O Tannen-Mao? The right-wing's White House Christmas tree freak-out

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

Taking a cue from Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, several conservative media outlets have reported on three ornaments on the White House Christmas tree depicting President Obama's face superimposed on Mount Rushmore, Mao Zedong, and Hedda Lettuce. Despite the suggestion that those three Christmas tree ornaments (out of hundreds) indicated a "political statement" by the White House, according to the first lady's office, the tree was decorated by community groups, and the White House was unaware of those specific ornaments.

Breitbart's BigGovernment.com posts WH Christmas tree "exlcusive"

BigGovernment.com: "Transvestites, Mao And Obama Ornaments Decorate White House Christmas Tree." In a December 22 BigGovernment.com entry, "Capitol Confidential" posted photos of the three ornaments, writing:

Why let a holiday season come between the White House and making some political statements? The White House pegged controversial designer Simon Doonan to oversee the Christmas decorations for the White House. Mr. Doonan, who is creative director of Barney's New York has often caused a stir with his design choices. Like his naughty yuletide window display of Margaret Thatcher as a dowdy dominatrix and Dan Quayle as a ventriloquist's dummy. For this year's White House, he didn't disappoint.

Fox News, conservative blogs pick up the story

Fox News' Special Report highlights "interesting ornaments." As documented by Media Matters for America's Jeremy Holden and Jeremy Schulman, the December 22 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier featured a "Political Grapevine" segment on the ornaments, during which Baier reported:

BAIER: They include the communist leader Mao; drag queen -- celebrity queen -- Hedda Lettuce, who boasts on her Web site about her ornament being featured in the White House; and Mount Rushmore with a familiar face [President Obama] added.

Washington Times blog: "Chairman Mao adorns White House Christmas tree..." A December 23 entry to The Washington Times' Water Cooler blog linked to and quoted a December 23 entry on David Horowitz's NewsReal blog attacking the White House for choosing "a lovely ornament featuring China's mass murderer, Chairman Mao, to adorn our national Christmas tree at the White House."

NewsReal: White House "denigrating our Christian traditions." The December 23 NewsReal blog post to which The Washington Times linked further asserted:

Considering Obama's hostility to Christianity, as shown by his celebration of every religion except Christianity, Americans shouldn't be surprised. After all, the first thing any successful dictator must do is banish God from the public square and make fealty to the state primary.

Undoubtedly, Obama and Michelle are just expressing themselves, as is their right. That they choose to do so by denigrating our Christian traditions in such a disrespectful fashion however, is akin to a dog peeing on a Bible. And that's just not very presidential.

Gateway Pundit: "What a complete shock. A real stunner." From a December 22 GatewayPundit.com post, linking to BigGovernment.com's "Exclusive":

Barack Obama's White House Christmas Tree this year includes mass murderer Mao Tse-Tung ornaments.

[...]

You've gotta hand it to the Obamas. At least they're consistent.

Maybe they have yuletide tapes by G-D AmeriKKKa Reverend Wright playing in the background?

Steyn: Ornaments are "the new Democrat Holy Trinity." Guest-hosting Rush Limbaugh's radio show on December 23, Mark Steyn cited BigGovernment.com's story and commented: "I don't know what this is, the new Democrat Holy Trinity. And lo, the angel Gabriel appeared to the drag queen and said, 'Thou shalt conceive a child from Chairman Mao, and his name shall be Barack, and the star -- and he shall shimmer like a star in the west, blotting out Teddy Roosevelt on Mount Rushmore.' "

BigGovernment.com's "exclusive" undermined by facts, common sense

White House: Tree was decorated by community groups. As Media Matters noted, Baier, in his Fox News report highlighting the ornaments, undermined BigGovernment.com's reporting by noting that the "first lady's office says local community groups were asked to decorate hundreds of ornaments but that they are unaware of these specific decorations."

Conservative blogger: "most likely explanation" that "they really didn't know what was on the ornaments." In a December 22 entry, HotAir.com blogger "Allahpundit" dismissed BigGovernment.com's "exclusive" as nonsensical, writing:

Laying aside the fact that spotting a right-wing dictator on ornaments in the Bush White House would have had Media Matters stumbling towards its fainting couch, isn't the most likely explanation here that they really didn't know what was on the ornaments? Why court PR trouble with a deliberate provocation via something this trivial?

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.