Chicken Fight

It started when DCist rather innocuously announced that a Chick-fil-A food truck was coming to D.C. and that “chicken lovers” could finally “rejoice.” The news prompted Dean Gold of restaurant Dino in Cleveland Park to tweet “ChickFilA_Fuckers hate gays and we need to care? What a massive fail for DCist! Fck em both!!” No, I’m not sure why Gold bothered to censor himself the second time he dropped the f-bomb.

The staff at DCist took offense because they, too, consider themselves strong defenders of gay rights and scoffed at Gold’s tweet. All they wanted to do is mention the food truck is coming. Do they have to mention the restaurant’s political affiliations?

A DCist editorial shot back,

To Gold, there’s nothing separating Chick-fil-A’s chicken from its conservative politics—notably it’s support for anti-gay causes through the WinShape Foundation. (All the details are here.) You support one, you support the other. So by publishing news that Chick-fil-A was coming to town and saying that people should “rejoice,” we were basically saying that everyone should “rejoice” because bigots were marching into town for a big party. Not just any bigots, mind you—but bigots who make industrial fast food.

Now over at the Washington City Paper, the argument has continued ad infinitum. Just read the comment section, in which Gold puts in more than his two cents and the DCist editor in chief gets sucked into the debate as well, with charges of mischaracterization thrown back and forth.

Gold says, in part:

How we spend dollars shapes r world. Hate gays, spend at Chick-fil-A & Target.

Every act of spending money, every time you buy food it is political. If you buy fast food, you are supporting the GMO and better living thru chemicals point of view.

Chick-fil-A got caught giving money to an anti gay hate group and then covered it up. They then issued statement after statement from their corporate headquarters in defense of their local operator. Not once did they take responsibility.

Here is a list of things allowed in your food that don’t have to be labeled. Big AG, of which Chick-fil-A is a player, is allowed to lie!

If you choose not to think about issues like this, like public health, like our environment, you get what the result of corporate greed and hate bring.

I am rabble rousing for people to think before the say and spend.

Incidentally, I interviewed Gold two years ago for The Smart Set regarding the illegal practice of eating cats in Italy. (He almost did.)

Meanwhile, the DCist made its own strong points in the editorial:

We rarely run a litmus test on restaurants and restaurateurs, because whether a cook or a meal is good or not doesn’t change with their political affiliations. Would a staunchly Republican Michel Richard be any less Michel Richard? Speaking of, who has Gold voted for in the past? Given money to? How about his employees? Does any of that make Dino less the destination? What about Busboys and Poets’ Andy Shallal, who regularly supports left-leaning causes? Should Republicans boycott his incredibly popular restaurants because of it? How about The Black Squirrel? Did owner Tom Knott’s musings on illegal immigration last year change your opinions on the quality of the beer or food he serves?

Gold then issued this clarification: “I do not limit myself to shopping at businesses that have the same purchasing standards as I do when it comes to sustainable foods. There are some that are stricter, and some that have no idea. But, for instance, I do not go to restaurants that serve Blue Fin. I would not go to a fish and chip place that sells cod and skate. But I would not condemn others who do….”

This all might not have happened if an editor decided to headline the item “Chick-fil-A Lovers Rejoice” instead of “Chicken Lovers Rejoice.”

There is one line that deeply bothers me in the DCist editorial: “Gold has every right to hate Chick-fil-A’s politics. As a 10-year D.C. resident and staunch supporter of gay rights and equality, they certainly rub me the wrong way.”

Is there anything worse than a dangling modifier?

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