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Don't Be a Headline Junkie

May 20, 2020

Posted by

Charles Dahlheimer

Recognized as one of the industrys leading visionaries, Dahlheimer is publisher of The Real Estate Professional magazine and The Real Estate Executive Summary.  He co-authored Real Es Read more

On January 30, 2017, just after President Trump's innauguration, Business Insider ran the headline: “PAPA JOHN'S CEO: America is on a path to becoming what Germany was in 1867”

Those who only read headlines likely saw this as a commentary on where Trump would be taking the nation.  And that was confirmed even further for those who only read a few paragraphs deep. 

The opening line:  “The founder of Papa John's isn't happy about where the US is headed.”

A little further in, “America in 2016 is on the path to becoming what Germany was in 1867," Schnatter writes in "Papa." 

Hmm. So all this was written in 2016, during the Obama administration!   But for their clickbait headline, they conveniently eliminated the phrase “in 2016.”

Then, a bit more of Schnatter’s observations are revealed:

“Free enterprise is increasingly under assault by a government that grows bigger with every passing day," he writes.

“Speaking with Business Insider, Schnatter emphasized that he believes that regulation in the US needs to be dialed back to help businesses thrive.”

Now he’s beginning to sound like Trump.

The article continues:

“In 2012, Schnatter came under fire for saying the Affordable Care Act could be "lose-lose" for Papa John's franchisees and employees, and said that the law  would raise pizza prices . Papa John's shares slumped about 4.2% during the controversy, Forbes reported.”

Even more like Trump.  And that was in 2012!

And if you read all the way to the end:

“As far as the politics, I have no idea," he said. "I do think we ought to give the new administration at least a chance to either do better things or to botch it."

In terms of regulation, at least, President Trump seems to be  redirecting the restaurant industry in a direction Schnatter would appreciate. The president has promised to eliminate "wasteful and unnecessary regulation which kills jobs."

So maybe the more honest headline would have been::

 “PAPA JOHN’S CEO:  Trump ‘s direction likely good for the restaurant industry.”

Or, at least:

 “PAPA JOHN’S CEO:  Give the new administration at least a chance to either do better things or to botch it.”

The same might be directed to the U.S. Congress, after three years of blocking nearly everything the president has been trying to accomplish--then attempting to remove him from office through the lengthy process of impeachment.