Conservatives launched an online attack against a local TV reporter who broadcast an interview with the owners of an Indiana pizza shop that triggered a social media firestorm.
“If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” Crystal O’Connor, owner of Memories Pizza, told WBND-TV.
The pizza shop became a flashpoint in the debate over the highly controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allows Indiana businesses to claim religious exemptions from discrimination suits.
The reporter, Alyssa Marino, said she stopped by Memories Pizza while seeking a business owner’s reaction to the law signed by Gov. Mike Pence, and O’Connor obliged.
“I just walked into their shop and asked how they feel,” Marino said, adding that the shop had never been asked to cater a same-sex wedding. “I don’t think anyone was really aware the attention this would get at the time of the interview. They just spoke their mind.”
Conservative websites, including National Review Online, accused Marino of unfairly thrusting the pizzeria into the public eye.
“If I were forced to mark out a story line, it would be this: A nice lady in a small town tries to be helpful and polite to a lovely young reporter from ‘the big city,’” wrote Scott Ott, of Pajamas Media.
The Daily Caller said Marino “ruined a business and destroyed a family’s safety.”
Twitter conservatives took the bait and filled Marino’s mentions with accusations and threats.
@Alyssa_marino ABC 57 “Storyteller” destroys Christian-owned pizza business. Proud of yourself sweetie?
— Haflings Harrison (@Haflings) April 2, 2015
@alyssa_marino nice reporting on the nice pizza people…youll get yours girlfriend…what goes around comes around
— brent martini (@ChromeFox1000) April 2, 2015
— Joseph Krynock (@josephkrynock) April 2, 2015
— An American Veteran (@AmericanVet3) April 2, 2015
— Xine (@xinemd) April 2, 2015
— Guy Fleegman (@RocIngersoll) April 2, 2015
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) April 2, 2015
— Chuck Brothers (@CBro1958) April 2, 2015
@alyssa_marino You should be fired.
— Black MikesChinHair (@Black_MCH) April 2, 2015
— Kevin McCulley (@DocHellfish) April 2, 2015
— BrewCitriot (@BrewCitriot) April 2, 2015
— Jacobs1758 MP (@Jacobs1758) April 2, 2015