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Researcher Takes Issue with LA Times Chick-fil-A Coverage

Following up her initial report about some sloppy MSM reporting that suggested Chick-fil-A “had decided to cease donations to “anti-gay” groups,” consumer research specialist Anne Sorock today retraces the week’s full sequence of events. It’s not pretty.

On Tuesday, Chicago’s Civil Rights Agenda put out a press release claiming that its efforts in concert with local Alderman Moreno had led the chain to “cease anti-gay donations.” On Wednesday, much media coverage followed, followed by a Thursday clarification from Chick-fil-A:

For many months now, Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized. And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving. For that reason, we want to provide some context and clarity around who we are, what we believe and our priorities in relation to corporate giving.

Writes Sorock today:

When I fact-checked the Civil Rights Agenda press release, I determined that, at best, we had no way to corroborate what they were saying; at worst, they were falsifying and spinning what was, in fact, no change whatsoever from Chick-fil-A’s original corporate giving policy…

The lack of due diligence from reporters like the LA TimesTiffany Hsu led to scores more erroneous headlines, as articles like hers were then picked up by affiliates like the Denver Post and spread around the country.

In response to a query, LA Times vp of communications Nancy Sullivan told FishbowlLA that the paper feels Hsu’s original story and follow-up Thursday address the questions posed.

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