Bill O'Reilly's annual fight against the manufactured "War on Christmas" has become a revered holiday tradition over at Fox News. Just like last year, in December O'Reilly has spent more time on his show discussing the "War on Christmas" than actual military conflicts. As usual, events O'Reilly identified as a unified "War on Christmas" were almost always isolated incidents from around the country, usually pertaining to concerns over separation of church and state or efforts to make holiday celebrations more inclusive.
For example, for the second consecutive year, O'Reilly made a fuss over Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee's decision to call the tree in their statehouse a "holiday tree" instead of a "Christmas tree," going so far as to dispatch O'Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters to interview people on the streets of New York about it.
When Watters asked a young couple whether they'd heard of the War on Christmas, they simply responded, "No." Watters looked puzzled. "No, you haven't heard of the War on Christmas?" That's probably because the Grinch here is entirely O'Reilly's making. Here's a brief sample of O'Reilly's never-ending war on the War on Christmas:
And look at some of the other silly stories O'Reilly and his network have covered as evidence of this supposed conflict. Over at Fox Nation's dedicated War on Christmas page, you can read about such Christmas-destroying events as a Festivus pole made from Pabst Blue Ribbon cans placed at a Nativity scene, Toys 'R' Us' decision to use a gender-neutral Christmas catalogue in Sweden (headlined, "A Gender-Neutral Christmas?"), and "Seniors Outraged Over Christmas Tree Ban."
O'Reilly himself wasted time covering Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan "mocking Christmas traditions in America" on December 10 because the minister said, "There's no such thing as Santa Claus" and, "Go, look and see how the scripture says that the -- 'the wicked cuts a tree down out of the forest and deck it with silver and gold.'"
The O'Reilly Factor aired stories on December 5 and 6 about a pastor in Little Rock, Arkansas who cancelled a performance of "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown" at the Agape Church that had been advertised to children at a local elementary school.
Even O'Reilly says he's grown tired of his ongoing fight against the War on Christmas. On December 3, he said, "Every year, I have to deal with assaults against Christmas. That does not make me happy. I don't want to do this. But I, personally -- I'm fed up."
Perhaps, though, December 11 O'Reilly guest and network host John Stossel has the right perspective on all this. After Newsweek ran an article declaring the War on Christmas "over," Stossel told O'Reilly: "OK. So, you won the war. Newsweek is right about that. We have real problems in this country. We're going broke. I can't believe you're wasting time on this. But then, I look at your ratings, and I feel ridiculous."