Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Chick-Fil-A debacle - or what happens when news organizations create rather than report the story


The views expressed in this story are not necessarily those of management or any of its affiliates.
Make certain you read that first paragraph correctly.  This is commentary.  Social commentary, to be exact, with a mix of political commentary thrown in for seasoning.  It is me expressing my opinion.  It is an observation – my observation, not to put too fine a point on it – of the recent media circus surrounding willful deception on the part of the media in reporting the Chick-Fil-A non-story.  I’m not articulating the views of Blogger.com, Google, Microsoft Word (with which I wrote the article) or any other entity either expressed or implied.  Okay.  We clear on that?  Ready?  Here it goes.
The Chick-Fil-A story as originally reported by CNN is a fabrication created by a liberal media determined to use whatever means and tools at its disposal, to distract American voters from realizing how badly President Obama and his administration have mishandled pretty much everything in their reach, since being elected in 2008.  Let’s face it honestly and objectively: if you’re busy being caught up in the Chick-Fil-A story, you’re not focusing on things like the national unemployment rate (8.2%), the nation’s abysmal economic growth (1.2%) the fact that America is still waiting for Obama’s FIRST budget (almost four years into his presidency), the drastically increased number of Americans now on some sort of Federal subsidy (food stamps, etc.) or Washington’s out of control spending.  We’re too busy debating a comment from a private business owner that he never actually made!
That’s right.  You read that correctly.  Dan Cathy NEVER said as much as a single negative word in his interview with Baptist Press (original story here) about the LGBT lifestyle or its participants.  That is an out of context extrapolation of a marginally related implication, itself not part of Baptist Press’s interview or Mr. Cathy’s response. 
Read it for yourself.  What follows is the exact, word for word transcription of the part of the interview that has polarized Americans to the point that mayors of large American cities are taking idiotic stands on the non-existent issue, and rallies are being planned around the county to both boycott and support Chick-Fil-A over a comment Owner Dan Cathy never gave as an answer to a question he was never asked. Here it is:
“The company invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation (WinShape.com). The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners.
It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.
"That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries," Cathy added.
Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position.
"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.
"We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized.”
"We intend to stay the course," he said. "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."*
Dan Cathy was NOT asked his opinion or stand with regard to the LGBT lifestyle choice, from either s personal or professional point of view.
Dan Cathy did not mention the LGBT lifestyle choice in his answer to the questions given during his interview.
In fact, ALL Mr. Cathy DID do was agree to assertion that he was trying to run his company according to Biblical principles, as he understands them, and that he, as an individual, espouses the Biblical definition of marriage, which is between a man and a woman.
The topic of the LGBT lifestyle was NEVER mentioned in any of the questions or answers.  I can’t emphasize that enough.  It simply was not part of the discussion.
Not, that is, until CNN got ahold of the transcript, saw the words, “"Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position. "We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit.”, lifted them from the context of the interview, and extrapolated them into an anti-homosexual attack that was never part of the story.
Now, I have to ask myself – why would a respect news agency intentionally skew a story like this, intentionally creating a firestorm response to an issue that did not exist?  Was it just a slow day in Atlanta, the location of CNN’s world headquarters? When did the mission statement at CNN change from ‘report’ the news to ‘dude – POTUS is looking bad – Americans are starting to notice – get busy and distract them even if you have to fabricate it.  Find a hot-button topic that liberals will blindly follow without questioning, and if you can, find a way to pin the blame on ‘Dubya’.”
That’s exactly what’s going on here, my friends – all but the ‘blame it on Dubya’ part.  Guess they were in too much of a hurry.
Make no mistake.  The plan is working.  While we are all busy chasing media fabricated bunny trails, we’re not focusing on America’s real problems.
And when that’s happening, our nation is still tanking.
Is there an issue to debate somewhere in here about the GLBT lifestyle/Biblical lifestyle?  Perhaps, but boys and girls, this ain’t it.
Shame on you CNN, and shame on ALL the local and national outlets who picked up this assemblage of smoke and mirrors and ran with it without bothering to check the facts. Perhaps CNN actually stands for Contrived National News.
*( quotations taken from an article originally published in Baptist Press, posted on Jul 16, 2012 | by K. Allan Blume/Biblical Recorder.  ©2012 Baptist Press and the Southern Baptist Convention, all rights reserved.)

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