O'Reilly falsely claimed that "spiritual" Christmas stamps are no longer being offered

››› ››› JOE BROWN

On The Radio Factor, host Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) no longer offers Christmas postage stamps with a "spiritual" theme. In fact, the USPS continues to offer the commemorative "Madonna and Child" stamp.

Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) no longer offers Christmas postage stamps with a "spiritual" theme. On the December 9 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, a caller asserted that "I was politely told by all the postal workers that I spoke with at the various post offices that the only stamp they offered was 'Holiday Cookies.' " O'Reilly replied, "I think it's the first time in my lifetime that the United States Postal Service has not had a spiritual stamp for people like you who would like them," adding that the purported lack of a spiritual stamp was "insulting you and your beliefs ... because your spiritual stamp is in context to the celebration of Christmas."

In fact, in addition to the "Holiday Cookies" stamps the caller cited, the USPS continues to offer the commemorative "Madonna and Child" stamp. The self-adhesive 37-cent "Madonna and Child" is available through the USPS website in individual books of 20, or in larger packs containing five books each. A December 2 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about "the Internet and public conversation awash with horror that no new religiously themed stamp was printed for the 2005 season" quoted Diana Svoboda, a spokeswoman for the USPS' Pittsburgh district, stating that reports of the Postal Service planning to discontinue religiously themed Christmas stamps were "absolutely not true." The Post-Gazette article went on to report that although a new design is typically chosen for the "Madonna and Child" every year, this year USPS opted not to print a new design, due to an overstock of 37-cent "Madonna and Child" stamps left over from the previous Christmas season. USPS is increasing the price of first-class stamps to 39 cents on January 8, and "[t]he Postal Service ... didn't want a fresh crop of outdated stamps sitting in the drawers for next year," the Post-Gazette reported.

From the December 9 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

CALLER: I'm calling about -- I like to send Christmas cards. And every year I try and send cards with United States Post Office Christmas stamps on them that say Christmas or something with the infant and child, Mary, something that says something about Christ.

O'REILLY: Right.

CALLER: And this year, I was very surprised when I was politely told by all the postal workers that I spoke with at the various post offices that the only stamp they offered was "Holiday Cookies" saying nothing on it.

O'REILLY: I know this is, I think, the first time ever, right, [caller]?

CALLER: It's the first time I remember, Mr. O'Reilly.

O'REILLY: Yeah. I think it's the first time in my lifetime that the United States Postal Service has not had a spiritual stamp for people like you who would like them. And, again, disrespectful. Flat-out disrespectful, insulting you and your beliefs, [caller], because your spiritual stamp is in context to the celebration of Christmas. And we gotta stop that, and we will.

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