My friend David Duncan texted me and asked:
So is this story true all over Facebook that Chick-fil-A gave free sandwiches and tea to people in the blood donor line but the media didn't cover it? Sounds like a GetReligion story.
If you're not sure what he's talking about, you must not be one of the 400,000-plus people (as of the moment I'm typing this) who have liked or shared this Facebook post by Florida attorney and radio show host Kevin Hayslett.
Hayslett's post from Monday afternoon says, in part:
Chick Fil A has made national news for it’s owners’ stance on gay marriage. Anytime they do something even remotely non-PC, their supposed slip up goes viral. Hash tags pop up all over the place.
So why is that what they have done in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting hasn’t received a single mention on the mainstream new outlets?
It’s probably because people like New York City Mayor, Bill DeBlasio might have to eat crow instead of chicken. DeBlasio has said that Chick Fil A spreads a message of hate.
What exactly did Chick-fil-A — whose owners have made news in recent years for their support of traditional marriage and values — do?
This is what: They prepared fried chicken sandwiches on Sunday:
Some of the reaction on Twitter:
Back to my friend's question: Did the news media ignore Chick-fil-A's gesture?
That's actually a more difficult question than it sounds. I mean, it's easy enough to Google and see if any headlines show up. But to ignore something, a reporter or news organization must know about it and choose not to pursue it. As best I can tell, Chick-fil-A didn't send out a press release or otherwise seek headlines.
Another argument could be made that when 50 people are dead, there are much bigger story angles to cover than whether a fried-chicken chain made a few sandwiches. (Of course, the media jumped all over a scheduled tweet by Texas' lieutenant governor, which kind of mutes that argument.)
When I Googled, I didn't find any mention of the Chick-fil-A gesture in major mainstream national media. The only mention of Chick-fil-A in such an outlet that I came across was the Washington Post's note that Chick-fil-A was among the string of jobs that the gunman, Omar Mateen, had held.
But the story appears to be gaining steam in regional outlets as well as conservative news sites:
Given how viral this story has become on social media, don't be surprised if the national media take notice soon.
In the meantime, if you need me, you know where to find me: I'm suddenly craving a Chick-fil-A sandwich and waffle fries. (Hold the pickles, please.)