The Indiana pizzeria owners who said they won’t cater to gay weddings also said they have no problem serving gays in their restaurant, but the news outlet that broke the story seemingly buried that statement near the end of the article where few would see it.
The ABC 57 article entitled Michiana Business Wouldn’t Cater a Gay Wedding largely follows an “inverted pyramid” style routinely used in journalism where the most important information comes first and the least important comes last, but the statement from the owners of Memories Pizza clarifying they have no problem serving gay people in their restaurant was placed at the very bottom of the article whereas their quote stating they won’t cater to gay weddings was placed near the top.
Also, the headline “…Business Wouldn’t Cater a Gay Wedding” is arguably misleading: the O’Connors were NEVER ASKED to cater to a gay wedding; an ABC 57 reporter only asked them hypothetically if they would cater to one IF asked.
“The O’Connor family told ABC 57 news that if a gay couple or a couple belonging to another religion came in to the restaurant to eat, they would never deny them service,” the second to last paragraph of the 18-paragraph article said, with the last paragraph stating: “The O’Connors say they just don’t agree with gay marriages and wouldn’t cater them if asked to.”
In comparison, here’s the first several paragraphs of the article:
So why would ABC 57 feel the fact that the O’Connors owned the pizzeria for nine years was more relevant to the story than the fact the O’Connors stated they had no problem serving gay customers in their restaurant, even though that statement ties into their ‘no catering to gay weddings’ quote in the third paragraph?
Especially when only a very small percentage of readers make it to the bottom of a news article.
An ABC 57 reporter was contacted for comment, but has yet to respond as of this writing.
The questionable prioritization of information in the article, as well as the headline, will likely spark debate over whether the ongoing controversy surrounding the pizzeria was fueled by the media more so than the owners’ statements, especially considering the mainstream media has long been accused of manipulating public opinion toward a pre-existing agenda.