On two consecutive nights, Hannity falsely claimed New Jersey school banned "Silent Night"December 15, 2004 11:32 AM EST ››› ANDREW SEIFTER
On two consecutive nights, FOX News Channel host Sean Hannity falsely claimed that students at a school in New Jersey are not permitted to perform the Christmas carol "Silent Night."
E.H. Slaybaugh Elementary School in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, had originally opted to leave "Silent Night" off the program for the Slaybaugh Holiday Singalong after a parent issued a complaint objecting to the song's inclusion. But the school reinstated the song for the Christmas program on December 13, after the parent withdrew his opposition. Even conservative website NewsMax.com noted in a December 14 article that the school had reversed its decision to "ban" the song.
Nonetheless, as part of FOX News Channel's attempt to depict a widespread and sinister "attack on Christmas," Hannity continued to falsely claim that the New Jersey school has in fact banned students from performing "Silent Night." On the December 13 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Hannity said: "In New Jersey, one school band cannot play 'Silent Night' or any holiday music that refers to religion." On the December 14 edition of the same program, Hannity declared: "So why can't you sing a Christmas carol, and liberals show a little bit of tolerance at a school, and let a vast majority of people enjoy their holiday? ... [T]hat's what they're saying in New Jersey."