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Bill O'Reilly Denies He's Created the "War on Christmas"

Reported by Marie Therese - December 7, 2005

BILL O'REILLY, Talking Points Memo, December 6, 2005:

What Christmas controversy? Writing in the Los Angeles Times, wise guy columnist Joel Stein has declared there is no war on Christmas. That's the far-left line, that religious nuts have fabricated a Christmas controversy in order to turn the USA into a theocracy. The New York Times printed that opinion last weekend. So far we've also seen this nonsense in the Baltimore Sun, newspapers in Orlando [FL] and Richmond [VA] and now the LA Times. I'm sure that's all coincidental.

The LA situation is interesting. The Times' parent company recently let go the paper's editor and editorial director- two men who had turned the Times into a far-left brochure, causing circulation to plummet. The new people at the LA Times seemed to be trying and the paper has become more fair in its presentation but now Stein has mucked it all up. Here's what he wrote today, quote

"In fact, [John] Gibson and fellow FOX anchor Bill O'Reilly are so upset [about the Christmas controversy] that they have organized a boycott of Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears and Costco for using the phrase "'Happy Holidays' in their ads instead of 'Merry Christmas.'"

O'REILLY: Well, that's news to me. Here's what I said on the Radio Factor:

AUDIO CLIP, Bill O'Reilly, The Radio Factor, 11-29-05:

"There is a move under foot to discourage people from buying in stores that do not use 'Merry Christmas' in their advertising. I am not a part of that. I am not a part of that movement and I'll tell you why. I want you to make up your own mind on this. I don't wanna be tellin' you where to buy and where not to buy."

O'REILLY: Sooo. Stein did not write the truth. What a shock! LA TImes editors, embarrassed, say they'll issue a correction. You may have noticed I lead the league in corrections. The importance of the Christmas controversy is that is has become the centerpiece in the culture war between traditional Americans and secular progressives. Outside of the War on Terror this culture war is the most important thing happening in the country today. At stake whether the USA will turn into a secular country that mirrors western Europe or maintain its emphasis on Judeo-Christian values. The LA Times and much of the media is firmly in the secular corner. Talking Points is rooting for the traditionalists. So the battle lines are drawn. Too bad Christmas has to be in the middle of it. And that's the Memo.


Shame on the Los Angeles Times if it does, in fact, run a "correction.". O'Reilly walks a thin line between truth and lie. As you can readily see from the following examples. O'Reilly never once uses the word "boycott," yet that is clearly his meaning.

1) On November 9th in his Talking Points Memo, Bill O'Reilly said:

"As you know, Christmas has become controversial in America. Public displays of the federal holiday are under attack by the ACLU and some department stores even tell employees to avoid saying "Merry Christmas." So, we decided to look at some retail policies this year and here's what we found out. Sears/K-Mart would not answer our questions. Spokesman Chris Braithwaite simply ducked the issues. Their website banners "Wishbook Holiday 2005." They were the worst we had to deal with - Sears/K-Mart.

"J. C. Penney says its catalog is always called "Christmas catalog." Federated Department Stores - Macy's, Bloomingdales, Burdines - says the words "Merry Christmas" will be used in most advertising. Same thing at May, Filene's, Lord & Taylor and Marshall Fields. But Kohl's refused to define how the company will deal with Christmas. Dillard's, however, will use the slogan "Discover Christmas, Discover Dillard's." So, there you go. Shop where you like the atmosphere. Just remember Kohl's and Sears/K-Mart basically - well (knowing little smile). Alright."

To me, that sure sounds like an invitation to boycott.

2) Later in the same show during an interview with Philip Nulman, O'Reilly admitted that he and FOX News have been instrumental in creating awareness of the war on Christmas, which has heightened the sensitivity of some Christians.

O'REILLY: You see I think you're - I think you're crazy and here's why. I think the backlash against stores that don't say "Merry Christmas" is enormous, BECAUSE NOW PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF THE ISSUE. THIS HAS BEEN REPORTED - THIS IS LIKE THE THIRD OR FOURTH YEAR THAT WE'VE REPORTED IT. [Emphasis mine.] Now, everybody's hyper-sensitive about: Are they going to say "Merry Christmas"? Are they going to say "Happy Holidays"? What are they gonna say? Are there decorations that say "Merry Christmas"? They're hyper-sensitive. When you walk into a secular environment, most Christians are looking around and they're, they're really aware of it. Now, the other thing is, I don't believe most people who aren't Christian are offended by the words "Merry Christmas." I think those people are nuts. I think you're crazy if you're offended by the words "Merry Christmas."

NULMAN: Well ...

O'REILLY: So you're basically only knockin' out your nutty customers and why do you want them anyway?

NULMAN: When businesses make decisions to be inclusionary as opposed to exclusionary, they do it on the basis of wanting to invite all customers in. They don't want to exclude customers.

O'REILLY (overtalks last 4 words): They ARE inviting all Christmas [sic] in.

NULMAN: What happens very often is that the message gets through to the customer that - who is not Christian ...


NULMAN: ... who is Muslim, who is Jewish, who is - follows another faith - Buddhist - that they are not being invited in or catered to. When we counsel businesses, what we want is to invite everyone in.

O'REILLY: Well, then you put ...

NULMAN: "Seasons Greetings" and "Happy Holidays," Bill, does not offend Christians.

O'REILLY (emphatically): Yes it does! Absolutely does. Ummm - and I know that for a fact. But the smart way to do it is (gestures with hands as if posting signs) "Merry Christmas," "Happy Chanukkah," "Seasons Greetings," Happy Kwanza."


NULMAN: Wouldn't you suggest, Bill, that you and Mr. Hannity were instrumental in raising this issue?

O'REILLY: Absolutely.

NULMAN: OK. And in so doing, created an issue that may have been a non-issue.


NULMAN: That's my, that's my [indecipherable]

O'REILLY: I don't, I don't create anything. I react to the folks.

NULMAN: Um-hum

O'REILLY: And I hear what the folks are saying, and then I report on it. So, we don't drive the car OK? We just react to what the cart is telling us. ...

3) On November 28th O'Reilly said the following: "Every company in America should be on its knees thanking Jesus for being born. Without Christmas, most American businesses would be far less profitable. More than enough reason for business to be screaming 'Merry Christmas.' But many will not. They're afraid of being attacked by secular forces. It is now time to draw the line, ladies and gentlemen..."

4) On December 2nd O'Reilly suggested that Christians might want to look elsewhere, if stores do not "honor the Baby Jesus."

O'REILLY: As I said in my newspaper column this week, three wise men once showed up to honor the Baby Jesus way back when and if corporate executives are not "wise" enough to emulate that, well, those of us who respect Christmas might look elsewhere. But the news is mostly good and later in the broadcast we have an angry comedian who's picking up the Christmas banner, even though he's Jewish. ... Talking Points is proud to be a part of the pro-Christmas movement. And things are moving our way. But eternal vigilance is the price of liberty and over the next three weeks we will be vigilant on this subject. Trust me."

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