Saturday, December 17, 2005

Phony War Against Christmas a Product of Fox News

Jim Romenesko at Poynter Forums posts an incisive article on how the Fox News Channel has been pushing this phony "War on Christmas" idea as a method of division. The article is apparently by Charlie Reina, a former Fox News Channel producer. A couple key paragraphs:
Fox anchors will tell you that no one in management dictates that they bring up religion. But my experience at FNC is that, once management makes its views known, the anchors have a clear blueprint of what’s expected of them. In this case, the point man is network vice president John Moody. A scholar and biographer of Pope John Paul II, John is a devout Catholic who seldom holds back on matters of the church, or in framing his views in “good guy, bad guy” terms. For example, during the 2001 Senate hearings on John Ashcroft’s appointment as Attorney General, Moody’s daily memos to the staff repeatedly touted Ashcroft as “deeply religious” and the victim of Democrats’ intolerance. One memo suggested a question of the day: “Can a man of deep Christian faith be appointed to a federal job, or will his views be equated with racism, intolerance and mean-spiritedness?” He added: “(K)eep pounding at the question: should Ashcroft’s detractors try to be as tolerant as they would have him be?”
Then there’s Fox management’s view on the separation of church and state, and on those who support it. One not-so-subtle hint came in March, 2004, after a Baghdad bombing gave reporters at a hotel in the Iraqi capital a scare. Moody’s memo that day advised FNC staffers to “offer a prayer of thanks for their safety to whatever God you revere (and let the ACLU stick it where the sun don’t shine).”
Not mentioned is that the book The War on Christmas is by Fox News "Big Story" host John Gibson, or the multiple fabrications by Fox's Bill O'Reilly. (Update on the latter: Plano schools are getting some press over their response to O'Reilly's fabricated claim that they banned students from wearing Christmas colors.)

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