The BuzzFeed website is displayed on an iPad held by an Associated Press staffer in Los Angeles, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Comcast, which became a TV powerhouse by signing up Generation Xers, is investing in online media outlets like BuzzFeed and Vox that attract millenial viewers. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Ben Smith Goes into Damage Control Over BuzzFeed’s Bigoted Attack on Christians. But His Defense Is Bullcrap.

As Gabriella noted earlier today, BuzzFeed is running an attack against Chip and Joanna Gaines, two orthodox Christian evangelical believers who dare to have a show on HGTV.

Ben Smith, the Editor of BuzzFeed, is trying to defend the attack on Chip and Joanna Gaines by claiming the piece is not about them, but about HGTV.


Here is the headline of the article:

Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage

That references a Bible believing Christian church. It never mentions HGTV.

What about the subtitle. That reads:

Their pastor considers homosexuality to be a “sin” caused by abuse — whether the Fixer Upper couple agrees is unclear.

That references the couples’ pastor and the couple. It never mentions HGTV. In fact, it makes the story expressly about the couple, not HGTV.

So let’s review the story. The first paragraph opens this way:

Chip and Joanna Gaines’ series Fixer Upper is one of the most popular shows on HGTV. The couple…

That makes the first paragraph about the couple, only referencing HGTV to describe the couple is worth covering because they have a popular TV show on HGTV.

What about the second paragraph? It begins

They have built a small empire, and they are not done yet.

Again, that’s about the couple, not HGTV. Third paragraph? It begins

They are also, as they detail in The Magnolia Story, devout Christians — Joanna has spoken of and written about her conversations with God.

Oh, so now not only is it not about HGTV, it focuses on the couple’s faith and then goes into their church’s beliefs, which are shared by thousands of mainstream churches across the country. You get the sense of where this is headed by the opening of the fourth paragraph.

So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage? So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage? And would they ever feature a same-sex couple on the show, as have HGTV’s House Hunters and Property Brothers? ever feature a same-sex couple on the show, as have HGTV’s House Hunters and Property Brothers?

Wait. I thought Ben Smith says this is about HGTV. That paragraph starts again about the Gaineses and then asks if they, not HGTV would have a gay couple on the show.

Maybe the next paragraph will make this about HGTV and not the couple. Let’s see. The next paragraph begins

Fixer Upper has fans of all stripes: Christians, feminists, and LGBT viewers have all found something to love in the Gaineses. So in the absence of a response from them or their representatives, it’s worth looking at the severe, unmoving position Seibert and Antioch take on same-sex marriage.

That’s the full paragraph.

If the story is about HGTV, why not look at the copious examples of HGTV putting homosexuals on HGTV. The network is inarguably inclusive. If the story is about HGTV, why look at the “severe, unmoving position” of orthodox Christianity.

And that’s where we get to the bigotry of Buzzfeed.

Christianity views homosexuality as a sin. Buzzfeed is attacking a couple and their church for daring to hold, or presuming to hold in the case of the couple, mainstream, tradition Christian views on sin.

Buzzfeed’s story is designed to harass Christians, a Christian church, and a Christian couple and demand a specific view point on their show by making the implication that the viewpoint is not allowed on the show.

When called out on it by many, many people, Ben Smith engaged in damage control that does not hold up when reviewing the article. The article was not about HGTV. It was about a couple and their church.

The article is blatant bigotry against Bible believing Christians.

That Ben Smith is so tone deaf as to defend it and spin it into something it is not is just another example of the tone deaf left after the election, which lost a massive number of Democrats convinced their party had become more interested in bathrooms than job creation.

In this case, Ben Smith and Buzzfeed are perfectly happy to cost a couple their job because they dare to hold views Buzzfeed finds offensive.

As we say around here, you will be made to care.

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Erick Erickson

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