This week, the right-wing media began its annual fake "War on Christmas" campaign, freaking out about a bogus Obama "Christmas tree tax." Here's what to expect from right-wing media during the next six weeks.
Right-Wing Media Launch "War On Christmas" Coverage With "Christmas Tree Tax" Freakout
Fox & Friends Chryon: "Grinched By The Government: Christmas Tree Tax Adds 15 Cents Per." During the November 9 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed that the administration is "grinching 15 cents out of your pocket potentially" by adding a fee to the price of live Christmas trees. Carlson later noted that the program is intended to boost sales of live trees and "the majority of Christmas tree farms are in favor of" the new program. During the segment, on-screen text said, "Grinched By The Government." From Fox & Friends:
[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/9/11, via Media Matters]
Hoft: "Barack Obama Hates Christians." In a November 8 Gateway Pundit post titled, "Bah Humbug...Obama Imposes 15¢ Tax on Christmas Trees," Jim Hoft suggested the Christmas tree fee showed that "Barack Obama [h]ates Christians." [The Gateway Pundit, 11/8/11]
Doug Powers: "I Couldn't Believe The First Order Of Business Wasn't To Remove The Word 'Christmas' From The Name." In a November 8 MichelleMalkin.com post, Doug Powers wrote:
When I read that the federal government was getting involved in the Christmas tree industry, I couldn't believe the first order of business wasn't to remove the word "Christmas" from the name. Maybe that'll come later, but for now the Obama administration is trying to help during a down economy, which of course involves a new business fee, which will cost consumers more. I can feel that recession lifting already. [MichelleMalkin.com, 11/8/11, emphasis original]
Drudge: "Obama's New 'Christmas Tree Tax.'" On November 8, the Drudge Report linked to a Heritage Foundation blog about the plan under the headline, "Obama's New 'Christmas Tree Tax.' " From the Drudge Report:
[Drudge Report Archives, 11/9/11]
Fox's Bruce: Christmas Tree Fee "Target[s] One Religion And One Religion Only -- Christianity." In a November 10 Newsmax article, Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce said of the Christmas tree checkoff fee, "The fact is it was a tax meant to fund a board appointed by a federal agency targeting one religion and one religion only -- Christianity." Bruce claimed the "precedent" for the fee is a Muslim "tax levied on non-Muslim citizens in the Islamic world." Bruce went on to say the fee is a "tribute by those pesky Christians who dare to think there is a higher authority than the permanent political class." Fox Nation promoted the article as evidence of "Obama's War on Christianity." From Fox Nation:
For the truth about "Obama's Christmas tree tax," SEE HERE.
There's More To Come: The Right-Wing Media Have Been Fighting A Fake "War On Christmas" For Years
Carlson: Candidates Should Be Asked What Should Be Done About The "War On Christmas." On the August 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Carlson said GOP presidential candidates should be asked about the "political correctness in our society," including "the War on Christmas." From The O'Reilly Factor:
BILL O'REILLY (host): All right, Carlson. If you were moderating tonight, and you had an opportunity to ask a cultural question, what would the first question be?
CARLSON: As president, how important would it be for you to address the political correctness in our society, many argue is totally out of control, from the War on Christmas to leaving the word God out of the Pledge of Allegiance to not calling the alleged Fort Hood shooter what he is, a homegrown Muslim terrorist? How is that harmful moving forward for our nation? [Fox News,The O'Reilly Factor, 8/11/11, via Media Matters]
Fox Accused The NBA Of Waging A "War On Christmas." On December 23, 2010, Fox Nation linked to a story about then-Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson's complaining about having to work on Christmas Day under the headline, "The NBA's War on Christmas?" From Fox Nation:
[Fox Nation, 12/23/10, via Media Matters]
Bozell Claimed Lack Of Religious Christmas Coverage Shows "Complete Secularization Of The National News Media." On the December 17, 2010, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Doocy hosted Media Research Center president Brent Bozell to react to the claim that "Christmas or talking about Christ, or the reason for the season, is heard so infrequently on the network telecasts." Bozell claimed that "only seven out of 527 -- only 1.3 percent" of stories about Christmas "mentioned Jesus or God. This is the complete secularization of the national news media." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/17/10, via Media Matters]
Kilmeade Declared Change Of Name For Tulsa Holiday Parade A "Topic Of National Controversy." On the December 7, 2010, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade declared that a decision to change the name of a Tulsa parade from the "Christmas Parade" to the "Holiday Parade" was a "topic of national controversy." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/7/10, via Media Matters]
Fox & Friends Invented Florida Elementary School's War On Christmas. On the November 29, 2010, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Carlson covered an anonymous parent's claim that Heathrow Elementary School in Florida was "not going to let red and green in the classroom." Fox Nation also ran the story under the headline, "School Bans Christmas Colors":
For the truth about Heathrow Elementary's bogus War on Christmas, SEE HERE.
Palin: Put "Christ Back In Christmas" Because Christians "Put Up With A Lot" They "Don't Believe In Either." On the November 24, 2010, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Carlson asked Fox News contributor Sarah Palin, "Why is the manger so much a threat in this society?" Palin responded that she would have "Christ back in Christmas, and hopefully it won't offend you, because we put up with a whole lot of other things that perhaps we don't personally believe in, either." Palin later said she hoped there would be "some reciprocation of some of that tolerance when it comes to Christians." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/24/10, via Media Matters]
Doocy Tried To Bait Archbishop Dolan Into Complaining About War On Christmas. On the December 10, 2009, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Doocy asked Archbishop Timothy Dolan, "What do you make of the whole move by some to marginalize Christmas during these times?" Dolan replied: "I'm not one of these that gets handwringing or all hot and bothered. ... I'm just glad people peripherally, at least, say, 'Hey, there's something great about this season.' " [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/10/09, via Media Matters]
Fox's Hemmer And Camerota Hyped Story Of Boston Elementary School Gift Shop Prohibiting Christmas-Themed Gifts. On the November 17, 2009, edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Bill Hemmer and guest host Alisyn Camerota aired a segment hyping a story of an elementary school in Boston that had prohibited Christmas-themed gifts from being sold in the school's holiday gift shop. Hemmer reacted to the story by asking, "Is the War on Christmas yet raging again? Already?" [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 11/17/10, via Media Matters]
Carlson: "I'm All For Free Speech And Free Rights, Just Not On December 25." On the December 11, 2008, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, after co-host Steve Doocy reported on a Washington state man's request to celebrate the fictional holiday Festivus, Carlson called it "a mockery ... of what 85 percent of the general public believes in." Carlson went on to say: "I am tolerant. I'm all for free speech and free rights, just not on December 25." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/11/08, via Media Matters]
O'Reilly: "If You Stand Up For Christmas, They Come After You." On the November 28, 2005, edition of his radio show, Bill O'Reilly claimed:
O'REILLY: [Y]ou use your left-wing smear websites to go after anybody who stands up for Christmas. If you stand up for Christmas, they come after you. So the tandem intimidates. The tandem intimidates. Suing on one hand; smearing on the other hand.
In every secular progressive country, they've wiped out religion ... Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, all of them. That's the first step. Get the religion out of there, so that we can impose our big-government, progressive agenda. [Fox News, The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 11/28/05, via Media Matters]
O'Reilly Claimed War On Christmas Is "All Part Of The Secular Progressive Agenda." On the November 21, 2005, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly -- during a segment on "American stores ... using 'Christmas' in advertising" -- claimed that the effort to not use the word Christmas was "all part of the secular progressive agenda" to "pass secular progressive programs like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage, because the objection to those things is religious-based, usually." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 11/21/05, via Media Matters]