Fox is famously fair and balanced, of course, so it's no surprise that another Fox News host, Bill O'Reilly, has taken issue with Gibson. O'Reilly is not debating the existence of said "war," of course – it's one of his favorite topics. (There was a recurring segment on The O'Reilly Factor called "Christmas Under Siege.") He's merely quibbling with Gibson's characterization of the players:
I think you made a mistake by saying [the war on Christmas] is a liberal plot. And I'll tell you why. I believe -- and I could be wrong -- that most liberals are as angry about this as conservatives. It's the far left. It's the loony left, the Kool-Aid secular progressive ACLU America-haters. That's who's doing this.The Washington Times is also peeved, noting that the name of the tree lighted by President Bush on the ellipse has been changed back to "The Capitol Christmas Tree":
As this paper reported Tuesday, the Capitol Christmas Tree was renamed the "Holiday Tree" during the Clinton years. It's not clear by whom. But what's clear is that this year's name change -- which might have gone unremarked upon without this week's story in The Times -- proves that the national campaign to sanitize and secularize Christmas can be defeated.Lefty media criticism outlet Media Matters, naturally, is all over this, running 74 items on a "war" they clearly find quite dubious. Keith Olbermann also gets in on the fun, naming O'Reilly the "worst person on the world" for the crusade – and a slipup by the Fox marketing folks:
You know this whole attack on Christmas nonsense that he made up? Some sort of fantasy in which the liberals are coming to your town to force you and your family to not call it Christmas anymore? The fantasy that we can't say "Merry Christmas," but you can only say "Happy Holidays"? The thing designed to stir up religious hatred and paranoia in this country? Guess what they're selling over at the Fox News online store? The Fox News "Holiday" ornament! And the O'Reilly Factor "Holiday" ornament. Who is trying to change "Merry Christmas" into "Happy Holidays"? Bill O'Reilly, that's who.Ah, the holiday season: Carols, egg nog, and, of course, ideological warfare. Happy holid…I mean, Merry Chris…I mean, well, I hope this December you and yours have a good, um, thing.