In Defence Of Papa John’s And John Schnatter
I get really, really annoyed at the Chinese whispers of the so-called ‘progressive’ internet sometimes.
You’ve probably seen a huge number of shared image macros calling for a boycott of Papa John’s Pizza, because they’re cutting people’s hours so they don’t have to pay health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. Awful, right? You probably shared one of the pictures yourself.
And it’s definitely true, because it clearly says so on MSN — “The pizza mogul announces he will reduce worker hours in light of Obama’s re-election”.
Except that their source is the Huffington Post, which only says “he will likely reduce workers’ hours”, not that he’s announced he’s going to.
Except that *THEIR* source is this story from Schnatter’s local newspaper, where he talks about what he perceives as good and bad points of the law, before saying that “it was likely that some franchise owners would reduce employees’ hours”
Papa John’s is a franchise chain, which means that in different areas of the US the restaurants are owned by separate businesses, which just buy the license from the central company. All Schnatter has actually said is that *some of those separate businesses, which he does not control* *MIGHT* cut hours, not that he is going to do anything at all.
I disagree with Schnatter about the Affordable Care Act, but it seems all he’s actually done is commit the terrible crime of having a nuanced position — saying it’s good that everyone will be covered, but that he could imagine some people, other people, cutting employees’ hours as a result — in an age when nuance is deadly.
But then, I don’t know why I’m bothering to write this — these words aren’t overlayed on a photograph, and they’re all correctly spelled, so no-one will read it…