Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Bill O'Reilly Discovers Unique Way to Woo Major Holiday Advertisers - Insult Them and Their Customers on National TV!

Reported by Marie Therese - November 10, 2005

While I promised I would not write another post about Bill O'Reilly's sophomoric and ridiculous pursuit of a complete non-issue (the "War on Christmas"), on last night's Factor I feel he might have gotten himself in trouble with his corporate bosses at FOX News. He smeared two major retailers - Sears/K-Mart and Kohl's. He insinuated, as only the oily O'Reilly can, that these stores are anti-Christmas (and, as well all know, to O'Reilly that means they are anti-Christian as well). I run a business and the first thing I thought was that I would hate to be the FOX News and/or the FOX Entertainment advertising execs tomorrow morning when they get angry calls from Sears/K-Mart and Kohl's demanding an apology under threat of pulling their holiday advertising.

Here's what Billy had to say:

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.

Not content with one smear, he then repeated his insults during an interview with Philip Nulman, author of "Just Say Yes! Extreme Customer Service - How to Give it! How to Get It!" Marketing and advertising expert Nulman was calm, cool and collected in the face of O'Reilly's hissy fit.

Here's the transcript.

O'REILLY: "... That's what I like - extreme customer service. Alright. 85% of Americans say they're Christians. Christmas is a federal holiday, signed into law by U. S. Grant and we're living in a time when some retail outlets will not say "Merry Christmas." Insane?

NULMAN: No, no. I don't think it's insane. I think that it's good business practice, actually. And many organizations are trying desperately to be inclusionary. they feel that the use of "Merry Christmas" in their packaging, their bags, their messages, their environment is just the opposite, it's exclusionary to the 15 or 20 percent of the customer base that is not Christian.

O'REILLY: And you agree with that?



NULMAN: From a marketing standpoint ...

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. 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?

[COMMENT: Where did O'Reilly study marketing? The Clown Alley Academy of Shoot-Yourself-in-the-Foot Economics? I was astounded. Here was Mr. Bill recommending that two major retailers engage in behavior that would alienate 15 to 20 percent of their customer base. What planet does this mental giant live on?!!]

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: It's a long list.

O'REILLY: It's OK. Ya' got a big store!

NULMAN: Um-hum.

O'REILLY: Ya' got a big store.

NULMaN: Right.

O'REILLY: You can put the little banners all over the place.

NULMAN: Uh-huh.

O'REILLY: But to tell your employees don't say "Merry Christmas" is, you know - I just think you are alienating far more people by that ...


O'REILLY: ... than you would be by saying "Merry Christmas" and all of the other slogans.

NULMAN: Well, I think that, statistically speaking, we'd be hard-pressed to find that Christians are offended by gestures on the part of employees that say "Happy holidays to you." [indecipherable]

O'REILLY (overtalks): Alright. We're gonna do a poll question and I'm gonna signal to my guys ...

NULMAN: Alright.

O'REILLY: And I'm gonna prove it to you.


O'REILLY: Let's do a FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll question up there. Now, I'm givin' the signal to my guys ...

NULMAN: Alright:

O'REILLY: ... about if you're - "Are you offended if they don't use the words 'Merry Christmas' in a - in a store that you go to shop" and we will - and I guarantee you ...

NULMAN: Alright.

O'REILLY: ... that I'm right.

NULMAN: Well ...

O'REILLY: I'm guaranteeing that the Christian majority in this country is fed up, fed up to here (points to his forehead) ...

NULMAN: Um-hum

O'REILLY: ... with the ACLU and all of this business - this anti-Christian business. I'll give you the last word.

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. But, anyway, look. We'll do the poll ...

NULMAN: Alright.

O'REILLY: ... and we'll have you back.

NULMAN: I would be delighted.

O'REILLY: And it's a scientific poll. OK?

NULMAN: OK. I would be delighted.


1) FOX ad execs will be chugging the Maalox at FOX New York Central tomorrow!

2) We'll never see Mr. Nulman again.

3) If the FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll goes against O'Reilly, it will never be aired.

4) The holidays WILL survive another idiotic onslaught by Bill O'Reilly and Sean Insanity.

5) As a businesswoman, if I insisted on saying "Merry Christmas" to my Jewish students and forced them to learn Christmas carols, I can guarantee you my income would go down 15%. Oh, I forgot. According to Mr. O'Reilly, those families are "nutty" and I should just write them off.

5) Every year I send out a holiday card to my students with a generic seasonal greeting on it. My mother raised me to be polite and respect the feelings of others - a concept clearly alien to the pugnacious and overbearing Mr. O!

Post a comment

Remember Me?

We welcome your opinions and viewpoints. Comments must remain civil, on-topic and must not violate any copyright or other laws. We reserve the right to delete any comments we deem inappropriate or non-constructive to the discussion for any reason, and to block any commenter for repeated violations.

Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.