in the process, these owners would be better off serving food to a recovering city than serving subpoenas.
But how's this for irony? Only a month after Flynn's letters, The Bottom Line, Columbia Business School's newspaper, reported that "The New York City Department of Health, in its inspections of licensed eating establishments, has cited a number of popular campus eateries for violations of food safety regulations designed to protect the dining public." The violations range from both cold and hot foods kept at unsafe temperatures to live vermin found in prep, storage, and service areas. Had Frank Flynn waited for the school year to commence to begin his research, chances are he wouldn't have had to go so far afield.