No, I 'm not kidding you. John Gibson and Bill O 'Reilly have become the head cheerleaders in this latest right-wing propaganda-of-distraction effort.
I 'm going to analyze some excerpts from a Bill O 'Reilly talking points memo. That 's the little spiel he opens his program with. If you are anyplace where laughter would be inappropriate, get ready to stifle your laughter, because you will laugh.
O 'Reilly starts off by boasting, "Some big wins for Christmas. " What? Did peace on Earth break out? Was world hunger ended? Did any of Jesus ' other teachings achieve full fruition?
Then a little later he says, "The anti-Christmas forces are retreating. " I ask you, who are the anti-Christmas forces, the anti-Christian forces. Aren't they the greedy people? The warmongers? The haters? Yes. That 's Bill O 'Reilly and the rest of his right-wing cohorts, but they don 't realize it.
To them, however, anti-Christian forces are those who say "Happy Holidays " instead of "Merry Christmas. "
O 'Reilly then goes on to talk about the "pro-Christmas" movement. The pro-Christmas movement? You may be part of a self-fashioned pro-Christmas movement, Bill, but in reality, you 're one of the head cheerleaders for the anti-teachings of Jesus assault on the world.
Bill ends his little talk by reminding his audience that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. " Liberty? Eternal vigilance? How over the top can O 'Reilly get? Apparently, into the stratosphere.
O 'Reilly, Gibson, and the rest of them are supposedly all upset because some people are calling a Christmas tree a holiday tree, some stores aren 't mentioning the word Christmas in their advertising, and some people are saying, "Happy Holidays " instead of "Merry Christmas. "
So apparently, the essence of Christmas is, one, making sure a Christmas tree is called a Christmas tree instead of a holiday tree; two, saying Merry Christmas to people as opposed to Happy Holidays; and three, ensuring that advertisements use the word "Christmas. " These are the things worth fighting for in connection with the Christmas holiday, according to Bill O 'Reilly, John Gibson, and these others.
Isn 't it interesting that if people protest about, for example, racial prejudice or economic injustice, they 're labeled by the right as whiners and complainers, but a store not mentioning Christmas in its advertising, now that 's worthy of a protest!
Wouldn 't it be fair to say that never on behalf of so large and all-powerful a majority has such a frivolous complaint been raised? I think it would definitely be fair to say that.
Now, just for the record, as with virtually everything right-wingers do, even the surface level of this propaganda campaign is composed of a pack of lies. In a recent editorial in The New York Times, Adam Cohen pointed out two salient facts:
First, the present way Christmas is celebrated isn 't the traditional way, stretching back to the founding of the country. No, the current commercialized way Christmas is celebrated only started around the 1920s.
Second, the entire movement to use more inclusive nomenclature stretches back decades. It 's not a new phenomenon, a new "liberal plot," as Gibson calls it. When I was in high school over thirty years ago, they changed the name from "Christmas break" to "winter break."
The facts, of course, are irrelevant to Gibson, O 'Reilly, and their cohorts. They don 't really care about this issue. This is just part of their campaign of distraction --another of their wedge issues. Obviously, every second that they spend screaming about it, that I spend replying to them, and that you spend talking about it, it 's a second we're not going to talk about --because the second is gone important issues like social justice, like economic justice, like the war in Iraq, like a million other things that desperately need our attention.