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April 01, 2014 3:13 PM Joke and No Joke

By Ed Kilgore

The Guardian is keeping a running tab of the best media April Fool’s pranks today. So far, they’ve got a Pet Membership announcement at MOMA, a finding of Robin Hood’s bones on Maid Marian Way in Nottingham, a special “safe text-and-walk” path at Northeastern University, and a Klingon edition of Rosetta Stone. A little closer to the bone there is the New York Coalition Against Hunger’s fake House GOP press release calling for an infant work requirement for WIC beneficiaries, and a phony report that Piers Morgan will serve as media advisor to UK’s troubled Lib Dem Party.

There’s another crazy item today, however, that seems to be actual news, best I can tell, from the Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate.:

Starbucks has apologized to a Louisiana schoolteacher who complained that a Baton Rouge barista drew Satanic symbols in her coffee foam.
It all happened at the Mall of Louisiana but was promptly liked and shared via Facebook by approximately 1,800 people.
“(Sunday) was the first we heard of it when she posted on our Facebook page,” Starbucks social media team spokesman Tom Kuhn told The Daily Advertiser. “We reached out to her through social media and apologized. We’re taking the complaint seriously. We’re not sure who served her or what kind of beverage it was. It looks kind of caramel-ish in the photos.”
Megan Pinion posted the complaint and a photo of her two beverages. One had a star drawn in the foam, which she conceded could simply be a star like the one in Starbucks logo rather than Lucifer’s pentagram. The other beverage had a 666 drawn in the foam. It is a number the Book of Revelations links to the Antichrist.
“I unfortunately can’t give the young man’s name who served it, because I was so appalled that I could not bring myself to look at him,” Pinion wrote in her post. “I am in no way judging his beliefs or dis-meriting his beautiful artwork, I am however judging his lack of professionalism and respect for others. I am a teacher in the public school system and if I were to present a child of atheist or pagan believers with a Christian art project I could be sued in a heartbeat. I am of Catholic faith and would love to share in my beliefs daily. Fortunately I have enough common sense to present myself with professionalism and follow an ethics code. Perhaps that could be suggested to that particular location.”

If this is indeed an April Fool’s joke, the Advocate needs to say so before a hunt ensues for Satan’s Barista, or Baton Rouge Christians demand equal coffee art time as a matter of “religious liberty.”

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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