Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The sky is falling on Chick-Fil-A

At VCU basketball games I've covered, a couple of times Chick-Fil-A sandwiches were offered to the working press. Yes, on top of the free seat on press row, or in the press box, colleges feed meals to the credentialed media reps for covering their games, IF you get there early enough. The same is true at conference tournaments.

So I know what a Chick-Fil-A standard chicken sandwich tastes like and I can easily live without another one, even if it's free.

But as the story of political chicken sandwiches flaps in the breeze of popular culture lots of folks who ordinarily ignore political news are noticing it. While lovers of the sandwich, or those who want to support anything that bashes the citizens they hate, show their support for Chick-Fil-A, VCU is noticing this brouhaha, too.

So are all the other universities. So are many organizations that care about their images.

The more Chick-Fil-A is depicted by rightwingers as a victim in this game, the more Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Days there are, the longer this story’s legs get.

The more culture war supporters of Chick-Fil-A begin to resemble sign-carrying members of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church the less any organization with any sense of reality in 2012 will want to be identified with the views of Dan Cathy, who apparently speaks for his father’s Atlanta-based company. And, he speaks for turning back the hands of time.

Yes, the enthusiastic supporters of Chick-Fil-A are going to buy a lot of sandwiches today -- cha-ching! -- but by doing so they are enlarging the ugly story, which in the long run isn’t going to help Chick-Fil-A at all.

What's the sound of a cash register not being used?

Forget about the ads depicting parachuting Chick-Fil-A cows dropping into a football stadium. Now Chick-Fil-A is dropping the public relations equivalent of cow pies, instead.

The sky itself is falling on Chick-Fil-A's future at its 1,615 stores in 39 states. It’s going to be way too easy for VCU and the athletic departments at many other schools to order pizzas for the guys on press row.

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