BuzzFeed's Piece on HGTV's 'Fixer Uppers' Decried

Kate Arthur took a look at the church Chip, Jo Gaines attend
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2016 5:33 AM CST
Updated Dec 1, 2016 10:51 AM CST
In this March 29, 2016 photo, Joanna Gaines, left, and Chip Gaines pose for a portrait in New York to promote their home improvement show, "Fixer Upper," on HGTV.   (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – What HGTV superstars Chip and Joanna Gaines think about same-sex marriage is unclear. Whether they'd bring their Fixer Upper skills to a gay couple is also unclear—BuzzFeed tried to get an answer on the question from the couple's reps and couldn't. So Kate Arthur came at the questions from a different angle in an article published Tuesday: by looking at the devout Christians' "nondenominational, evangelical, mission-based megachurch," Antioch Community Church, and its pastor, Jimmy Seibert. She writes that Seibert, a self-described "good friend" of the Gaineses, takes a "severe, unmoving position" on gay marriage and believes in conversion therapy. Reaction to the piece:

  • Writing for the Week, Peter Weber calls it a "lame hit-piece" and suggests the overall question isn't one worth asking. If the Gaineses "aren't talking about gay marriage, who cares what they think? They host a home-rejuvenation-and-flipping TV show."
  • At the Washington Times, Kelly Riddell takes issue with the side-door approach. "Essentially, Ms. Aurthur hasn’t done any reporting to know how the Gaineses actually feel about the topic, she—and BuzzFeed—just want to drum up a digital mob against the couple."
  • The Daily Caller lets one BuzzFeed commenter do the talking: "This is the dumbest story I have ever heard. It’s like a witch hunt for their beliefs, to try an stir the oil from a pot into the flames of the stove."
  • Cosmopolitan, however, suggests BuzzFeed has raised a question worth answering: "Given the diversity of Fixer Upper's audience, this is a startling revelation that has left many wondering where Chip and Jo stand."
  • At HotAir, Allahpundit sees an error of execution: "It’s odd that a story that’s supposedly about discrimination, not belief, would focus up front on belief rather than discrimination. It’s also odd that the bulk of the story maintains that focus."
  • Megyn Kelly addressed the article on her Fox News show Wednesday night, saying, "They haven't gone out there to the pulpit and said anything. They just attend a church that BuzzFeed decided to investigate."
An earlier profile of the Gaineses was decidedly more flattering. (Read more HGTV stories.)

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