In addition to providing "fair & balanced" "news," Roger Ailes sees Fox as a media conduit for advancing the version of Christianity espoused by the anti-gay, anti-choice religious right groups such as "Faith and Action," an organization that seeks to advance a radical right wing Christian agenda. This group is headed by Rob Schenck who, in the 90's, engaged in anti-choice radicalism. But he has since calmed down and is now focusing his efforts on proselytizing the US Congress and doing his annual Christmas "Living Nativity." So, in order to publicly show his allegiance to these conservative crusaders, Ailes provides them with an annual televised platform outside Fox News headquarters as well as the use of Fox News dressing rooms. And this year, as a special treat, the Fox pals were able to use the Nativity to promote their year round motif of persecuted Christianity. Hosanna in the highest!
This morning's segment began outside Fox HQ. A photo from last year's "Live Nativity," outside the Supreme Court, was shown while Elisabeth Hasselbeck reported that this Nativity tableau, which "carries a powerful message about the true meaning of Christmas and religious freedom," is getting "national attention." (Thank you Fox News) Steve Doocy informed us that the traveling Jesus show is stopping at Fox News before their annual visit to the capitol. He introduced Rob Schneck, "lead missionary" from "Faith in Action," and the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition. (Schenck and Mahoney palled around anti-abortion activist Randall Terry and were present when Terry was arrested for throwing a fetus a Pres. Clinton.) Included in the introduction was Rev. David Hernquist who, as an excited Doocy told us, provided the people and the animals in the Christmas circus.
Hasselbeck gushed: "What an extraordinary time that has marked history and faith for so many." Hasselbeck set the stage for the Christian propaganda message of the piece. After asking why the group goes to the Supreme Court, she continued: "the ability to display faith in the public square is something that so many Americans want to be able to do, why do feel it's under attack."
Mahoney provided the patented Fox & Friends persecuted Christian talking points: "Sadly there is an attack on public expressions of faith; but with the Nativity Project, we found an incredible way to deal with that." He explained that as cities are taking down Nativity scenes, individuals can fill out permits to display Jesus and the crews. He said that if Christmas can be displayed outside of the Supreme Court it can be displayed anywhere. Doocy, who could hardly contain his Christmas glee, said "there's something about seeing people who sit and stand out in the very cold weather to provide this, it warms your heart." The chyron: "Reason for the Season, Protecting the True Meaning of Christmas."
Schenck enthused over how "this is a very powerful image that everybody recognizes and it telegraphs a very important message." (Uh, the average Jewish person might not recognize the image but America is a Christian nation so who cares?) Given that Fox News is dedicated to divisiveness and hate, there was some irony in Schenck's comment about how the image promotes "peace on earth." Hasselbeck and Doocy gushed over the "loving message." The chyron pimped the agitprop: "The Fight for Faith, Calling for Nativity Displays Across America." Showing the "Ed Grimley" has nothing on Steve Doocy, Doocy almost jumped for joy as he shouted "Merry Christmas guys."
God bless us everyone?