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Defending Christmas, Covering Porn

Reported by Nancy - December 13, 2004 -

FNL this morning (12/13) was the usual neck-snapping melange of bits & pieces from hither & yon masquerading as "hard news". Of particular interest to me was the expandsion on FNL's theme of the season: Christmas is being attacked!

At 11:22am (all times ET), Brigitte Quinn said Christmas is "under attack" in schools in SC & NJ & a town in FL, some schools in Italy are "getting rid of" nativity scenes, & Pope John Paul II has come out against it. Quinn then interviewed Ray Flynn (former US Ambassador to the Vatican) [comment: Quinn didn't mention that Flynn is also President of the American Catholic Alliance & is involved with the America First Party, the 21-st century equivalent of the Know-Nothings]. Flynn said there's "anti-Christian" sentiment in society today, secularists feel threatened but an overwhelming number of people not only in US but around the world "believe in Christ" & more Christians should speak out. Quinn asked whether, given the "secularization of the holidays", & the "pop culture", this could be a sort of backlash against the success of Mel Gibson's "Passion". Flynn agreed, saying that the "fringe element", the "liberal fanatic society" feels threatened by values & morals, so it's important for "us" to speak out, & "I applaud Fox" for doing it, "you don't get the same response from other nationall media", "we should wear our religion on our sleeves" & "if it offends, so be it". Quinn asked whether it could be a post-election backlash. Flynn agreed again, saying that the "silent majority" believe in Christ & values, but the "powerful media" are "trying to intimidate us, make us conform to a secularist point of view", then repeated that the "overwhelming majority of people around the world believe in Christ". Flynn said we should "say Merry Christmas to everyone" & noted that people say it to him all the time. [Comment: content aside, how "fair & balanced" is it to allow one person 4 minutes of air time without rebuttal?]

12:07 - David Asman asked "why would an elementary school ban references to Christmas but leave references to Hannukah & Kwanzaa in?" From Mustang OK, Rebecca Gomez reported that "5th graders had to remove Nativity scene of Baby Jesus in a manger" because the superintendent ordered entire Christian segment of pageant removed (clip of woman saying they left in refs to Hannukah & Kwanzaa). Gomez noted that "some parents & students" organized a protest & put on their own Christmas play.

12:08 - Nativity scene with David Beckham damaged at Mme Tussaud's in London [comment: Asman barely noted that the scene also featured Bush & Blair].

In the midst of all this hullaballoo over Christmas being "under attack", FNL managed to insert plenty of teasers, lots of pix & a full 4-minute interview with a pro golfer who posed, scantily clad, for a photo spread in a men's magazine.

11:51 - In a segment that FNL labelled "showing off the sexier side of golf", Asman interviewed Natalie Gulbis & showed lots of pix from her FHM spread [comment: my personal fave was Asman asking "you don't wear heels while you're golfing, do you?". I had never heard of FHM, so I googled it & discovered it bills itself as Australia's leading men's magazine. This shows how far FNL had to go for its almost-daily nod to the porn belt].