The jalapeño schmear in a letter published in WaPo over the weekend caught the stern eye of Washington City Paper Editor-in-Chief Mike Madden.
The letter to WaPo complained about a headline choice completely destroyed a recent episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” because it reads: “Spoiler Alert — They All Die.” Andrew Hartman, the writer, hadn’t had a chance to watch the episode and he accused WaPo of ruining it for him. He led with the fact that he was eating an everything bagel with jalapeño schmear while reading WaPo and further guilted them by informing that the bagel and schmear came from New York, where he’d been celebrating his father’s 86th birthday over the weekend.
Madden took no issue with the sentiment of the letter, but did object fiercely to the writer’s choice in schmear. He offered some editorial advice, saying the writer’s point was “undermined” by his choice of cream cheese. “This letter’s totally valid point is undermined by writer’s love of jalapeño cream cheese on his bagel,” he wrote on Twitter, adding, “Don’t get me wrong, jalapeños are delicious. But I’m a bagel traditionalist.”
Madden told FishbowlDC that he has never tried a bagel with jalapeño cream cheese. “Ha — I have not, for the same reason I haven’t tried a blueberry bagel — it’s just too far from the original bagel varieties! I prefer an everything bagel with plain cream cheese or with whitefish salad. I could see jalapeño cream cheese on toast being good. But like I said on twitter, I’m something of a bagel curmudgeon.”
Hartman rightfully brought the jalapeño schmear back into his letter’s kicker. Spoiler alert — the bagel wound up on the floor. Maybe WaPo owes him a few dozen bagels and fresh schmear?
Read the letter here.
Photoshop by Austin Price