Media finally find something to cover at Chick-fil-A
There was so little major media coverage of Wednesday's nationwide "buycott" on Chick-fil-A appreciation day that the Weekly Standard's Michael Warren labeled it a media blackout. (Isn't that "racist"?)
But you wouldn't know anything about the national phenomenon by reading the front pages of most of the country's leading newspapers. There's no mention of Chick-fil-A on the front pages of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and the Boston Globe. The front pages of USA Today, the Dallas Morning News, and the Houston Chronicle have small headlines about the restaurant, while Chick-fil-A's hometown paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, fits in a story below the fold under the heading, "Chick-fil-A Controversy." And the front pages of majornewswebsites are quiet in their coverage as well.
Inside some of those papers, the coverage is still relatively scant. The L.A. Times has a news story, while the New York Times has an op-ed from the gay dean at the Georgia Tech business school encouraging Americans to let Chick-fil-A "fly free." The Washington Post ran a photograph, but no story.
So what happened on Friday, the day the GLBTG activists called upon members to hold public displays of affection outside the family themed fast food chain? Well at least the media turned out in droves. Chick-fil-A Kiss-In: LAPD called to Hollywood store over media mob
Los Angeles police were called to a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Hollywood on Friday amid a national "kiss day" related to the company president's opposition to gay marriage.
Authorities said the call was prompted by a heavy media presence at the restaurant that was making it difficult for the business to operate. There were no problems related to protests.
There are three reporters credited in the above LA Times article, which goes on to note
It remains unclear whether this protest will generate the huge crowds that turned out Wednesday in a show of support for company President Dan Cathy, who ignited a national debate by publicly expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage.
Was it really unclear? Or were those reporters just not looking very hard. According to on-line reports from around the country the protestors were few in number and sales are still brisk. Maybe it was the recent lefty tendency to overstate their strength in getting people out in the streets. Or perhaps after the firestorm that ensued Thursday, when a pro same sex marriage activist and now former corporate CFO posted a video of himself harassing a poised Chick-fil-A worker in Tuscon, the same sex marriage activists calculated that more in your face behavior was likely to be counterproductive. Either way Friday's scheduled nationwide protests were pretty lame.
Perhaps an equally interesting story here is where the LA Times, which has been bleeding readers and advertising revenue, managed to find the resources to send three reporters to cover this over-hyped story. It seems it has a new source of funds. It's not a new customer, nor is it an investor expecting a future profit. It's a benefactor who wants to see the LA Times continue with its many good works- the Ford Foundation.
The Ford Foundation awarded a $500,000 grant to the Washington Post to expand its government-accountability coverage, the foundation's second major grant to a for-profit newspaper this year.
The foundation made its first for-profit newspaper grant to the Los Angeles Times this spring-an award of $1 million to enlarge coverage of local immigration and ethnic communities.
The grants come as newspapers continue to struggle with print revenues declining much faster than digital revenues are growing, forcing closures and job cuts throughout the industry
Maybe instead sending a mob of reporters out to generate a story that fits a preconceived narrative of bigoted angry Christians versus victimized gays the press should try studying what a successful business model looks like. They couldn't find a better example than the one that has been right under their nose all week. Of course that would assume they are still in the mass media business of reporting the events of the day in a form that bears some semblance to reality. They aren't anymore. The have become arbiters of acceptable taste, fashonistas of the body politic, groupies ready to service the current hot liberal politician. In this role they naturally treat such déclassé movements as the Tea Party as nonexistent even as they flock to cater to the clique who shares their vision.