Mainstream Media Blacks Out Chick-fil-A Story?
12:19 PM, Aug 2, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Wednesday was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, and Americans flocked to the fast food restaurant in response to criticism of COO Dan Cathy's opposition to same-sex marriage (as well as threats from the mayors of some major cities). The photos of long lines and traffic jams reveal the extent of the restaurant's support--for some it's about traditional values and for others it's about freedom of religious exercise and speech in the face of government intimidation. There are even rumors that Chick-fil-A set a new world record for sales in a single day, though the company has yet to release any sales numbers.
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 major news websites 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.
The Newseum's collection of the top ten newspaper covers from around the country seems to recognize the biggest national news story of the day. The papers covering the story aren't just located in the South, Chick-fil-A's regional base; smaller papers from Colorado, Ohio, New York, and California were all over the story.