Who knew the role of restaurant reviewer could be a dangerous one? Last Friday, Steve Barnes, the food critic for the Albany Times-Union, was leaving a local restaurant when he and a friend were violently attacked by two assailants. The attackers approached Barnes and his buddy, punching them both repeatedly in the face. The victims have bruises and swelling, but sustained no serious injuries.

Barnes doesn't believe the attack was connected to the restaurant he reviewed, but he thinks this act of violence was targeted rather than random. The restaurant reviewer wrote about his plans to go to a particular eatery on his blog, and the men who assaulted Barnes and his friend had been seen hanging around the restaurant's parking lot for hours before the attack.

While he has no further clues as to who his assailants were, Barnes does have a message for them. "Yo, attackers: If I’m supposed to be nicer to somebody in the future, drop me an e-mail. Otherwise you’re just a coward. Black eyes fade, but cowardice and thuggery are permanent character flaws."

What are your reactions to this news? Do you think the act of violence had to do with the fact that Barnes was a restaurant critic?