Why Hoaxes Work
John, I totally agree with you on the perils. Of course, we know that these types of incidents will continue to be done because in their heart of hearts some people believe even if the incident didn't happen the sentiment is still there. It doesn't matter if a Christian couple didn't really write that message on the receipt because these victim-minded people (and their cohorts in the media) believe they still THINK it.
A few weeks ago Greg Gutfeld nailed it on "The Five" when he said the biggest problem lies with the media. They're the ones who run with these stories without checking them out. There will always be hucksters (hoaxsters?) who want to make a quick buck and get attention. The media is blinded by the narrative of the Christian bigot or homophobe that they suspend all journalistic responsibility. When a story like this starts unraveling, the blame falls on the hoaxster, but rarely on the media that gleefully participated in spreading the story. These reporters give hoaxsters a platform to perpetuate their lies and smear people. One lie by one hoaxster is bad. Plastering that lie on TV and the internet, giving it life and credibility, is a worse offense.