There's something amazing about watching a bogus story spread like wildfire through conservative media. This week offered a rather classic example.
The story actually starts with a 2013 incident in which a lesbian couple in Oregon approached a local bakery, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, about a cake for their commitment ceremony. The bakery's owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein, refused, citing their anti-gay beliefs.
The couple, taking advantage of Oregon's Equality Act of 2007, filed a complaint -- state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. State officials, not surprisingly, sided with couple and imposed a fine against Sweet Cakes.
But a few days ago, the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal published a report claiming that an Oregon labor commissioner had "placed an effective gag order" on the bakery. Which led the Weekly Standard to repeat the claim. National Review soon followed. From there, it was on to Breitbart, the Daily Caller, Fox News' website, and on Sunday, a Fox News broadcast.
The Weekly Standard's piece, in particular, told readers:
According to the state, the Kleins are now forbidden from talking about the ruling against them.
This isn't true. Before your uncle who watches Fox all day sends you an all-caps email expressing his outrage, let's set the record straight.