In yet another War on Christmas segment, Fox & Friends attacked Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee this morning for calling the annual tree at the Statehouse a “holiday tree” instead of a “Christmas tree.” Fox then ratcheted things up by airing Chafee's office phone number and urging viewers to call in and complain about the “holiday tree.”
After airing Chafee's phone number, co-host Steve Doocy prompted viewers to “give him a little surprise” and even noted that there was “just an hour and three minutes until the governor's office opens.”
A spokeswoman for Chafee's office told Media Matters that they have received “quite a few phone calls” about the tree, with several callers noting that they had seen the story on Fox. She added that office staff thanked callers for their opinions and directed them to a website listing volunteer opportunities -- echoing Chafee's statement that that those upset with the decision “should focus their energy on feeding the poor,” as The Associated Press reported.
The AP further noted that Chafee “isn't the first Rhode Island governor to refer to the annual Statehouse tree as a holiday tree”:
Chafee isn't the first Rhode Island governor to refer to the annual Statehouse tree as a holiday tree. His predecessor, Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri, used both holiday tree and Christmas tree in his correspondence. Other governors have made no specific reference to Christmas at all with invitations to “holiday celebrations” featuring a “tree lighting.”
The Fox & Friends segment even caught the attention of CNN, which cited the segment in its report on the Rhode Island tree and noted that “Fox News, as it does every year, went crazy” over the War on Christmas.
Strangely, though, despite Fox & Friends' freakout over the Rhode Island holiday tree, later during the show, they declared that there was “no more 'War on Christmas.' ”