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Propaganda As Subtle As a Ton of Bricks

Reported by Nancy - December 20, 2004 -

FNL this morning (12/20) took the "Christians are victims" propaganda to a new level, with special intro music & a special new logo for this now-daily segment: "Christmas Under Attack?" with the "T" in Christmas being formed by a golden cross. David Asman expanded the theme to include the Boy Scouts "fighting back" against the ACLU. And in her promo for "Dayside", Linda Vester made it clear the propaganda will be repeated there too.

At 11:36am (all times ET), Brigitte Quinn said that a pastor in Raleigh NC took out an ad telling people to avoid stores where employees don't say "Merry Christmas" to customers. A pastor in neighboring church took offense & said that could lead to anti-Semitism. Quinn said that the latter pastor, Rev Jim Melnick, declined to be interviewed, but the pastor who took out the original ad was available. So she interviewed Rev Patrick Wooden (Upper Room Church of God), who spouted the usual nonsense -- we're not celebrating any old holiday, we're celebrating the birth of Christ, when did saying Merry Christmas become offensive, blah blah blah. Even Quinn was a little taken aback, & asked him why he wants to punish non-Christian store owners & employees, noting that she herself says "Happy Holidays" when she's not sure of the other person's religious beliefs. Wooden denied that he's trying to punish anyone, just that Christians should take their business to Christians. He ended by claiming that "since the early 1800s this nation has celebrated Christmas".

1 - So much for "fair & balanced" -- if the opposing pastor wasn't available, could FNL find no one who thought Rev Wooden was a jerk?
2 - I'm not kidding. He really said this stuff. You couldn't make it up.
3 - Frank Rich summed it up beautifully in his op-ed piece in the New York Times on Sunday 12/19:

What is this about? How can those in this country's overwhelming religious majority maintain that they are victims in a fiery battle with forces of darkness? It is certainly not about actual victimization. Christmas is as pervasive as it has ever been in America, where it wasn't even declared a federal holiday until after the Civil War. What's really going on here is yet another example of a post-Election-Day winner-takes-all power grab by the "moral values" brigade. As Mr. Gibson shrewdly contrived his own crucifixion all the way to the bank, trumping up nonexistent threats to his movie to hype it, so the creation of imagined enemies and exaggerated threats to Christianity by "moral values" mongers of the right has its own secular purpose. The idea is to intimidate and marginalize anyone who objects to their efforts to impose the most conservative of Christian dogma on public policy. If you're against their views, you don't have a differing opinion ? you're anti-Christian (even if you are a Christian).

Really, go read the whole article. It takes him 5 pages, but he skewers the whole "whining victim" routine perfectly.

At 12:00pm, David Asman opened the hour with a few teasers, including one that the Boy Scouts are "fighting back", tired of the "bum rap" they've been getting, & "wait'll ya hear what one Scout leader did right on the ACLU's doorstep!" At 12:19pm, he read another teaser: "one Scout troop is mad as heck & they're not gonna take it any more! ... We'll be talking to the scoutmaster who's leading the charge" against the ACLU. He didn't actually get to the story until 12:23pm, interviewing Scoutmaster Jim Carpenter (Troop 828 in VA) & Scout Patrick McKenna. Asman said that as the ACLU "continues its campaign" against the Scouts, Troop 828 decided to sell popcorn right in front of ACLU HQ in Richmond. According to Carpenter they made a pile of money [comment: probably due at least in part to the generosity of ACLU members, but of course no one mentioned that]. Asman asked McKenna (who looked to be about 10 years old) what he thought of the ACLU. McKenna gave a typical kid answer [comment: if you're a pre-programmed kid]: "I don't like them very much. They don't like us because we believe in God & are morally straight." Asman continued talking to McKenna, asking "why wouldn't someone believe in God or believe in being morally straight?" McKenna of course didn't have an answer, so Asman asked Carpenter, "What does the ACLU have against the Scouts?" Carpenter replied [comment: like a pre-programmed adult, staying on message, right down to using the exact same phrases]: "We as ask our members to believe in God & be morally straight." Asman then wanted to know "Why would they have a problem with that?" Carpenter said those are "things we believe in as a nation" but the ACLU defends those who don't believe them. Asman noted that the ACLU "oppose any relationship between a private org" & the US govt, & that the military has said no more scout activities on base, asking "Did Pentagon cave on this issue?" Carpenter said not yet, they may eventually, we hope they don't. Asman ended by congratulating both Carpenter & McKenna.

Comment: Again, so much for fair & balanced. And again, you couldn't make this stuff up.

In a promo for her upcoming program, "Dayside", at 12:42pm Linda Vester read a teaser about a Christian band "booted" from an anti-drug rally in Toledo OH.

Comment: Looks like FNC won't be jumping off this bandwagon any time soon.