Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 23, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

SIEGE WARFARE....Over at CJR Daily, Paul McLeary cuts through the "war on Christmas" nonsense and gets at the truth:

But wade through the wall-to-wall coverage of the story, and it becomes apparent that there are only a handful of examples -- three, to be exact -- being recycled in article after article. Many of these pieces use the same incidents in almost the same way. Some even hit for the cycle, as USA Today did today, referencing all three stories in one shot.

And there's more! It turns out that one of these three stories is completely untrue and a second one is pretty much untrue. Tell me again about how Christmas is under siege, will you?

I would like to make two points about all this:

  • America is a big country. It contains 300 million people, 50 states, thousands of school districts, cities, and towns, millions of companies, and far too many loudmouths many of them with their own radio and TV shows. In other words, if you're bound and determined to find examples of people doing stupid things, you will always succeed. If one-thousandth of one percent of the population is doing notably stupid things on any given day, that's 3,000 stupid things. You should pay no attention to this kind of "trend" claptrap unless there are (at minimum) dozens of examples, and hundreds would really be better.

  • I'm accustomed to the annual fights over nativity scenes and giant menorahs on public property, but can we please knock off the "Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays" foolishness? Does absolutely everything have to be a political statement these days? In the past, I used these phrases pretty much interchangeably, but this year I suddenly feel self conscious about it. Don't we have bigger and better things to worry about?

Back to you, O'Reilly.

Kevin Drum 2:57 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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