Fox News' Bill O'Reilly declared victory in the so-called "War on Christmas," joining Fox's fight to defend Easter from supposed attacks by "secular progressives." Previously, O'Reilly claimed there was no "War on Easter," crediting himself for preventing such a war.
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O'Reilly Declares Victory In The "War On Christmas," Shifts His Focus To Easter
Bill O'Reilly: "We Won The War On Christmas Battle." During his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly declared victory in the supposed "War on Christmas," before claiming that other Judeo-Christian values were under attack. O'Reilly lambasted President Obama and the White House for empowering "secular progressives" to pressure school districts around the country to decide not to use terms like "Easter bunny" and "Easter egg":
O'REILLY: More evidence that Judeo-Christian tradition is under attack in America. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo. If you watch the Factor, you know that we won the "War on Christmas" battle. A few years ago some American companies ordered their employees not to say "Merry Christmas." Remember that? We presented the facts to you, you told the stores you wouldn't buy there. The crazy edict was quickly rescinded. Power to the people. But the war on Judeo-Christian tradition continues on in some public school districts. In 10 days it will be Easter Sunday. But in some schools you are not allowed to say the word "Easter." On Long Island, the East Meadow school district, holding a Spring egg hunt -- not Easter eggs, Spring eggs. Same thing in Prospect Heights, Illinois. Manhattan Beach, California. Flat Rock Elementary School in South Carolina, and a school district in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. No Easter. They are having Spring egg events. Moderated by a Spring bunny, at least in San Diego. I know it's stupid. You know it's stupid. But it's happening, and there is a reason why it's happening. Secular progressives are running wild with President Obama in the White House. They feel unchained, liberated and they are trying to diminish any form of religion. The goal is to marginalize religious opposition to secular programs. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 3/21/13]
O'Reilly Previously Covered The So-Called "War On Christmas" More Than Actual Wars
Bill O'Reilly Covered The "War On Christmas" More Than Actual Wars. In December 2011 and December 2012, Media Matters found that Bill O'Reilly dedicated more time on his show to the so-called "War on Christmas" than to actual wars, such as the military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recent conflicts in Syria, Libya, and Gaza.
[Media Matters, 12/19/12]
O'Reilly Joins His Network In Supposedly Defending Easter
Sean Hannity In 2011: "Shouldn't Surprise Anyone That Some On The Left Are Waging A War On [Easter]" During the April 21, 2011, edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity teased a segment on progressives supposedly waging a war on Easter. During the segment itself, Hannity claimed groups like the Catholic League were "unhappy about how much disrespect is being shown towards the Christian faith":
HANNITY: Now, Easter is one of the most important holidays for Christians. And as we are in the midst of Holy Week, some groups like the Catholic League are unhappy about how much disrespect is being shown towards the Christian faith.
The following graphic aired during the show:
[Fox News, Hannity, 4/21/11, via Nexis; Media Matters, 4/21/11]
In 2011 Fox & Friends Found Easter To Be Under Attack By A School In Australia. During the April 7, 2011, edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy reported that a school district in Australia dropped Easter from the name of a parade, calling it simply the "Hat Parade." Co-host Brian Kilmeade replied, "this is incredible, this is the War on Easter? Do we need a new graphic? Do we need a new mission?" [Media Matters, 4/7/11]
In 2011 Fox Attacked Obama For Not Writing An Easter Proclamation. Fox News host Sean Hannity and Fox Nation both attacked Obama for failing to issue a proclamation for Easter in 2011. During the April 25, 2011, edition of his show, Hannity expressed umbrage over Obama issuing proclamations for other religious holidays but not for Easter. Following Hannity's lead, On April 26, 2012 the co-hosts of Fox & Friends also took exception to the lack of a proclamation, with Doocy noting that "this White House has never had a proclamation on Easter, the most holy of Christian holidays." [Media Matters, 4/26/11; 4/26/11]
For the truth about how presidents celebrate and honor Easter, click here
O'Reilly Previously Credited Himself With Preventing A "War On Easter"
In 2006, O'Reilly Failed To Find Evidence Of "Secular Progressives" Waging A "War On Easter." During the April 13, 2006, edition of his show, O'Reilly claimed that that there was no "attack on Easter," claiming that the two examples he highlighted in previous editions of his show were "two dumb incidents." During the April 13, 2006, edition of his radio show, O'Reilly added that he prevented a "War on Easter" from occurring:
"[A]fter the thumping that the department stores and all-over crazies took over Christmas, these people say, 'You know, I don't think we want to come up against O'Reilly and these other people on Easter. Let's just let it go.' " [Media Matters, 4/17/06]