A major journalistic organisation has launched an inquiry into the funding of a drinks press trip to the Caribbean. The investigation comes following shock allegations that a prominent drinks writer paid for his own air fares and accommodation.
John Borisson, who blogs as ‘The Prime Minister of Booze’, flew to the Caribbean island of Mystique to visit local rum distillers in what was initially believed to be a trip funded by trade body Caribbean Rum & Aguardiente Producers (CRAP).
But now it has emerged that Borisson paid for the whole thing himself, including Business Class air fares and an all-inclusive stay at the seven-star Princess Margaret Memorial Hotel & Gin Palace.
Borisson said he could afford the four-figure outlay because he had commissions for ‘a couple of online news stories and a trends article on why rum is the next big thing’ for drinks publications.
However, investigations by Fake Booze have revealed the total value of these commissions would barely have covered the cost of a Family Bucket at KFC.
Lack of unprofessionalism
‘This is the kind of thing that gives us a bad name,’ said shocked Welsh blogger Iwan T Freesamples, who was also on the trip. ‘I thought something was up when he refused the offer of a free polo shirt in one of the distillery shops, and only had one cigar after dinner.
‘He even used the spit bucket.’
Borisson’s lack of unprofessionalism shocked his hosts who described it as ‘embarrassing – particularly for us, since it meant we’d have no control over what he’d write.’
Do as you’re told
Now a formal investigation has been launched by the Federation for Reporters and Educators of the Booze Industry of England (FREEBIE), which is threatening to withdraw Borisson’s press accreditation.
‘Nobody wants that to happen,’ said FREEBIE’s ligger-in-chief, Ilova Junket. ‘And it’s not too late for John. He just needs to prove that he’s a proper journalist who adheres to our strict rules.
‘Of never paying for anything and writing whatever the advertisers tell him to.’
Punishment by Pinotage
Borisson has been told he must accept a complementary five-course lunch with matching wines at a two Michelin-star restaurant in exchange for an article on why Pinotage is the world’s most underrated grape variety.
FREEBIE has described the punishment as ‘harsh but fair – though on the plus side he doesn’t actually have to drink the Pinotage to write about it.
‘We want to punish him, not hospitalise him.’
Press release heaven
‘I honestly don’t know what I was thinking,’ a shamefaced Borisson told Fake Booze. ‘I had this crazy idea that I might visit Mystique independently and make up my own mind about the island’s rum.
‘I now realise I should just have spent three days getting drunk, accepted my bodyweight in unsolicited gifts and written the article on the back of five minutes Google research and a few rehashed press releases when I got home.
‘Then I could sit back and wait for the writing awards to roll in.’