No, Im not kidding you. John Gibson and Bill OReilly have become the head cheerleaders in this latest right-wing propaganda-of-distraction effort.
Im going to analyze some excerpts from a Bill OReilly talking points memo. Thats 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.
OReilly 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?
To them, however, anti-Christian forces are those who say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.
OReilly 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, youre one of the head cheerleaders for the anti-teachings of Jesus assault on the world.
OReilly, Gibson, and the rest of them are supposedly all upset because some people are calling a Christmas tree a holiday tree, some stores arent 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 OReilly, John Gibson, and these others.
Isnt it interesting that if people protest about, for example, racial prejudice or economic injustice, theyre labeled by the right as whiners and complainers, but a store not mentioning Christmas in its advertising, now thats worthy of a protest!
Wouldnt 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 isnt 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. Its 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, OReilly, and their cohorts. They dont really care about this issue. This is just part of their campaign of distractionanother 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, its 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.
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