Christian celebrities like Chip and Joanna Gaines are often the target of media attacks, but in one outlet’s hope to take a swipe at the couple for financially supporting what they wanted its readers to believe was an anti-leftist cause, they got it laughably wrong: The Gaines had only donated $1,000 to the cause of helping Chip’s sister campaign for a spot on the local school board.
Part of the reason Americans don’t trust the media is because of its constant goal of stirring up trouble against conservatives where none should exist.
The Hill recently ran a non-story entitled, “TV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines donate to campaign against critical race theory in schools.” If the story behind the headline was that the couple donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-CRT initiatives, perhaps that would be somewhat newsworthy, although to whom and how much they donate is their own personal business.
That wasn’t the case, however. In fact, there’s no evidence that the couple was even donating to an anti-CRT initiative, but only that they donated $1,000 to the campaign of Chip’s sister, Shannon Braun, who is running for the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District School Board in Texas and happens to oppose CRT.
It is true that Braun is a staunch critic of critical race theory. She said, “I will vote down anything and everything that further promotes critical race theory in our school district and actively work to remove all critical race theory.” She also described the ideology as the “single most divisive threat.” At a time when parents across the country are pushing back on the ideology, her statements are hardly out of the mainstream or even worthy of national news.
Near the end of the article, the Hill awkwardly and irrelevantly stated, “In 2017, it was reported that the Gaines family attended a church known for its anti-LGBTQ+ views, according to BuzzFeed.”
Yahoo! News Insider picked up on the story as well, but added to the Hill’s mendacity by running the headline, “Chip and Joanna Gaines reportedly donated $1,000 to a Texas school board candidate trying to ban teaching about systemic racism.”
This isn’t the first time the couple has experienced backlash because of reporting distortions by the media. For example, they were accused of “homophobia” because they did not feature a homosexual couple on their show and because they attend a church that believes in biblical teaching on marriage and sexuality.
Chip Gaines responded to the hatred the family received for allegedly attending an “anti-LGBT” church with a brilliant statement in which he said that disagreement is not hate. He advocated for building bridges between people who disagree, not assuming the worst about them. He also said, “We are not about to get in the nasty business of throwing stones at each other, don’t ask us to cause we won’t play that way.”
The Gaines family has shown nothing but kindness, tolerance, and class throughout their time in the public eye. The media doesn’t understand them, however, because the media has no class and not much tolerance and kindness for anyone who doesn’t share their political and cultural views. Media outlets weaponize headlines knowing that people will respond in anger to the headline without actually delving into the article. Some Twitter users have already said they are boycotting the Gaines’ businesses over the CRT allegation.
The Hill’s objective was made clear by including its parting shot referencing the media-manufactured “scandal” of daring to attend a church that teaches biblical doctrine on marriage. The media seeks to portray Christians and conservatives as racists and homophobes if they do not pray at the altar of wokeism.
Remember also that even as the media shouts to “stop Asian hate” and celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage month, Joanna Gaines is half Korean (and one-quarter Lebanese). In the wake of reports of anti-Asian attacks, she discussed her struggle growing up Asian, such as being made fun of by other students. She wrote,
“We can’t take lightly the power that our words and actions carry. The world needs who we were ALL made to be and all the amazing and beautiful differences we each bring with us. Maybe if we say it enough, it will ring true and become the message that softens even the hardest of hearts.”
To the media we say, do better. Instead of vilifying people like Chip and Joana Gaines, maybe try learning from them. And maybe consider that there may be legitimate reasons people like Braun oppose CRT other than that they might be white supremacists.
As Joanna said, your words have power. And that’s especially true if you are a member of the media and you’ve been given the privilege — and the responsibility — of a high-profile platform from which to speak.