Since it’s easy, fun, and the bulk of my mental energies are devoted to other tasks, I’m gonna waste another post bashing Bill O’Reilly for his absurd Christmas crusade. This time, the object of O’Reilly’s rage is the Daily Show, because O’Reilly is too fucking stupid to tell the difference between social commentary and satire. Brad Blog and Media Matters are all over this one, but I wanna start my two cents with a nitpick. Here’s what he said on his radio show :
O’REILLY: [Laughs] There you go. Jon Stewart, “Secular Central.” Oh, I’m sorry, Comedy Central — and I like Stewart, but we know what he’s doing over there.
And here’s what he said on Fox :
O’REILLY: Predictably, the opponents of public displays of Christmas continue to put forth counter-arguments on ‘Secular Central.’ I — I mean, Comedy Central.
A joke so funny you had to tell it twice, huh? Good work you bigoted, half-witted sexual predator — whoops, I meant, Bill.
While it’s funny occasionally, the faux-Freudian slip shtick gets old really, really fast. It’s bad enough that Bill and his staff of writers aren’t clever enough to write two different jokes, but the fact that he told the exact same “slip of the tongue” joke on the same day is simply pathetic. For that, Bill, I award you the Dennis Miller Memorial “I Don’t Want To Get Off On A Rant Here” award for fraudulent spontaneity. You can put it on the mantle next to your Peabody award.
What’s funnier than O’Reilly’s unfortunate attempts at humor, however, is that O’Reilly is targeting Jon Stewart. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Bill, but Jon Stewart is a Jew and Jews don’t celebrate Christmas. When you’ve sunk to the point that you’re attacking non-Christians for not celebrating Christian holidays, your witchhunt has completely jumped the shark. I say you hang this one up and prepare for your next crusade. Here’s a suggestion : Did you know that those anti-American bastards in Canada don’t even celebrate the Fourth of July?! If we can stretch that one between May and July sweeps weeks, then we’re good as gold.
The other day I was talking to my friend Josh about ways to destroy Christmas and he brought up an interesting point. The unending wave of inclusion and good-will that O’Reilly is attacking isn’t the fault of secular progressivism, but good ol’ fashioned capitalism. At some point, retailers noticed that the shameless orgy of consumption we experience between Thanksgiving and New Year’s was only sucking in Christians. Rich Uncle Pennybags figured out that a simple semantic change from “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” (which, until recently, was considered a kind thing to say) would broaden the base of consumers to include the 20% or so of Americans that don’t celebrate the pagan celebration that was turned into Jesus’ birthday. It’s not an attempt to diminish Christianity or make the country more inclusive, it’s just an attempt to make more money.
Which reminds me of this speech by Ned Beatty from the movie Network :
You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it, is that clear?! You think you have merely stopped a business deal — that is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity, it is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations! There are no peoples! There are no Russians. There are no Arabs! There are no third worlds! There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars! petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars!, Reichmarks, rubles, rin, pounds and shekels! It is the international system of currency that determines the totality of life on this planet! That is the natural order of things today! That is the atomic, subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and you will atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?
I can imagine a similar exchange happening between the CEO of Wal-Mart and O’Reilly any day now. This isn’t about Christmas or Chanukah, Target or Macy’s, liberal or conservative. It’s about dollars and cents, Mr. O’Reilly. You’re dealing with market forces much bigger than you and your sad, little show. The invisible hand that controls this economy will not stand for a disruption in the bottom line, am I making myself clear?