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At issue

In 1991, in response to a customer complaint, Cracker Barrel fired several gay staffers. The Tennessee-based chain of 165 restaurants later stated that it wouldn’t employ people “whose sexual preferences fail to demonstrate normal heterosexual values.” (Hey, they don’t call it Cracker Barrel for nothing.)

Impact

Vocal on-site protests have brought a lot of negative publicity, but some reports have it that more people are actually patronizing CB in support of its anti-gay policies. Although the policy is not illegal–gays and lesbians aren’t protected from discrimination by any federal law–CB declined to comment.

Next Company . . .

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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