Two weeks ago, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly cautiously warned his guest, Margaret Hoover, that it was too soon to declare victory in the War on Christmas. But if Fox Nation's reporting from the front lines is any indication, O'Reilly's side is at least win-ning.
According to the article Fox Nation highlighted from the Houston Chronicle, Walgreens will work tirelessly throughout December to make sure shoppers don't forget that Christmas -- not just any "holiday" -- is coming. Like a modern Pheidippides returning from the Battle of Marathon, the scribes at Fox Nation breathlessly report the news:
From the November 17 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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Days late to the artificial war on Christmas trees, Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce is accusing President Obama of displaying "contempt for Christianity" by levying a tax on Christians that she says is rooted in Muslim tradition.
On November 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a plan initiated by tree farmers during the Bush administration to levy a fee on large tree farmers. The assessment was intended to fund a marketing campaign promoting fresh Christmas trees. Media conservatives quickly launched a false attack on the Obama administration, which subsequently announced that the industry-backed fee would be put on hold.
Bruce dismissed the undisputed fact that the fee was sought by tree growers, modeled on similar USDA initiatives including the "Got Milk?" and "Beef: It's What's for Dinner" campaigns. Pointing to the innocuous fact that the Obama administration has issued decrees honoring the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha, Bruce instead argued that the "checkoff" fee -- sought under a 1996 farm act -- is further evidence that Obama is "pandering to Muslims" while showing "contempt for Christianity":
Oh sure, the Fed is saying it was a marketing fee for the Christmas tree "industry," to supposedly improve the image of the apparently much hated and dreaded tree. 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.
There is a precedent for this -- in the Muslim world it's called the "Jizya" -- a tax levied on non-Muslim citizens in the Islamic world, allowing them to practice their religion while being "protected" by the Muslim state.
In our case, it seems more like an atheistic federal government looking for tribute by those pesky Christians who dare to think there is a higher authority than the permanent political class.
Bruce's vitriolic screed is being promoted at Fox Nation as evidence of Obama's "War on Christianity."
Right-Wing media attacked President Obama for a recent Department of Agriculture decision to assess a tax on Christmas trees, claiming Obama is "grinching 15 cents out of your pocket." In fact, the tax is intended to promote the live Christmas tree industry and is supported by grower associations.
Right-wing media figures are accusing the Obama administration of seeking to impose a tax on Christmas trees; but the Christmas tree industry has been working since 2008 -- before President Obama was elected -- to partner with the Department of Agriculture and establish a marketing campaign funded by tree growers in order to promote the sale of fresh Christmas trees.
On November 8, the Federal Register published a rule establishing a program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture "to strengthen the position of fresh cut Christmas trees in the marketplace and maintain and expand markets for Christmas trees within the United States":
USDA received a proposal for a national research and promotion program for Christmas trees from the Christmas Tree Checkoff Task Force (Task Force). The program will be financed by an assessment on Christmas trees domestic producers and importers and would be administered by a board of industry members selected by the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary). The initial assessment rate will be $0.15 per Christmas tree domestically produced or imported into the United States and could be increased up to $0.20 per Christmas tree. The purpose of the program will be to strengthen the position of fresh cut Christmas trees in the marketplace and maintain and expand markets for Christmas trees within the United States.
The Task Force proposed that a referendum be held among domestic producers and importers three years after the first assessments begin to determine whether they favor continuation of the program.
Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft said the "Christmas Tree Tax" illustrated that "Barack Obama hates Christians."
Far from a tax initiated by the Obama administration, the proposal to create an assessment on tree growers to fund a research and promotion program through the USDA was begun by the industry during the Bush administration.
From the December 17 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the December 17 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the December 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Last Saturday, Fox & Friends Saturday showed the first signs that Fox may be defecting in its "war on Christmas" by showing pictures from their "Holiday Party." Traditionally, Fox has energetically defended the use of the word "Christmas" and fought against the more generic "Happy Holidays." Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson has been at the forefront of Fox's "War on Christmas," even going so far as to say "I'm all for free speech and free rights, just not on December 25th."
Today, while Carlson was out sick, the following on-screen graphic aired:
As we all know from the intense Fox News coverage beginning in mid-November, there is no story more important to our nation than whether people, companies, and towns wish each other "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." Dubbed the "War on Christmas," Fox has dived headfirst into their perennial campaign to keep their viewers well-informed about who is committing the unforgivable sin of removing the word "Christmas" from the season and thereby somehow hastening the demise of what may be our nation's largest cultural and religious event. Just last week, for example, we were treated to three days of breathless coverage on Fox & Friends about a local parade in Tulsa, OK whose organizers decided to change the name from the "Christmas Parade of Lights" to the "Holiday Parade of Lights." Host Gretchen Carlson, one of the staunchest soldiers in the attempt to defend Christmas from its devious enemies, even thought it was important to note multiple times that the organizers' decision had prompted Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe and the Acres of Love Alpaca Farm to no longer participate in the event.
This morning, however, the War on Christmas took a strange turn. While covering their seasonal party, Fox & Friends Saturday dropped the following bombshell:
On Fox & Friends, following co-host Steve Doocy's remark that "we've got to be tolerant of people who celebrate holidays in December, like Ramadan. ... [Y]ou've got to be tolerant of all people," co-host Gretchen Carlson declared: "I am tolerant. I'm all for free speech and free rights, just not on December 25th."