Thursday, October 15, 2009

Paranoid Wingnuts: Chain E-mail Invents Obama Christmas Tale

From our friends at PolitiFact, who checked out a chain e-mail that purports to have President Obama attacking Christmas.

This e-mail wins the coveted "Pants on Fire" award for complete fabrication, which is a hallmark of anti-Obama hysteria these days.

Some excerpts from the PolitiFact investigation:
On the Internet, the "war against Christmas" wages on — or at least that's what the e-mails claim.

A chain e-mail says that the Obama White House is renaming Christmas trees "holiday trees."

"We have a friend at church who is a very talented artist. For several years she, among many others, has painted ornaments to be hung on the various White House Christmas trees," the e-mail begins. "She got her letter from the WH recently. It said that they would not be called Christmas trees this year. They will be called Holiday trees. And, to please not send any ornaments painted with a religious theme... Just thought you should know what the new residents in the WH plan for the future of America."

"This isn't a rumor; this is a fact," the e-mail says.

We always get suspicious when we hear statements like that.

It is true that the White House has long commissioned tree ornaments…. [F]or her first year in the White House, first lady Laura Bush asked artists from all 50 states and the District of Columbia to design replicas of historic homes and houses of worship to hang on the tree.

Nevertheless, the Bush administration came under scrutiny for its own politically correct holiday traditions.

In 2005, then-press secretary Scott McClellan was asked why the media Christmas party had been changed to the media "holiday" party. Here's what he had to say:

McClellan: "I don't know that that's accurate, that the Bush White House eliminated ..."

Reporter: "It is. Yes, it's no longer Christmas. It says, 'holiday.' "

McClellan: "This is a time to welcome people of all faiths, and all those who are celebrating the holiday season…."


The Bush White House also recognized Kwanzaa, a holiday traditionally celebrated in African-American communities, and held an annual children's "holiday" party.

For the current administration's part, White House spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield says the tree tradition isn't changing.

"There is no truth to this, and the letter referenced in the e-mail does not exist," she said. "No letter has gone out yet from the White House pertaining to Christmas tree ornaments."

She added, "The trees in the White House will be called Christmas trees, and the tree on the Ellipse will be called the National Christmas Tree. There will be no name changes."


Tulsan said...

The bogus "War On Christmas" is starting earlier than Christmas TV commercials this year.

Yet another invented "controversy" by the religious right. Wasn't there a Commandment about not lying?

Maybe they should post the Ten Commandments on their refrigerators so they don't forget.

Tulsan said...

Pursuant to that thought, from the Associated Baptist Press:

Fear Not: What does virtual rumor-mongering say about Christians?

"So, why are Christians so willing to believe unsubstantiated rumors? And more troubling, why are Christians, who should hold the highest standards of truth-telling, so eager to spread such rumors -- and even downright libels?"

Christians obviously do not hold the highest standards of truth-telling, or this kind of behavior could not be so prevalent.