December 21, 2019

Why Does Starbucks Melt Conservative Brains?
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) had an important warning to share on Tuesday: A Starbucks manager in North Carolina was firing employees for saying “Merry Christmas,” a sure sign to him of future persecution against Christians.There was just one problem. The supposed Starbucks manager, who tweeted from the account @MuellerDad69, was not a Starbucks manager at all but a co-host of the lefty humor podcast “Eat The Rich.” The trolly tweet should have been an obvious joke. But King was the latest conservative personality to fall for a hoax about Starbucks and its supposed politics. During the holiday season, and especially in a year when Starbucks’ founder attempted to launch a presidential campaign, the coffee company has become a magnet for contentious political issues. Starbucks is more than a purveyor of hot bean water—it’s the family table where America goes to argue.Take the past few weeks in Starbucks headlines. In late November, an Oklahoma Starbucks manager was fired after a police officer claimed he’d received a hot chocolate with “pig” printed on the label. The manager claimed the employee who printed the label was actually a longtime friend of the officer and that the cop told her the prank was “no big deal.” That context was omitted during a Fox News segment in which an anchor speculated that “maybe there’s an anti-law enforcement credo” at play in Starbucks. Last week, a California county sheriff claimed Starbucks baristas ignored a pair of police officers, prompting the sheriff to tweet that “the anti police culture repeatedly displayed by Starbucks employees must end.” This week, it was King’s participation in the “Merry Christmas” hoax.And all of this comes amid the annual right-wing panic over whether Starbucks’ holiday cups are sufficiently Christian, and whether its employees say “Merry Christmas.”Part of the problem is Starbucks’ role as a public meeting place in a country that invests little in so-called “third places”: areas of community engagement outside the home or workplace. Although spaces like parks and public squares conventionally fit this role, Starbucks is a popular substitute, where you can probably sit around for a few hours without buying anything. (It’s also why Starbucks functions as a de facto public restroom in cities like New York that won’t invest in usable public toilets.)That idea is baked into Starbucks’ business model, said Tim Calkins, a professor of marketing at Northwestern University.“Starbucks has always positioned itself as sort of a community spot,” Calkins told The Daily Beast. “We’ve long talked about the idea of a third place: there’s your home, there’s your work, and then there’s Starbucks.”But when a national coffee franchise takes on the duties of a civic space, it can become a site for our national angst. “The inadvertent consequence is that people bring up a lot of the issues that are affecting the community,” Calkins said. “You see a lot of these issues come to light.”One such issue prompted Starbucks to put its “third place policy” into writing last year. Although the coffee shops have long implied that anyone is welcome, a Philadelphia location was accused of racial profiling for calling the police on a pair of black men who were waiting in the shop ahead of a business meeting—an incident that sparked a national conversation on racism.Outrage Grows After Arrest of Two Black Men at a Philly StarbucksSuccessful brands necessarily face greater scrutiny, said Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University. But a successful coffee brand can come under fire in a way that successful car companies seldom do.“Coffee is something we engage in every day,” Galloway said. “What Chevrolet thinks—car purchases happen every 5 to 7 years—is not as much a part of our everyday lives. We have a much more intimate relationship with coffee; the fact that we’re in the store every day, and even the fact that coffee itself is somewhat linked to conversation and dialogue.”There’s also the question of whether Starbucks is seen as a liberal institution. Its founder, Howard Schultz, briefly teased a run against President Donald Trump this year. His promise to help America “come together” mirrored Starbucks’ loftiest aspirations as a public meeting place. But the mockery for Schultz’s presidential bid also looked a lot like the contempt for some of Starbucks’ liberal-leaning campaigns, like an ill-advised 2017 plan to have baristas write “race together” on coffee cups when they wanted to discuss race issues with customers. Though Schultz billed himself as a “centrist independent,” some of his anti-Trump aspirations might have colored Starbucks policies, Galloway suggested.“The founder of Dunkin [Donuts] has and is not positioning him or herself for a run for president,” he said. “I believe that Mr. Schultz—and this is his prerogative—wanted to be an active voice in the world of political discourse.”Fancy coffees can already code as liberal. The term “latte liberal” has been used to cast segments of the left as finicky yuppies. When President Barack Obama acknowledged a Marine while holding a coffee cup, the right called it the “latte salute” even though the contents of his cup were unknown. The stereotype has given rise to a baffling industry of explicitly conservative coffee brands like Black Rifle Coffee Company. When Starbucks was accused of being anti-police earlier this year, Black Rifle pledged to donate bags of coffee to police officers.Though much of its fare wouldn’t be out of place at other fast-food joints, Starbucks deliberately maintains an upscale image.“Starbucks has always been something of an aspirational place,” Calkins said. “I think people feel that about Starbucks, but as a result, they have expectations for the company. People bring all their opinions and points of view to Starbucks when they show up every day.”4Chan Hoax About Free Starbucks Coffee for Black Customers Reaches Laura Ingraham’s ShowThe result is a ubiquitous coffee chain that functions as a public space across the country, despite a perceived liberal image that clashes with many of its customers’ conservative politics. It’s a situation ripe for Fox News-style grievance narratives about the embattled Republican, forced to endure liberal tyranny everywhere he turns. That’s why some of the biggest Starbucks controversies have stemmed from the company’s own customers. In 2015, a conservative activist filmed a rant about Starbucks’ lack of explicit Christian imagery on its holiday cups, inspiring a wave of anti-Starbucks backlash on the religious right. Tellingly of America’s apolitical Starbucks addiction, some conservatives said they told baristas to write “Merry Christmas” on their cups, but did not boycott the company.The holiday furor never fully died down, and now the end of every year is marked by news stories about whether Starbucks’ holiday cups have done enough to appease the Christian right. (In 2017, the cups featured two cartoon hands holding each other, prompting conservative outlets like the Blaze to wonder whether the hands looked a little too masculine and whether Starbucks was promoting “a gay agenda.”)Inevitably, those fears migrated into hoaxes and parodies. @MuellerDad69’s trolling tweet (“I’m the manager of a Starbucks in Charlotte NC. I have informed my employees that they will be fired on the spot if I hear them say ‘Merry Christmas’ to any customers. I’m doing it because I personally dislike conservative Christians.”) was shared as a screenshot by a conservative Facebook user with the caption, “this guy hates our President and is now attacking Christians whose next … please share.” King shared that post with the caption “wow.”On Twitter, Starbucks—which did not respond to a request for comment for this story—clarified that it did not employ @MuellerDad69 and that his account had been suspended for impersonating a barista.Even when Starbucks hoaxes turn out to be fake, they’ve still found their way onto Fox News. In 2018, a 4chan hoax that encouraged trolls to demand free coffee for black customers was featured on Laura Ingraham’s primetime show as an example of “liberal guilt” and “liberals using black people.”Ingraham called the prank “so funny.”
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Israel at War

Israel has entered its fourth week of war against Hamas after the group infiltrated the country on October 7.

Israel conducted its most intense ground operation in Gaza overnight, attacking about 150 underground targets, according to IDF.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Media
Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
READ MORE
Watch It
Timothée Chalamet Addresses Date Night With Kylie Jenner at Beyoncé’s Concert | E! News
December 20, 2023
B3z63vdSZ6Q
How Cher REALLY Feels About Kelly Clarkson’s Cover of Her Song | E! News
December 20, 2023
kf7fwJHnaxU
Ryan Gosling Drops NEW Holiday Version of ‘I’m Just Ken' | E! News
December 20, 2023
FsBATnrFv6w
The Top 10 TV Shows of All Time | Variety
December 20, 2023
mwZnVmsQNAs
Ava DuVernay & Michael Mann l Directors on Directors
December 19, 2023
qBRTngfdqZ8
Ari Aster & Yorgos Lanthimos l Directors on Directors
December 18, 2023
BXYD3UISwCs
2023's Top TMZ Sports Interviews: Shaq, Gronk, Tyson, Derulo & More! | TMZ Sports Full Ep - 12/25/23
December 20, 2023
LuSEtAJ1Dms
Aaron Rodgers' Season Over and Lakers' Unique Banner Celebration! | TMZ Sports Full Ep - 12/19/23
December 20, 2023
_SZM5laBY1I
#SelenaGomez is standing by her man, #BennyBlanco, amid backlash from fans over their relationship
December 20, 2023
3OAOi6VvLnQ
Inside Brad Pitt’s whirlwind 60th birthday weekend with Ines de Ramon: Romantic Paris to festive LA
December 20, 2023
o9clvkwWVPI
Inside Brad Pitt’s whirlwind 60th birthday weekend with Ines de Ramon: Romantic Paris to festive LA
December 20, 2023
inNYH5LILUM
When Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce would likely get engaged, according to NFL WAG Hannah Ann Sluss
December 20, 2023
kFWOyZlTJFc
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
Latest Events
02
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Alaves
02
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Rayo Vallecano
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Newcastle United
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Rotherham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
QPR - Cardiff City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Coventry
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - West Bromwich Albion
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Ipswich Town
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Hull City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Southampton
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Leicester City - Huddersfield
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Bristol City - Millwall
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Plymouth - Watford
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Leeds - Birmingham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Sunderland - Preston NE
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Bournemouth
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Arsenal
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Roma
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Nottingham Forest - Manchester United
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Luton - Chelsea
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Sheffield United
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Sassuolo
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Brentford
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Everton
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Verona - Salernitana
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Burnley
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Lecce
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Bologna
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Empoli
29
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Inter Milan
29
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Monza
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Tottenham Hotspur
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Crystal Palace
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester City
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Aston Villa
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Liverpool
24
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Chelsea
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Arsenal
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Napoli
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Everton
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Manchester United
23
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Lecce
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Frosinone - Juventus
22
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Salernitana - AC Milan
21
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Alaves - Real Madrid
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.