On Aug. 1, CBS Evening News ignored the massive crowds that turned out that day at Chick-Fil-A restaurants around the nation in support of traditional marriage, free speech, or simply tasty fast food. ABC and NBC, by contrast, covered “Chick-Fil-AAppreciation Day” with full and surprisingly respectful reports on their evening newscasts.
The August 1 episode of CBS Evening News completely failed to mention the massive crowds at Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the country. And it’s not as though the network was unaware of it. CBSNews.com mentioned Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day (without providing video), reporter Stephanie Condon treated the event as an inside-the-beltway political affair, calling it a “rallying point for conservative pols.” The site also featured commentary from writer Erik Sherman, arguing that Chick-fil-A’s “brand perception” took a major hit because of Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy’s remarks.
NBC Nightly News showed five separate quick clips of protestors against Chick-fil-A, but showed numerous images of massive crowds in support of Chick-fil-A. Reporter John Yang noted: “From Texas to Pennsylvania to Chicago, people lined up in big numbers to support a fast food chain under fire.” Brian Williams even began the report with a respectful nod to the company’s product, declaring: “For those who live near one, Chick-Fil-A makes a good product and they do chicken well. It’s when the man in charge branched off into family values that his chicken chain got into the news as part of a larger debate over same-sex marriage.”
ABC’s World News Tonight also noted the “thousands and thousands of people at Chick-Fil-Arestaurants from coast to coast” and showed several images of massive lines and crowds at several Chick-Fil-A restaurants. The report even featured a woman who declared: “I don’t support the politics, but I do support the food. Go Chick-fil-A.” But reporter Steve Osunsami couldn’t resist making one statement that could have been right out of a Human Rights Campaign press release: “Chick-Fil-A has long handed out millions to groups that fight against protections for gay Americans.”
The major networks tend to ignore trends and major events that do not fit liberal narratives. ABC and NBC's evening newscasts bucked the trend this time, covering Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day fairly respectfully. CBS's evening newscast, however, ignored the “buycott” altogether.
Update: CBS This Morning did cover the events at Chick-fil-A.