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Saturday, July 19, 2008
CNS Ignores Lack of Evidence to Back Up McDonald's Boycott

The problem with reporters being sympathetic to one side of the issue they're covering is that they overlook gaping errors in the logic of the side they're sympathetic to.

Which is what we see in a July 18 article by Pete Winn about the American Family Association's boycott of McDonald's of its support of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and, more specifically, a McDonald's spokesman's statement in reaction to it that "Hatred has no place in our culture." Winn uncritically quotes Matt Barber, now of Liberty Counsel, as saying, "He insulted tens of millions of Americans who believe that the historical definition of marriage between one man and woman is important and crucial to society. He said that we’re haters and we’re motivated by hate. That, on its face, is a bold-face lie." Winn also writes, "Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, said Christians who oppose homosexual marriage do so for moral and practical reasons, not because they 'hate' homosexuals."

What is missing from Winn's article -- as we've previously noted is also missing from other ConWeb accounts of the boycott -- is any evidence that NGLCC is in any way involved with the issue of gay marriage. Given that McDonald's puported "taking sides" on the issue of gay marriage by its support of the NGLCC is the crux of the boycott, no evidence has been advanced to demonstrate that this is, in fact, the case.

The weakness of the fundies' case against McDonald's is (probably inadvertently) summed up by Winn:

LaBarbera took issue with that view, characterizing the NGLCC as “a homosexual group which is working to extend advances made by homosexual activist groups over the last two decades or more.”
He also noted that the organization takes political positions on legislation that involves homosexuality and the homosexual agenda.
“McDonald’s paid $20,000 so that one of its top executives could have a seat on the (NGLCC’s) board of directors,” LaBarbera said. “How is that not an endorsement of the homosexual agenda?"

LaBarbera can be expected to traffic in vague statements that obscure the weakness of his argument -- to him, a mere $20,000 from a multibillion-dollar business given to a business-promotion group (LaBarbera provides no apparent evidence that it's anything other than that) is prima facie "endorsement of the homosexual agenda." A news organization that purports to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story" should have higher standards.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, July 19, 2008 11:02 PM EDT

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