When I was in middle school, a very smart teacher (who I'm sure now was probably conservative) gave us a small project. We were to bring in a newspaper page and look for the words that might indicate opinion. Sprinkled throughout stories written as "news reports" were hints at the author's opinion on the matter; and if you didn't read carefully, a reporter could lead you to agree with his analysis. Although middle school is kind of a blur now, that little project stuck with me. It was mind-blowing at the time. I thought newspapers delivered the news and allowed you to form your opinions. I felt betrayed. I have read with skepticism ever since.
Having seen numerous stories of late about waiters and waitresses being stiffed because of the color of their skin, their sexual preference or maybe they just need to "get a real job," and with the blame usually being lobbed at Christians, I was instantly skeptical of the latest story out of New Jersey. While one story hasn't been proven fake yet, although Obama did take the opportunity to peddle Obamacare over it, the rest have been uncovered to be hoaxes. In the "get a real job" case, the fake 1% tip left for the waiter took place around the time Obama was bravely standing up for the 99% against the evil, rich 1%. The Red Lobster receipt, on which was supposedly written a racial slur, was also proven to be a hoax; but not before over $10,000 poured in for the offended waitress. The customer in that case was suing both the restaurant and server when last reported.
In the New Jersey story, which broke earlier this month, the waitress provided a receipt showing no tip left and a note explaining that her "lifestyle" was the reason for the lack of tip. And despite the fact that prior evidence proved caution should be exercised, the media jumped on it. Not just the media on the left either. The right, including Christians publications, were quick to shame Christians for their hateful behavior. What I found most interesting while watching the drama unfold was the fact that the note made no mention of Christians. The media, left and right, just assumed that it must be those hate-filled Christians again. And how did they know of her "lifestyle?" Did she announce she was gay while reciting the specials? Yet despite the holes, the story was reported and Christians were bashed again.
So it comes as no surprise that a couple has come forward disputing the receipt in question. Courtesy NBC 4 New York, are the receipts showing the couple left an $18 tip. The couple also says they didn't vote for Chris Christie because he doesn't support gay marriage and, therefore, would never leave a note like that.
Meanwhile, over $2,000 has been collected by the waitress from well-meaning people around the world. Fortunately, the waitress in this story has said she was donating at least some of the money to the Wounded Warrior Project. Perhaps she didn't mean to steal that much money...
So will the many publications and news channels that reported this latest scam retract their stories? I'll remain skeptical on that. The updates to the prior false stories were far and few between. And who wants to admit that all Christians aren't really anti-gay bigots? Certainly not the mainstream media.
As a side note, I'd be remiss if I didn't cover the issue of lying waitstaff. As a former waitress, I can assure you that someone not tipping is commonplace. The reason for it is pretty boring - people just don't tip well sometimes no matter how hard you work. And while many waitstaff just deal with not making a lot of money, many cheat the system to make up for bad tippers. They don't ring up your soft drinks, they blame the kitchen staff so you don't know they made a mistake and at the end of the night they don't claim all the tips they actually made. It's hard to blame them when they're only making $3.50 an hour and running around like crazy for an average tip of 12 - 15%. But in the end, there is no justification for lying and they make all servers look bad with their behavior.
Unfortunately, just like the real people who leave no tip, there are waitstaff out there that are willing to do the wrong thing. And it would behoove the media to maybe check with a second source before they print anymore of these falsehoods. Just a tip...