Give credit where credit is due. Tuesday it goes to Bill O'Reilly.

If you watch his show, from time to time you hear him lodge an objection to organized smear campaigns that seem to be constantly underway on the Internet blogs that would be described as liberal or far left or way, way, way out there left.

You can't do much about the blue bloggers. They say what they want and they seem to relish the opportunity to misquote for effect — the desired effect being a tidal wave of hate e-mail to Bill or Sean Hannity or lately to me.

My offense is evidently my book, "The War on Christmas." The blue bloggers are screeching that no such war exists, that I'm making it up, that I'm a demagogue or whatever.

But every so often an aboveground newspaper or TV outfit is the one involved in this kind of slime campaign — and Bill has the firepower to fight back. So I'm thanking him today because his fighting back Tuesday actually benefited me.

In Tuesday's L.A. Times columnist Joel Stein made the claim that Bill and I have organized a campaign to boycott stores that don't say Merry Christmas. Bill knew he didn't do any such thing — no boycott — and I was fairly sure I didn't either. I do say things sometimes that I later forget, but I was quite certain I wouldn't forget a boycott.

Bill got The L.A. Times to prepare a retraction and an apology. For that I am grateful to Bill for putting his show's considerable muscle to work in such a way that I get something good out of it.

But it illustrates a point. This Joel Stein writes a snide attack on me and my book, "The War on Christmas," despite the fact that he announces in the second paragraph "I did not actually read his book."

I maintain that if you're going to attack a book you might want to read it.

After this admission he goes on to say what is wrong with what I've got to say in the book.

I would be scratching my head over this but I hate getting splinters in my fingers.

Seriously, this is what these slime artists are doing.

They admit openly they don't know what they're talking about and then lay on the attack. It is blatant untruth telling and yet day after day they get away with it.

But not today. Bill got the retraction and I'm glad. I now wish the guy who wants to go after me would read the book.

And I wish he'd actually go out and buy it.

Hey bud, it's called "The War on Christmas."

That's My Word.

Check out my book "The War on Christmas" and write to me about Christmas outrages at waronchristmas@johngibson.com.

Watch John Gibson weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on "The Big Story" and send your comments to: myword@foxnews.com

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