The "Talking Points Memo": What Christmas controversy?
Writing in The Los Angeles Times, wise guy columnist Joel Stein has declared there is no war on Christmas. That's the far left line, that religious nuts have fabricated a Christmas controversy in order to turn the USA into a theocracy. And The New York Times printed that opinion last weekend.
So far, we've also seen this nonsense in The Baltimore Sun, newspapers in Orlando and Richmond, and now The L.A.Times. I'm sure that's all coincidental.
The L.A. situation is interesting. The Times' parent company recently let go of the paper's editor and editorial director, two men who had turned The Times into a far left brochure, causing circulation to plummet.
The new people at The L.A. Times seem to be trying. And the paper has become more fair in its presentation. But now, Stein has mucked it all up. Here's what he wrote today.
"In fact [John] Gibson and fellow Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly are so upset [about the Christmas controversy' that they have organized a boycott of Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears, and Costco for using the phrase `Happy Holidays' in their ads instead of `Merry Christmas.'"
Well, that's news to me. Here's what I said on "The Radio Factor".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
There is a move under foot to discourage people from buying in stores that do not use 'Merry Christmas' in their advertising. I am not a part of that. I am not a part of that movement. And I'll tell you why.
I want you to make up your own mind on this. I don't want to be telling you where to buy and where not to buy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
So Stein did not write the truth. What a shock. L.A. Times editors, embarrassed, say they will issue a correction. You may have noticed I lead the league in corrections.
The importance the Christmas controversy is that it has become the centerpiece become the culture war between traditional Americans and secular progressives. Outside of the war on terror, this culture war is the most important thing happening in the country today. At stake, whether the USA will turn into a secular country that mirrors Western Europe, or maintain its emphasis on Judeo-Christian values.
The L.A. Times and much of the media is firmly in the secular corner. "Talking Points" is rooting for the traditionalists. So the battle lines are drawn. Too bad Christmas has to be in the middle of it.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Our pal Harry Belafonte got his award from the AARP yesterday here in New York City, an impact award for Harry. Apparently at the ceremony, he said one reason he's pleased with the award is that it tees off Bill O'Reilly.
Not so, Mr. Belafonte. I could not care less if the AARP thinks you're swell. My job is to inform the folks that, based on your own words, you don't think very much of your country and that the AARP apparently approves of that stance.
With that information, they folks can decide exactly what kind of an organization the AARP is. We report, you decide. That's never ridiculous.
—You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2005 Imaginova Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly.