World War T: How Fox News gave Trump a “war on Thanksgiving”

A lot of people must’ve been scratching their heads Tuesday night, when President Donald Trump claimed at his Florida rally that there was some kind of liberal plot to change the name of Thanksgiving: “People have different ideas, why it shouldn’t be called ‘Thanksgiving.’ But everybody in this room, I know, loves the name ‘Thanksgiving,’ and we're not changing it.”

But anyone who’s been watching Fox News (which Trump himself does — a lot) would know that’s he’s simply gotten the idea from Fox’s own fevered imagination: a supposed plot to eliminate Thanksgiving — to “infringe” upon people’s right to even celebrate it at all!

Just like the holiday shopping season, it seems like Fox News’ holiday culture war vitriol just keeps beginning earlier every year — even if the network basically has to make it up.

As Media Matters’ Parker Molloy previously documented, this whole thing began over a single article written at HuffPost titled “The Environmental Impact Of Your Thanksgiving Dinner.” The article by Alexandra Emanuelli didn’t even call for individuals to stop celebrating the holiday — let alone for the government to ban it — but simply advised a number of actions that people could take to reduce their environmental footprint:

The takeaway? Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude and family for many people. Some simple recommendations for your meal include choosing a smaller turkey or ensuring that fewer ingredients are sourced from great distances. Celebrating with friends and family locally or finding a spot that requires less travel for everyone are a few ways to lessen your impact on the environment while celebrating the holiday.

But that’s not stopping Fox News from claiming there’s a new, widespread plot against American culture itself. In the words of Mark Steyn: “At a time when the American family is increasingly atomized, the one time in the year they all get together should be abolished.”

And of course, they’re already tying it to another right-wing hobbyhorse.

“They want to fight a ‘War on Thanksgiving,’” said The Five’s Jesse Watters. “They lost the ‘War on Christmas.’ They want to fight again?!” (The “War on Christmas” originated, of course, as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory advanced by Henry Ford, but this latest battle just seems to be about “owning the libs” for something they’re not even doing in the first place.)

“Cancel Thanksgiving, and control how many kids you have,” said Jeanine Pirro. “I'm not making this up.”

Yes, Jeanine, you are.