For several years now Fox News has been engaged in a raging “War On Christmas.” For the most part it is a conflict that is wholly the product of their warped imagination. And despite the fact that victory was declared by its general, Bill O’Reilly, several times, peace has still evaded us. And now this phony war is having all too real consequences.
An elementary school in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, made an administrative decision not to put on a Christmas show this year. The principal cited the fact that its production requires 15-20 hours of classroom time that couldn’t be spared. However, the program’s cancellation was all that Fox News needed to bolster their war propaganda. Host Todd Starnes put out another in his series of bogus tirades against imaginary assaults on Xmas. According to LancasterOnline (via Media Matters):
“A Hempfield elementary school is under fire for ending its longstanding production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and a Jewish family has fled the county in fear because it’s being blamed for the cancellation. The unfolding controversy at Centerville Elementary School played out this week in national conservative media outlets including FOX News and Breitbart News Network, which portray the school’s move as part of a ‘war on Christmas.'”
After the play was canceled, classmates were reported to have harassed the Jewish student whom they blamed for the cancellation. The parents denied that they had complained or asked that the play be canceled. All they did was to request that their child not be required to participate. The principal responded to the rumors about parental objections by posting a notice stating flatly that they weren’t true. But that didn’t stop Fox News, Breitbart, and other right-wing outlets from exploiting the contrived controversy.
As a result, the family was forced to flee their home in order to avoid the hostile reaction from Fox viewers. [See update below] LancasterOnline reported that:
“Since the Fox and Breitbart stories, a spokeswoman for the school district said, the school has received at least 200 emails and phone calls either supporting or objecting to the decision or asking for additional information. The Jewish student’s parents say some of the reactions to the stories frightened them. After seeing reader comments like ‘It would be nice if we had the addresses of those concerned citizens and, I bet, this info is known to people living in the area’ on the Breitbart story, the parents pulled their child out of school and headed out of the area for a bit. ‘There’s no way we’re going to take a chance after the pizza incident,’ they said, referencing the man who fired an assault rifle in a Washington D.C area pizzeria after reading a fake-news story that said Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of there.”
The stories from Fox and Breitbart focused on the false assertion that a Jewish family objected to the play’s Tiny Tim character saying “God bless us, everyone.” That’s absurd on its face because there would be no reason for such an objection. Jews are not averse to blessings from God. However, the attempt to stigmatize a Jewish family reeks of the anti-Semitism that frequently portrays Jews as Christ-killers. Casting Jews as opponents of Christianity and its holidays was a favorite tactic of the Nazis in 1930’s Germany.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Now Fox News is carrying on that loathsome tradition in an effort to advance their Christmas Wars agenda. And they are not the least bit concerned about the harm it is doing to innocent families. They are devoted to their campaign of hate and division without regard for the victims. And it is perfectly aligned with Donald Trump’s divisive agenda. He often fires up his rallies by promising that “If I become president, we’re all going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.” It’s that 1930’s totalitarianism that makes him think he can decide what we are all going to say.
UPDATE: The Anti-Defamation League investigated the claims that the family fled their home due to threats following false stories about the cancellation of a school Christmas play. They found that the family actually left on a planned vacation, but the other facts remain unchanged. There were stories that accused the family of being responsible for the cancellation, and they were harassed.