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Dayside Viewers Aren't Buying "War on Christmas"

Reported by Janie - November 29, 2005

Yesterday (11/28) Dayside hosts Juliet Huddy and Mike Jerrick interviewed Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association (Wildmon is also the "genius" behind protecting our children from the homosexual influence of Animal Planet) on Target's use of "Merry Christmas", and their expulsion of the Salvation Army from in front of Target stores. The real surprise in this interview was not Wildman's preposterous argument, but the reception of his argument from the Dayside audience.

JH: "There is a petition to boycott Target after they banned the Salvation Army bell ringers from their stores. They've also chosen Happy Holidays over Merry Christmas in their advertising. Tim Wildmon is President of American Family Association and they essentially organized the boycott. Tim, you're pretty unhappy as I'm sure a lot of folks are. What's going on with Target and the Salvation Army, because I understand they do have some sort of relationship.."

TW: "Well, last year is when this kind of started, when they kicked the Salvation Army bell ringers from in front of their stores. And, it was a terrible public relations nightmare for them, and this year they've decided to put some products online for people to purchase, and they will deliver them to the Salvation Army. So, it's not really much of a charitable donation when you have to buy a product from them. So, I think that was a big mistake, kicking the Salvation Army out and then banning the use of the word Christmas. Yesterday they had a 36 page insert, Target did, it went nation-wide, and not one mention of the word Christmas was found in that particular brochure.

Comment: Not once in the entire interview, did anyone mention why Target has decided to not allow the Salvation Army to stand in front of Target's stores. According to Target, they have a very strict no solicitation policy. They did allow the Salvation Army for quite some time, but found they were inviting other non-profit groups that wished to solicit to cause trouble when they were not allowed to do so. In order to quell concern from other groups, and to strictly stand by their policy of no solicitation, they decided to no longer allow the Salvation Army to work in front of their stores.

And why is Target being singled-out? There was no mention of the other stores not allowing the Salvation Army, including Best Buy, Home Depot, Barnes and Noble, Circuit City, etc.

Here is where the audience started getting into the discussion, and I was actually shocked by their response.

AM1: "Well, I wanted to say as far as the topic on Merry Christmas, what's the big difference? Isn't merry the same as happy, and isn't Christmas a holiday? I don't see the big difference in it, what's the problem?"

TW: "Well, people don't buy holiday gifts. They buy Christmas gifts. They don't buy Thanksgiving gifts, they don't buy New Years gifts. Some folks may buy Hanukah gifts, that's true, but the vast majority of people in this country, traditionally buy Christmas gifts and that's what keeps these corporations afloat, and so it's offensive to a lot of people when they take Merry Christmas out of their promotions."

Comment: Can someone please tell this man, there aren't just Christians in the United States??

AM2: "This country was founded on religious freedom, and I think this is just another example of how we're missing the reason for the season." (HUGE audience applause)

JH: "Here's what Target says, this came out on November 21st, this is their statement. 'Target serves and employs a diverse range of people at our stores… Target respects the individuality of our guests and team members. We do not have a policy that dictates how our team members greet guests. Our team members are able to use their own judgment in offering a welcome greeting.' So, can they say Merry Christmas then, it sounds like they can according to Target."

TW: "Yeah, but their not using Christmas in any of their promotions throughout the store, or any of their literature. It's been censored out, it's been replaced with the word Holiday, that's what's going on. Not just with Target, but with some of the other retailers as well."

Comment: So once his first argument is shot down, Wildmon chooses to focus on a different aspect of blathering.

AM3: "My comment has to do with.. why can't people just say what they want to say? Wasn't this country based on religious freedom, freedom of speech?"

TW: "You have to comply with your boss, do what they tell you to do. We'll commend Wal-Mart for letting the Salvation Army bell ringers ten more days than they normally do, to sort of make-up for Target kicking them out."

Comment: Didn't they just state that Target says their employees can say whatever they wish? Or does Wildmon just assume that Dayside viewers have less than a 10-second memory?

MJ: "Because Target won't come on and talk, because they don't give interviews, so I'll be the devil's advocate here. Why, isn't your church enough? Just go to your church and profess your beliefs there, why does Target, you know, you go into there to buy a remote control car, why does Christmas have to be involved?"

TW: "You're going in there to buy the remote control car for Christmas. For your kid, and they won't let the Salvation Army, that's $9 million that came out of the Salvation Army's charitable pockets, that they did not have."

Comment: And that dear readers, is what the AFA is concerned with during this HOLIDAY season. They're not concerned with Jesus' teachings, helping the poor, etc. They're much more concerned with making sure that when you go out to buy your remote control car, which has nothing to do with Jesus in the first place, that Jesus is properly interjected into that purchase, no matter what your religious affiliation is.

At least the viewers of Dayside aren't buying this "War on Christmas".

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