Any survey that comes out with Rutts as the best hot dog in America is just plain wrong. Rutts is awful, the Ripper is just a burned hot dog with some disgusting relish concoction on top. Awful, awful, awful. The Cremator is inedible.
So I did some further digging on the source and methodology.
This “story” is reported by NBC news in New York as “news” but when you dig further you find that the original “survey” (more about this later) was published on a web site called “the Daily Meal”.
The Daily Meal website is a slick affair, with professional photos and lots of seriously written pieces. So I looked for who owns the website. Sure enough, it’s Tronc Inc, the print media division of the former Tribune corporation (publisher of the Chicago Tribune and other fish wrap for seniors.)
So we have one major media corporation (NBC) publishing on its website a ginned up survey by another major media corporation (Tribune/Tronc) as though it is news.
Could be wrong, but I think this (along with “unnamed sources”) is what people are talking about when they refer to FAKE NEWS.
Looking further at the methodology employed in the original study (unnamed experts and 150 users of the Daily Meal) it is readily apparent that the hot dog places were chosen randomly, and then displayed in a way (75 places, one at a time) to generate maximum click throughs and thus revenue for the Daily Meal website as you search for something in your state/local.
I swear, we could have generated a better and more accurate list here.
Here is the methodology used to pick the 75:
America’s 75 Best Hot Dogs
Jul 12, 2017 | 2:33 pm
America’s 75 Best Hot Dogs (Slideshow)
On our quest to find America’s best hot dogs, we started by putting together a list of hot dog places that have attained a level of local renown, whether small-town or big-city. We made sure to take into account online reviews from locals as well as the restaurant’s overall reputation among those in the know, and the quality of the ingredients — namely, sourcing the franks from well-respected local producers — was also important. Hot dogs aren’t eaten in a void, so we took into account the entire experience, from driving up to the restaurant or stand to placing your order to taking that first bite.
Once we had our list of more than 200 hot dog places from across the country finalized (building on surveys from previous years’ rankings), we built them into a survey divided by region. We called on chefs, food writers, bloggers, and journalists from around the country to take the survey, and we also asked our social media followers to take the survey as well, and more than 150 respondents weighed in.
The final tally includes hot dog stands as far north as Seattle and as far south as New Orleans. You never know where a great hot dog stand will pop up; we’ve included ones as far afield as Keyser, West Virginia; Le Mars, Iowa; and Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio. While Chicago (arguably the best hot dog down in the country) is well-represented with 10 entrants, the sheer geographic diversity here makes it clear that there are few American foods more universally beloved than the hot dog.