Fox’s Coverage of the War on Christmas

I previously reported on some early claims of a War on Christmas for this year from the right wing. Fox has also launched their dubious claims of a War on Christmas early this year.  Michael Lester, of Talking Points Memo sat through hours of Fox to prepare the clips above.

The War On Christmas Is On

It isn’t even Thanksgiving yet and I’m seeing news on the War on Christmas with God Discussion reporting on the right wing’s first  skirmishes in  this imaginary war:

On Friday’s “Faith & Freedom” program, Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, announced that his organization has launched its 10th annual ‘Friend or Foe’ Christmas campaign that is “designed to educate and if necessary, to litigate, to make sure that Christmas is not censored from either the public marketplace or the private retail.”

Joining him was Matt Barber, Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action, who added,  “Well, you know, it’s a serious subject because the war on Christmas is, despite liberals protesting that there is no such thing, is alive and well […]  it is a very serious matter when you consider that there are a number of private retailers around the country that are really in an offensive manner censoring the Christmas message and effectively blunting the Christmas spirit by going with this kind of bland, Happy Holidays mentality and ignoring the reason for the season.”

They point out that among those censoring the Christmas message in this manner are Chick-fil-A, which Right Wing Watch found has declared War on Christmas by issuing a statement (reproduced here) which refers to “holiday gift giving” and the “holiday season.”

Hoping you all remain safe during this war and have a Happy Chanukah (written  wondering how the religious right will react to that).

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SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who, The War on Christmas, Saving Greendale (And Inspector Spacetime), Sherlock and The Hour Returning For Second Season But Future Of Terra Nova In Doubt

Two clips from The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe (this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special) have been released (above).

For those who might have missed my posting of this earlier in the week, The BBC has released the above prequel video.

Recently I mentioned the search for lost episodes of Doctor Who and now two lost episodes of Doctor Who from 1965 and 1967 have been recovered. Video clips above.

Next time you hear conservatives talk about the War on Christmas, ask if it is possible if it was the trees which started the war.

Or perhaps we should not ignore the harm done to Christian children by Jews, atheists, and gays in the War on Christmas. See the public service announcement above.

Community is going on hiatus until spring but did end for the fall with more Inspector Spacetime.

With Inspector Spacetime gone, we will have to settle for Excellent!, a comedy spin off of Doctor Who staring the Cybermen. Title sequence above. Not satisfied? Then we must Save Greendale. Beyond Inspector Spacetime, more reasons to save Community are  listed here.

Spin, a short film by Jamin Winans which has won over 40 film festival awards worldwide, shows the complexities of trying to control time in the video above.


There are some hints as to what happens in the season finale of Terra Nova next week:

Someone’s going to die. That much has been leaked about the upcoming two-hour finale on Fox’s Terra Nova, and star Allison Miller promises that fans are not going to be at all happy if the Steven Spielberg dino drama doesn’t get a second season.

“There’s going to be so much left unanswered,” Miller told EW. Miller plays Skye, a traitor within the Terra Nova camp.

The finale, which airs on Monday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m., opens with the colonists anticipating the arrival of the 11th Pilgrimage. Producers have already spilled that not just one, but two people will die, including a “person who is without family,” there will be an explosion, and there is an unexpected trip back to 2149.

“It felt like we went back to the pilot as far as the scope and scale of everything,” said Miller. “It’s just so huge, it sort of has this post-apocalyptic feel to it that’s dark and interesting.” As far as who might be killed off in the finale, “I was so disappointed. I mean, it’s heartbreaking. It’s so, so sad.”

However, she does say we’ll get some answers. We’ll learn why Lucas wants the portal to go into the future, as well as the past, and how Lucas and Taylor ended up on different sides of things. “You’ll know exactly what has been driving them apart all these years,” said Miller. And we’ll find out about an organization with “something else in mind for Terra Nova.”

Since we’ve already heard about new evildoers named the Phoenix Group, we’re guessing that might be the organization she’s talking about.

According to executive producer Brannon Braga: “We have supercharged the premise of our show in a very chilling way. … Everything changes.”

“It would not be fair to anyone to not give us a second season,” said Miller.

I would like to see the show have more time to develop, but getting a second season has nothing to do about fairness. The first season could have been developed more, but the key factor  in delaying a decision is probably the high cost of the show.

Sherlock returns on BBC1 on January 1. Spoiler TV has interviews with Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Benedict Cumberbatch on the second season. The first episode is A Scandal In Belgravia:

The contemporary re-imagining of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic, co-created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, caused a sensation in the summer of 2010, delivering an audience of more than nine million viewers who tuned in to watch Sherlock and John Watson navigate a maze of cryptic clues and lethal killers in three thrilling, action-packed adventures.

In episode one of this new series, compromising photographs and a case of blackmail threaten the very heart of the British establishment but, for Sherlock and John, the game is on in more ways than one as they find themselves battling international terrorism, rogue CIA agents and a secret conspiracy involving the British government. But this case will cast a darker shadow over their lives than they could ever imagine, as the great detective begins a long duel of wits with an antagonist as cold and ruthless and brilliant as himself: to Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler will always be THE woman.

The BBC has announced that The Hour will return for a second season:

Critically-acclaimed drama, The Hour will return to BBC AMERICA next year with a mini-series sequel, once again co-produced by the network.

Written and created by the award winning Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, Shame, Sex Traffic) and produced by Kudos Film and TV, the new six-parter (6×60) sees the return of the highly competitive, sharp-witted and passionate news trio Bel (Romola Garai), Hector (Dominic West) and Freddie (Ben Whishaw) alongside beloved Lix (Anna Chancellor), scheming McCain (Julian Rhind-Tutt) and newly assertive Marnie Madden (Oona Chaplin), in this highly acclaimed 1950s newsroom drama.

The next installment rejoins The Hour team a year later in 1957 where we are introduced to new characters played by Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It, The Nativity) Hannah Tointon (The Inbetweeners) and Tom Burke (State of Play).

Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, BBC Worldwide America says: “The Hour successfully launched BBC AMERICA’s new Dramaville franchise in August by setting the standard for great British drama. Abi Morgan and the Kudos production team delivered an extraordinary television experience and when the opportunity arose for us to co-produce a sequel we jumped at it. I can’t wait to see the next chapter in the lives of these brilliant characters.”

Jane Featherstone, Creative Director and Executive Producer, Kudos Film and Television, says: “In series two of The Hour we are going to find out what happens next in the lives of our news team, as they engage with a new year full of old flames, new loves, thrilling stories and plenty of scandal. Taking us even deeper into our characters’ lives and engaging the viewers with its energy, wit and story, we’re chuffed to bits to be able to keep the world alive.”

The sequel will see the team still striving to broadcast the stories they believe in, as they grapple with the looming spectre of the Cold War and changing social mores. It will chart political intrigue and corruption against the highly charged backdrop of a country in the grip of unsettling and rapid change. With the space race and nuclear power, Britain seems on the threshold of a new era of modernization, economic optimism, scientific progress and cultural change in the face of new immigration from the Commonwealth. But under the buoyant veneer, our characters become deeply embroiled in cover-ups, sexual intrigues and the resurgence of Mosley’s fascism…

Bel Rowley is still single and determined not to get involved with another married man. Clarence is in prison and she must now report to Randall Brown (Peter Capaldi) the eccentric new Head of News. While juggling the sparky relationships around her, she finds out that Hector is being lured to ITV. She fights for her program and finds herself taking on her adversary, Bill Kendall (Tom Burke), a producer whose magnetic charm she can’t help but find irresistible.

Hector Madden has risen to the status of a national celebrity, all while maintaining his lifestyle as a happily married man and face of The Hour. He is unsettled by Marnie’s desire to establish her own career and finds himself drawn to the late night clubs of Soho where he befriends Kiki (Hannah Tointon), a club hostess. No longer happy at The Hour under Randall’s new regime, he is tempted by offers from ITV, but when a night at the club goes badly wrong, scandal threatens and Hector must try to stop a news story that could destroy his marriage and his career.

Freddie Lyons, who was fired after ‘The Lord Elms’ live interview, makes an unexpected return to The Hour. Having been away for several months travelling around the world, he returns as co-host of The Hour, to both Bel and Hector’s surprise. He has however not lost his passion to investigate and as he becomes embroiled with exposing a cover-up, it becomes clear that the ghosts of the past will not let Freddie go.

Lix is still heading up the foreign desk, fighting for airtime for international stories, but a new side to her is revealed when Randall arrives at The Hour. Meanwhile, McCain (Julian Rhind-Tutt) is now Head of Press for Macmillan, protecting the recently elected Prime Minister and the closed circle of his cabinet.

No, Obama Did Not Develop Plan To Tax Christmas Trees

No, the story being circulated by the right wing today that Obama was planning to impose a fifteen cent tax on Christmas trees is  not true, similar to other claims related to their imaginary War on Christmas. Steve Benen explains:

It seemed like a simple little idea. The Christmas tree industry, which has been struggling in recent years, wanted to fund a promotional program, encouraging consumers to buy real, rather than artificial, trees over the holiday season. The idea was for Christmas trees to follow in the footsteps of milk, beef, and cotton, all of which benefited from successful promotional campaigns.

To pay for the effort, the industry launched the Christmas Tree Promotion, Research and Information Order, asking the Agriculture Department to approve a 15-cent fee, per tree, on domestic producers and importers. It was requested by the industry, to benefit the industry, and to be paid for by the industry.

The Agriculture Department solicited public feedback, and most supported the proposal. This week, officials gave the industry the green light to proceed.

And that’s when Republican hacks decided to intervene.

Some loons decided the Obama administration wants to impose a new “tax” on Christmas trees because the president “hates Christians.” National Christmas Tree Association spokesman Rick Dungey tried to explain this “has absolutely nothing to do with Obama,” and “it’s not a tax,” but it was too late — the right-wing message machine had already kicked into gear

This fee was to be paid by producers at their request and would not be charged to consumers. Rather than get bogged down in explaining that he was not imposing a tax on Christmas trees, the Obama administration has delayed this proposal. ABC News also had more on the intent behind this plan:

The National Christmas Tree Association says the fee would fund a program “designed to benefit the industry and will be funded by the growers” and is “not expected to have any impact on the final price consumers pay for their Christmas tree.” According to the Federal Registry, the proposed Christmas Tree Promotion Board, which would be funded by the new fee, would launch a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry” and to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States.”

There Really Is A War On Halloween

Right wingers, who love to act as if they are victims, have been whining about an imaginary War on Christmas for years. Fox has also been claiming there is a War on Halloween:

On Monday’s Fox and Friends , Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade reported on the “all out assault on Halloween.” “Schools across the country are doing everything from banning costumes to even removing the holiday because it may offend immigrants,” Kilmeade exclaimed. Carlson lamented the fact that schools were “cracking down” on Halloween. “I’m sad, I have two little kids and I’m wondering if they’re not going to ever see the American traditions that all of us had.”

It turns out that Fox is right that there is a War on Halloween but it is not being waged by liberals who wish to avoid offending immigrants. The War on Halloween is being waged by religious fundamentalists who wish to replace Halloween with JesusWeen. From their web site:

JesusWeen is a non profit organization also known as JesusWin. We are focused on helping people live better lives through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. JesusWeen is a God-given vision which was born as an answer to the cry of many every October 31st. The dictionary meaning of Ween is to expect, believe or think. We therefore see October 31st as a day to expect a gift of salvation and re-think receiving Jesus.

Every year, the world and its Every year, the world and its system have a day set aside (October 31st) to celebrate ungodly images and evil characters while Christians all over the world participate, hide or just stay quiet on Halloween day. Being a day that is widely acceptable to solicit and knock on doors, God inspired us to encourage Christians to use this day as an opportunity to spread the gospel. The days of hiding are over and we choose to take a stand for Jesus. “Evil prevails when good people do nothing”. JesusWeen is expected to become the most effective Christian outreach day ever and that is why we also call it” World Evangelism Day”.

Buzzfeed has more links regarding JesusWeen.

This Year’s War on Christmas Beginning

The “War on Christmas” is underway. I’m not speaking of a real war so you can drop your plans to spray Agent Orange on those fields where the candy canes are growing. The “War on Christmas” is a figment of the imagination of some right wingers–sort of like the Obama birth certificate controversy or any o f the other delusions common on the right wing.

For the last few years conservatives would present imagined acts as evidence of a War on Christmas. Politico reports a new delusion common on the right. There is a false rumor being spread that the Obama White House will not have a Christmas Tree.

The War on New Year

We heard less nonsense about The War on Christmas this year but now, via Pharyngula, we have a tongue in cheek protest against The War on New Year from James F. McGrath, an associate professor of religion:

Apparently the forces of darkness are mounting an attack, this time on the Christian holiday of New Year’s Day, which commemorates and worshipfully celebrates the anniversary of the day on which a Romanian monk miscalculated the year in which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born. In addition to the anticalendricals, it seems that the Chinese, Jews, and Muslims are all opting out and deciding to celebrate other days as their new year. More recently the ranks of these heathen have apparently been joined by the ancient Babylonians. Worse still, countless American companies are yielding to the pressure from these groups, and instructing them to wish people “Happy New Years Day” rather than “Happy New Year’s Day”.

Truly committed Christians should be listening carefully for the lack of apostrophe and boycott any stores that prove to be committed to this heretical anapostrophism.

Fight the good fight. Make sure that you drink too much champagne on December 31st as midnight approaches, and not on one of the days celebrated by the heathen. Too much is at stake. Imagine the confusion if we had such crowds and brightly lit orbs descending upon Times Square all throughout the year.

Is this what happened to the religious blogosphere when Indiana, where the author is located, turned into a blue state this year? Next they’ll question taking the Bible literally.

The War on Christmas, And Now Kwanzaa

The War on Christmas might only be one of many examples of right wing paranoia, but it turns out there really was a War on Kwanzaa. Ann Coulter not only attacks the holiday but, writing one of her typical hate-filled columns, claims credit for victory. She brags, “I believe my triumph over this synthetic holiday is nearly complete.”

The right wing tirades about the imaginary War on Christmas were quieter than usual this year but Alex Koppelman has reported on one item from The Washington Times.

Christmas has also won a victory, being declared an official holiday for the first time this year in Iraq. This sounds like a positive move but Alan Colmes also notes that things have not worked out very well for the Christian minority in Iraq.

War on Christmas Back On, Disregard Previous Report

A few days ago it looked like the War on Christmas was over. Bill O’Reily declared victory, which was fine with me as it might have allowed the rest of us to celebrate the holidays in peace. A report out of Oklahoma shows that Tony Snow has now invented a “War on God” along with starting his own war on college faculty members:

Tony Snow, former press Secretary to President Bush and Fox news anchor, spoke to the Academy of Leadership & Liberty at Oklahoma Christian University last week.

The winsome and articulate Snow charmed his audience with wit:

“The average Iranian is more Pro-American than virtually any college faculty in this country.” And with serious talk about the war on terror and “the second war in this country, the war on God.”

The same article reports, “Snow also said he loved being on a stage where he could say the word ‘God.'” Steve Benen is puzzled about Snow’s statement about the word “God” noting, “He used it from his White House podium with some frequency, and as far as I can tell, never faced any censorship.”

Think Progress also reports that Tony Snow appeared on O’Reilly’s show and repeated the type of claims usually used to fuel the “War on Christmas” rants:

I don’t think they’re going to beat Jesus. … You’ve mentioned the fact that you’re not allowed to have Christ at Christmas. I mean, I went to a Christmas store this week. It didn’t have anything about Jesus. It had all sorts of funny little ornaments in it, but nothing about the holiday. People are tired of that.

Peace Is At Hand: The War on Christmas Is Over


Bill O’Reilly has declared victory in the War on Christmas, as seen in the video above. This could be for the best as the only plausible ending for a fictitious war which largely began in Bill O’Reilly’s head was for O’Reilly to declare victory. From now on whenever a conservative brings up the War on Christmas, point then to this and show them that the war is over.

If only this means O’Reilly will now leave everyone else alone. It would be even better if his spiritual cousins on the opposite side of the coin, such as the Taliban and al Qaeda, will follow his example and also declare victory and end their wars.

Some day perhaps American conservatives will decide to observe the First Amendment again and understand that nobody has anything against Christmas. We just understand why the founding fathers felt it was so important to keep religion out of what O’Reilly refers to as the public square. If they ever doubted this, just seeing people like O’Reilly go on like this demonstrates the founding father’s wisdom in desiring to create a secular state.