August 1, 2012

TODAY’S UNBIASED JOURNALISM. Meanwhile, some firsthand reporting by nonjournalists here. And I should note that when I passed the Chick-Fil-A near my house, the line wound out onto Kingston Pike and took up a hundred yards or so of street, after 8 p.m.

I don’t think this can be interpreted as opposition to gay marriage, so much as a response to bullying. But I do think that the bullying has probably tainted the gay-marriage brand, which is too bad. The gay-marriage argument is already winning — there’s no need to engage in Rahm Emanuel-style attacks, and doing so merely invites pushback. And, frankly, I’m happy to live in a country where people’s response to bullying is to push back.

UPDATE: Speaking of bullying: Chick-fil-A in Martinsburg re-opens after bomb threat.

Also: Why Are Liberals So Intolerant?

ANOTHER UPDATE: This Yahoo! News story quotes some trad-marriage supporters, but also captures the anti-bullying angle well:

For those like John Mohler, 50, of Thornton, Colo., eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday was about defending free speech. Mohler said he doesn’t share Cathy’s belief–only his rights to air them.

“I’m not sure I agree with his position on gay marriage,” said Mohler, who drove to Englewood from downtown Denver on his lunch break. “But I applaud the owner for speaking his mind, and that’s why I’m here.”

In Chicago, throngs of supporters flocked to the lone Chick-fil-A, where the line of customers snaked through the entrance and around the corner. . . .

Further up the line, Jessica Cather, 29, Dana Haskins, 42, and Sarah Touhy, 43, all stressed that though they support same-sex marriage, they also support the right to believe what anyone wants to believe.

“We support tolerance on both sides,” Haskins said.

“Just because they don’t support gay marriage, it doesn’t make them a bad company,” Touhy said.

Another patron solicited donations to buy lunch for Alderman Joe Moreno, who made headlines last month for opposing a Chick-fil-A in his ward.

Linda Smith, 54, didn’t have time for the line. Instead, she gave someone else in line her money to spend to show her support. Smith said, “It doesn’t matter what the president of the company’s views are, as long as they don’t discriminate in hiring,” Smith said.

I’m actually afraid that the mainstream media will push the marriage angle, and that so will the conservative media, and miss out on the anti-bullying angle, which I see as the most significant. But perhaps they’ll show more balance than I fear.

MORE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes: “I have noticed in some commentary on the Chick-Fil-A protest that some people seemed surprised by the number of people who apparently shared their desire to make a statement. Isn’t this how preference cascades begin?”

STILL MORE: Ann Althouse comments:

1. I don’t believe the stories of customers saying homophobic things.

2. I’m totally against govt officials getting involved in favoring or disfavoring businesses based on the politics of the owners or the management.

3. Anyone can decide which businesses they want to patronize, and it’s fine to pick businesses that stand for what you like and avoid the ones that don’t.

4. It’s fine to try to get other people to choose what businesses to support/avoid based on political reasons.

5. Don’t assume that efforts to promote/penalize businesses will have the effect you want. You may be stimulating other people to do the opposite.

6. Chick-fil-A has gotten a lot of attention, and it will probably end up with more business. It doesn’t need everyone to be a customer, and now it has a niche, and there are plenty of people who are going to want to keep rewarding them for their values or patronize them because they hate the persecution.

Good points. And, agreeing with Ann Althouse, Jon Ham (Mary Katharine’s dad) comments on Facebook:

Sorry, but I’d bet this guy is lying. He’s Mark Krzos, a reporter for the News Herald in Ft. Myers, Fla. Among a half million people in DC on 9/12/10 I never saw one person act in the manner he describes, and at the Chick-fil-A I went to tonight, it was like a party. Sorry, not buying it, Mark.

Yeah, it seems more like a lefty fantasy than reality. Video or it didn’t happen.