Media Matters has been doing a thorough job of following Bill O’Reilly’s fake “War on Christmas” crusade of demagoguery. At this moment, they’ve got posts up catching him in no fewer than three lies trying to turn myth into reality. They are:
Lie #1: Saginaw, Michigan tells people not to where red and green clothing:
O’REILLY: In Saginaw, Michigan, the township opposes red and green clothing on anyone. [Laughing] In Saginaw Township, they basically said, anybody, we don’t want you to wear red or green. I would dress up head to toe in red to green if I were in Saginaw, Michigan.
False. Saginaw township issued a statement flatly denying this ridiculous accusation and noting that the township hall has red and green christmas lights on it as well.
Lie #2: The Plano, Texas school system tells students they can’t wear green and red clothing:
O’REILLY: In Plano, Texas, just north of Dallas, the school told students they couldn’t wear red and green because they were Christmas colors. That’s flat-out fascism. If I were a student in Plano, I’d be a walking Christmas tree after that order. Have a little thing on my head.
“The school district does not restrict students or staff from wearing certain color clothes during holiday times or any other school days,” noted Dr. Otto, who said that the school district’s attorney has requested that Mr. O’Reilly retract the statement.
Dr. Otto said that attorneys have requested of Mr. O’Reilly that, in the future, he ask his fact checkers to do a more thorough job of confirming the facts before he airs them. “It would be our hope that you would engage in fair and balanced reporting of this nationally recognized school district in the future,” wrote PISD’s attorney.
Lie #3: The Post Office no longer issues Christmas stamps with a religious theme:
O’REILLY: Yeah. I think it’s the first time in my lifetime that the United States Postal Service has not had a spiritual stamp for people like you who would like them. And, again, disrespectful. Flat-out disrespectful, insulting you and your beliefs, [caller], because your spiritual stamp is in context to the celebration of Christmas. And we gotta stop that, and we will.
False. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported a couple weeks ago, the Post Office didn’t issue any new religious-theme stamps this year only because the price of stamps is going up to 39 cents on January 8th and they still have a backlog of last year’s Madonna and Child stamps to get rid of before then. Leave it to Bill O’Reilly to turn good inventory management into a conspiracy to destroy Christmas.