Thanks to The Drudge Report, the Internet is buzzing with Chick-fil-A news linked to that massive power outage at the massive Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The hook for this blitz of cyber chatter? That would be the fact that the fire that shut down America's busiest airport took place on a Sunday. Thus, it was very symbolic that Chick-fil-A -- an omnipresent reality in Atlanta culture -- came to the rescue.
But most of the news coverage is missing a crucial fact about this Chick-fil-A on Sunday story. You see, this isn't the first time that this conservative company has done this. Can you remember the other emergency that inspired similar action? Think back a year or so ago and, yes, think "religion angle." Hold that thought.
Now, here is the Mashable.com report that, with lots of Twitter inserts, is getting all of that Drudge traffic:
Chick-fil-A, famed for never opening on Sundays and will likely never be, has made an exception.
The fast food chain is stepping in to feed passengers left affected by the Atlanta airport blackout, according to the City of Atlanta. They'll be served at the Georgia International Convention Center, where they are able to stay overnight, which is a pretty nice consolation given what some of these people have gone through. ...
It's a remarkable aberration from the company's policy on Sunday trading hours, rooted in founder Truett Cathy's devout Christian beliefs. The policy remains the same at the Chick-fil-A in the newly opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Its main tenant, the Atlanta Falcons, will only play one regular season game that doesn't fall on a Sunday. ...
See, this is how bad it has to get for Chick-Fil-A to open on a Sunday.
Actually, something is missing from that report and, well, the same angle is missing from most of the other online news reports about the not-on-Sunday angle in other reports.
As it turns out, many journalists were not anxious to cover the earlier Chick-fil-A Sunday service project back when it happened. Click here to see the Bobby Ross, Jr., post on that.
Over at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the lede completely missed the fact that this was not the first Chick-fil-A on Sunday operation. In fact, this wording comes close to erasing the earlier story.
ATLANTA -- It could be a first for Atlanta's favorite fried chicken sandwich restaurant -- Chick-fil-A opened up their hearts and their fryers to help the stranded travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Chick-fil-A is traditionally closed on Sundays but because of the massive power outage at the airport, they restaurant came to the rescue for thousands of stranded -- and hungry -- travelers.
Could!?! It "could be a first"?
Surely there were editors in Atlanta who remembered the rock-solid fact that there was an earlier example of Chick-fil-A leaders being willing to bend their policies in a time of emergency?
So who got the facts right?
This isn’t the first time Chick-fil-A has opened on a Sunday. The restaurant opened its doors in 2016 after a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Years earlier Dan Cathy, Truett Cathy’s son and the current owner of Chick-fil-A, sparked a scandal when he publicly stated that he and the business were opposed to gay marriage. His statements led to a years-long publicity nightmare for the business, though revenues remained strong throughout.
The company emphasizes that the policy of closing on Sundays allows employees and customers to spend time with friends and family. In a statement Dan Cathy said the restaurants occasionally open on Sundays “to serve communities in need.”
Actually, Dan Cathy was speaking on behalf of the family's private, non-profit FOUNDATION, not the restaurant chain itself. But, never mind. That story led to the "hate chicken" stories that have multiplied ever since.
In the Orlando case, some local Chick-fil-A operations opened on Sunday to rush food to people who were lining up, in the Florida heat and sun, to donate blood to help wounded survivors of the Pulse nightclub massacre.
So the Atlanta case represents an on-the-ground emergency in Chick-fil-A's own backyard. The Orlando case, in many ways, was more symbolic -- with Chick-fil-A people showing up on Sunday to help volunteers who were lining up to serve those suffering after the Pulse attack.
Either way, the details of the Orlando case are worth a sentence or two, especially in national media and the Atlanta newspaper.