Daily Show featured Media Matters coverage of Fox News' hypocrisy in "war" on ChristmasDecember 14, 2005 1:36 PM EST ››› JULIE MILLICAN
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On the December 13 broadcast of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, host Jon Stewart highlighted Media Matters for America by airing a screen shot of a Media Matters item on Fox News' so-called "war" on Christmas to note that Fox News Channel "until recently ... invited viewers to buy an O'Reilly Factor 'Holiday' ornament for their 'Holiday tree.' Continuing, Stewart said: "In the 'war' on Christmas, that's what's known as 'friendly fire.' "
As Media Matters has documented, on December 2, Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor and Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, played a year-old Daily Show clip to demonstrate what he perceives is an assault on Christmas by secular forces, a theory he has been advancing as part of his ongoing coverage of a purported "war" on Christmas. But prior to airing the clip, O'Reilly told his radio listeners that The Daily Show sketch aired the day before and later left his cable viewers with a similar misleading impression.
A few days after a Media Matters review highlighted O'Reilly's false representation, on the December 7 edition of the Daily Show, Stewart responded by airing the same clip O'Reilly used and inviting correspondent Samantha Bee, who was featured in the December 2004 segment O'Reilly excerpted, onto the show. Bee, who is pregnant, and according to a November 13 New York Times article (subscription only), is due in January, concluded that the segment was taped in December 2004 after she compared her current appearance with the one shown in the clip.
From the December 13 broadcast of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:
STEWART: Fox News' Bill O'Reilly has been at the forefront of defending Christmas, even though until recently Fox News' own online store invited viewers to buy an O'Reilly Factor "Holiday" ornament for their "Holiday tree." In the "war" on Christmas, that's what's known as "friendly fire." But, he still lays the blame on thin-skinned heathens.
O'REILLY [clip]: I don't believe most people who aren't Christian are offended by the words "Merry Christmas." I think those people are nuts. I think you are crazy if you're offended by the words "Merry Christmas."
STEWART: I actually agree with that. I think they're just words -- Merry Christmas. I think it's innocuous. I don't think there's, really, any way that a sane person could be offended by a silly two-word phrase. You know what Mr. O'Reilly? You're a reasonable man.
[beging video clip]
PHILIP NULMAN (advertising and marketing executive): "Season's Greetings" and "Happy Holidays," Bill, does not offend Christians.
O'REILLY: Yes, it does. It absolutely does.
[end video clip]