BuzzFeed Targets HGTV Hosts for Attending Christian Church

 
Joanna and Chip Gaines
Joanna and Chip Gaines, hosts of “Fixer Upper” on HGTV.

So Buzzfeed reporter Kate Aurthur wrote a post about popular HGTV hosts Chip and Joanne Gaines which informed the world that the Gaineses’ have a pastor who is opposed to same-sex marriage. This post had one purpose and one purpose alone: to harm the couple. The post served no news purpose—even Aurthur concedes she never learned the Gaines’ view of same-sex marriage. The post cannot be termed “activism” since it fails at every level to persuade readers of the rightness of the same-sex marriage cause. Even the most generous alternate topic of Aurthur’s post, “Texas pastor opposes same-sex marriage,” is as dog-bites-chew-toy as a news item can be. The only conceivable purpose of targeting the popular television couple in this manner was to cost them viewers and, perhaps, their jobs.

To forestall the protestations, there can be no serious doubt that Aurthur specifically targeted the Gaineses as the object of her post. The headline, subhead, and first, second, third, and fourth paragraphs were solely about the Gaineses, their popular HGTV show “Fixer Upper,” and the fact that they are (gasp!) openly Christian. Only in the fifth paragraph does Aurthur wander into the question of whether gay people will appear on their television show (like with other HGTV programming), and the rest of the piece is about the Gainses’ pastor’s views.

The word for Buzzfeed publishing this garbage is “harassment.” Even as Aurthur (and her boss) hide behind a pretense of journalistic standards, there is no journalistic content in the piece. The Gainses cannot be blamed for declining to volunteer themselves as victims for Aurthur’s bullying. After years of contemptuous boycotts and Twitter outrage storms directed at individuals and companies over their views on same-sex marriage, harassers like Aurthur have taught many of their victims — reasonably! — to hunker down and say nothing.

Worse, harassment will never be a good tool of persuasion. Aurthur presumably supports same-sex marriage and would like more people to join her side of that cultural split. But by targeting the Gaines’ livelihood this way, without even knowing the couple’s views of marriage, Aurthur has made her own cause appear mean and and her publisher petty. Bystanders, watching this little drama can learn but one thing: a perfect stranger with a media platform can try to ruin your livelihood because of religious beliefs she imputes to you, and there isn’t a darn thing you can do about it. Perhaps people have a good reason not to respond to requests for comment from Buzzfeed reporters.

At the end of all this, Arthur has harmed the Gaineses, harmed her own cause, harmed her colleagues, and harmed her own reputation. And we still don’t know the Gaines’ view on marriage or why it is important to know the religious beliefs of reality television hosts. Given the month-long outcry over “fake news” swaying a presidential election, one would hope Buzzfeed takes more care in the future not to publish more fake news of its own.


A Ricochet welcome to a new contributor! Gabriel Malor is an attorney and writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

There are 67 comments.

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  1. Member

    Just like the sissy lefties who are too cowardly to own guns and hate those who do, this Buzzfeed writer probably can’t even change a flapper in her toilet and hates those who frequent Home Depot. That is a delightful show and the couple reflects rock solid American values, not Ivy League nonsense.

    As one Tweet said about this today, this is why Trump won.

    • #1
    • November 30, 2016 at 4:36 pm
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  2. Member

    My wife is a big fan, and I’ve seen the show a handful of times.

    As far as I can tell, Chip and Joanna don’t have a bigoted bone their bodies.

    I suppose I’m going to have to watch them more often in solidarity with their desire to (i) be kind to others and (ii) hold sincere religious beliefs.

    We are seeing the demise of journalism in America.

    • #2
    • November 30, 2016 at 4:40 pm
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  3. Member

    Welcome Gabriel! Thanks for the post.

    • #3
    • November 30, 2016 at 4:41 pm
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  4. Coolidge

    Haven’t we been told for years that the parishioner is not responsible for the preacher’s words? Since around 2008 when the Reverend Wright gained national attention?

    • #4
    • November 30, 2016 at 4:48 pm
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  5. Member

    Welcome Gabe!

    • #5
    • November 30, 2016 at 4:55 pm
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  6. Contributor

    As usual, a representative of the Left acts like she’s writing news when it’s obviously intended to be a slur. I don’t care what her pastor believes, and what they believe is nobody’s business. They are a delightful couple and demonstrate the love and attention that all marriages should emulate. I’m really sick of this hateful behavior. Thanks, Gabriel, for bringing it to our attention.

    • #6
    • November 30, 2016 at 4:58 pm
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  7. Coolidge

    This is a disgusting accusation with zero evidence that shows the lefts hatred for religious folks, specifically Christians.

    I see that zero introspection will be done on the part of the left as to why the country gave them the preverbrial boot.

    Psst, Buzz feed …… this is why.

    • #7
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:01 pm
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  8. Member

    And they wonder why we mistrust and hate them. Yes, I confess, I’m an anti-fifth-column fourth-estate bigot.

    • #8
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:01 pm
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  9. Member

    I’ve been following this all day on Twitter and the whole thing has me fuming. I am so very, very tired of all of this modern day McCarthyism. Instead of communism: it’s being a Christian and if you are a Christian, well you know what that means…you have to be a homophobe regardless of whether you’ve ever uttered a word or showed one iota of disagreement. It must be because the Left has decreed it to be and just like McCarthyism, you are guilty if you are friends with a known communist. So, since they attend a church where surprise, surprise their Pastor has preached against gay marriage they must be painted with the same brush. In this case, it’s more like tar and feathering.

    I’ve been watching this show for quite awhile. I’ve seen the Gaines in person when they were featured at our local lawn and garden show last year. I have never heard one word either on the show or at the show that they hated gays. I’ve never heard them state their politics either (thankfully).

    I keep coming back to the same thought over and over since the election: Keep it up. All it’s doing is confirming why the vote went to the right. Keep it up and we may continue to win for years to come.

    • #9
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:06 pm
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  10. Member

    Je suis Joanne Gaines. My pastor believes marriage is between one man and one woman, too.

    • #10
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:10 pm
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  11. Member

    I suppose my Facebook feed will be chuck full of memes from less reputable blogs (ponder that a bit) using this story as an anchor to come right out and slander these folks in the most outrageous terms. These memes will, of course be “shared” by many of my most considerate and correct thinking friends.

    • #11
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:14 pm
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  12. Coolidge

    Western Chauvinist:Je suis Joanne Gaines. My pastor believes marriage is between one man and one woman, too.

    I’m catholic and go to mass every week. Catholic doctrine states that marriage is a sacrament between one man and one women. I guess that makes me, my whole parish and every other Catholic parish in the world a bunch of hateful bigots.

    Stuff like this is so infuriating. The Gaines are good people who just want to fix up houses, that’s it. Can we just enjoy a home improvements show without tossing politics in it.

    • #12
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:18 pm
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  13. Inactive

    What ever happened to ‘live and let live’?

    • #13
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:19 pm
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  14. Coolidge

    Lily Bart:What ever happened to ‘live and let live’?

    The left doesn’t believe in live and let live. They believe in conformity.

    • #14
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:22 pm
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  15. Inactive

    Welcome Gabriel Malor! Happy to see you join as a contributor!

    • #15
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:28 pm
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  16. Member

    Mate De:

    Lily Bart:What ever happened to ‘live and let live’?

    The left doesn’t believe in live and let live. They believe in conformity.

    That’s why we have such a divided country and everyone stressed out. It’s a good show – everyone wants to label each other – just leave people alone – they have the right to believe whatever they want. You can actually be a Christian and love gays, and even liberals…

    • #16
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:31 pm
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  17. Member

    As a traditional Christian, a Catholic, my beliefs regarding divorce are also out of style. In short, I believe sacramental marriage is permanent and to “re-marry” by civil standards is a form of adultery.

    Obviously, that belief is similarly infuriating to people who don’t share it. But countless such couples have been willing to tolerate it to sustain our friendship — a friendship which is not defined by any simple litmus test.

    Why is this one issue — homosexuality — uniquely unquestionable and disagreement intolerable?

    Generations have been exploited to forcefully impose the Left’s norms. I hope some realize how they are being manipulated.

    • #17
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:52 pm
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  18. Thatcher

    Fine post … now give the man a Friday morning podcast.

    • #18
    • November 30, 2016 at 5:59 pm
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  19. Member

    Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Tim Kaine all belong to the Roman Catholic Church. BuzzFeed should check out the official position of the their church on same-sex marriage.

    • #19
    • November 30, 2016 at 6:28 pm
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  20. Thatcher

    Hi, Gabe. I read you for years over at AOSHq.

    My refusal to have anything whatsoever to do with BuzzFeed continues.

    • #20
    • November 30, 2016 at 6:37 pm
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  21. Member

    I find this action by Buzzfeed to be indefensible. Is there some effective action that can be taken to “punch back twice as hard”?

    • #21
    • November 30, 2016 at 7:21 pm
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  22. Inactive
    • #22
    • November 30, 2016 at 7:32 pm
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  23. Member

    Aaron Miller:As a traditional Christian, a Catholic, my beliefs regarding divorce are also out of style. In short, I believe sacramental marriage is permanent and to “re-marry” by civil standards is a form of adultery.

    Obviously, that belief is similarly infuriating to people who don’t share it. But countless such couples have been willing to tolerate it to sustain our friendship — a friendship which is not defined by any simple litmus test.

    Why is this one issue — homosexuality — uniquely unquestionable and disagreement intolerable?

    Generations have been exploited to forcefully impose the Left’s norms. I hope some realize how they are being manipulated.

    Another example: People of the left think the conservative policies or politicians I support are evil, and are not afraid to let me know it. Does it bother me or keep me from working together with them or socializing with them? No, it does not. I can take it. But for some reason it doesn’t work the other way around.

    • #23
    • November 30, 2016 at 7:33 pm
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  24. Member

    If more people observed the work and life example of Chip and Joanna Gaines, this country would not be so bitter and broken-hearted.

    Love them!

    • #24
    • November 30, 2016 at 7:36 pm
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  25. Inactive

    Reading the responses, some of them were “Bigotry can never be tolerated!”. As if they’re gonna jihad us or something. Well, I’ve got news for them… bring it. If this election didn’t clue you in that America’s give-a-$#!% limit has been reached, then they’ll damn sure find out the hard way.

    • #25
    • November 30, 2016 at 8:34 pm
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  26. Member

    I just tweeted BuzzFeed’s CEO Jonah Perriti’s wife:

    @andreaharner Blaming you for Kate Authur’s hit piece is about as fair as she was to Joanna and Chip Gaines. Tell Jonah.

    • #26
    • November 30, 2016 at 9:05 pm
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  27. Inactive

    The left has to be this intolerant on gay marriage – it requires tyranny to make people acquiesce to an obvious lie.

    • #27
    • November 30, 2016 at 9:26 pm
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  28. Member

    Mate De: This is a disgusting accusation with zero evidence that shows the lefts hatred for religious folks, specifically Christians.

    Let’s ask Mr. Gould to explain to us  why the liberals engage in the production of “false news” stories. To what end do they do this? Where is the value? Have they no sense of reality? No compassion for a loving, harmonious couple?

    And, btw, just where is the evidence that this is news, or even true. Certainly no thinking person would be expected to accept this story as “news” with data or science or something.

    Oh, and where are those darn algorithms and censors that are supposed to be protecting me from this faux news! I’m feeling miss-informed. I am being denied the opportunity to make thoughtful decisions. Please save me from the Haters!

    • #28
    • November 30, 2016 at 9:46 pm
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  29. Inactive

    Welcome, Gabe! American media culture is a cross between Bizarro-world and 1984. Right is wrong, and we are going to make you say it’s wrong. No wonder the media’s approval rating is hovering around federal government levels.

    • #29
    • November 30, 2016 at 10:07 pm
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  30. Member

    Front Seat Cat: You can actually be a Christian and love gays, and even liberals…

    Well, yes. But it would be easier if they would love you in return. (And I understand a true Christian would say that shouldn’t matter.)

    • #30
    • November 30, 2016 at 10:57 pm
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