It’s that time of year again–a time of
- Christmas trees
- Nativity scenes
- singing carols
- exchanging gifts with family and friends.
And, if you’re an employee of Fox News, creating fresh ways to stir up controversey over a non-existant “war on Christmas.”
Stirring up false controversies is a daily assignment for the alleged reporters of this company owned by Right-wing patriarch Rupert Murdoch.
Consider the attack on the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.
The attack caught the United States by surprise. Clearly, with the 11th anniversay of the 9/11 attacks approaching, America should have beefed up security at its diplomatic missions throughout the Middle East.
But Fox News wasn’t content to simply make that claim. Instead, it accused President Barack Obama of deliberately sacrificing the four Americans killed in Benghazi that night–including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
So long as Fox “reporters” spoke only with other Right-wing critics of the Obama administration, the slander went unopposed.
But then Fox News interviewed Tom Ricks, a warfare expert who had covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 to 2008, and the author of The Generals.
The exchange between Ricks and Jon Scott, co-host of Fox News Happening Now went as follows:
SCOTT: Pressure mounting on the Obama administration over its response to the deadly attack on our consulate in Benghazi….
Two senators even expressing concerns about a possible White House cover-up. Let’s talk about it with Tom Ricks. He is author of The Generals. He has spent decades covering our military. He joins us now….What do you make of it?
RICKS: I think that Benghazi generally was hyped, by this network especially, and that now that the campaign is over, I think he’s backing off a little bit….
SCOTT: When you have four people dead, including the first dead U.N. ambassador–U.S. ambassador in more than 30 years, how do you call that hype?
RICKS: How many security contractors died in Iraq, do you know?
SCOTT: I don’t.
RICKS: No. Nobody does, because nobody cared. We know that several hundred died, but there was never an official count done of security contractors dead in Iraq. So when I see this focus on what was essentially a small firefight, I think, number one, I’ve covered a lot of firefights.
It’s impossible to figure out what happens in them sometimes. And second, I think that the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox was operating as a wing of Republican Party.
SCOTT: All right. Tom Ricks, thanks very much for joining us today.
* * * * *
But Christmas is special, so, each year, the executives at Fox find a new way to stir up emotions by resurrecting the “war on Christmas” slander.
This year, it fell to Fox hostess Megyn Kelly to carry the ball. And she did so on December 11 on “The Kelly File,” her popular Fox News program.
Referring to an article by Slate writer Aisha Harris on “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore,” she said:
“When I saw this headline, I kinda laughed and I said, ‘Oh, this is ridiculous. Yet another person claiming it’s racist to have a white Santa.’
“And by the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white. But this person is maybe just arguing that we should also have a black Santa. But, you know, Santa is what he is, and just so you know, we’re just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids.”
Of course, Santa Claus is a completely fictional character. Arguing about his skin color is as pointless as arguing about his weight.
But Kelly wasn’t content to talk only about Santa. So she turned next to Jesus, a historical figure about whom we have not a single reference to his appearance, let alone a picture.
“Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change. You know, I mean, Jesus was a white man, too,” Kelly said. “He was a historical figure; that’s a verifiable fact–as is Santa, I want you kids watching to know that–but my point is: How do you revise it, in the middle of the legacy of the story, and change Santa from white to black?”
Santa Claus a verifiable historical figure? Not even Charlie Brown, in the annually telecast “Peanuts” special, would make that claim.
In George Orwell’s classic novel, 1984, Oceania is always at war with Eurasia or Eastasia. Its citizens are kept in a constant state of frenzy as they’re directed to search for endless “enemies of the state.”
This, in turn, allows the unseen rulers of Oceania to run their dictatorship without interference.
It’s a blueprint for power not lost on the men who run Fox News.