James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association, a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media, and a professor of communication studies at Whitworth University.

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Conservative quackery and Santa Claus

Posted by James McPherson on December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone. I hope your appreciation of the season hasn’t been dampened by recent controversy involving those wildly popular but oft-misunderstood bearded guys.

No, I’m not talking about “Daddy Duck” Phil Robertson and the other guys of “reality” television’s “Duck Dynastyclan, as I see no need to join the discussion over whether clan leader Phil Robertson is a homophobic racist or just a committed Christian (other than to point out that those who claim that Robertson’s free speech rights are being violated are clueless about the First Amendment).

I’m more interested in the controversy involving those other bearded guys — Santa Claus and Jesus — whom a defensive and “very, very blonde” professional spokesmodel Megyn Kelly brought into Fox News’ annual weird, wacky, hypocritical and ultimately pointless (except to fire up viewers and drive up ratings) “war on the war on Christmas” by insisting that both were white guys.

Not surprisingly, Kelly was wrong about both Jesus and the inspiration for Santa. (Incidentally, Bill O’Reilly has now declared the war over, making himself the commanding general in a Christian victory, and the “war on Christmas” is just a subset of the equally ludicrous (at least in this country) “Christians are persecuted” meme, anyway.)

The “white Santa/white Jesus” discussion continued over several days (not much real news before the holidays, apparently), and I actually heard someone on television question whether we even know Santa’s gender. I’m not making that up, though I wasn’t in front of the TV and so don’t know who said it.

Thinking more about it though, it occurred to me that since I am all for gender equality, I should examine the evidence. I then posted my findings on Facebook, but thought I’d share them here, too:

  1. Santa is beloved, despite his obvious weight problem — in fact, people leave Claus milk and cookies, rather than leaving an obnoxious note saying, “Lose some weight, fatso!”
  2. Santa spends a lot of time in a “workshop,” and apparently has a thing for toys.
  3. Santa needs a Rudolph Guidance System to make it through the fog and finds every house — despite no record of having ever asked anyone for directions.
  4. Mommy was spotted kissing Santa Claus.
  5. Santa stays out all night on the night before a holiday.
  6. Claus apparently hasn’t had a wardrobe update for decades.
  7. Santa has been accused of being a “peeping Tom,” spying on people while they’re sleeping.
  8. Santa prefers to do things the hard way — i.e., going down the chimney rather than simply using the spare key hidden near the door.
  9. Santa postpones delivery of gifts until the last possible moment — and then frequently gives you something that someone who really knew you would never give.
  10. Many people write to Santa, but he never writes back.

I report; you decide.

20 Responses to “Conservative quackery and Santa Claus”

  1. melfamy said

    And they said investigative reporting was dying!

  2. :-) Happy New Year, Greg!

  3. melfamy said

    Same to you, buddy! No binge drinking during the holidays, OK? Leave that to your students!

  4. Greg, I noticed and found it hilarious that the folks at the RNL — who have repeatedly claimed that they don’t censor their critics — have apparently deleted my comments from their most-viewed post of 2013. I had pointed out the problems with Dusty’s regurgitated post about Newsweek. (http://therionorteline.com/2013/06/30/amazing-the-cover-of-liberal-newsweek-magazine/)

    Considering what the RNL has become, though, it’s absolutely appropriate that Dusty’s phony piece would be #1. But you and I didn’t help them out nearly as much in 2013 as in 2012.

    http://therionorteline.com/2012/annual-report/

    http://therionorteline.com/2013/12/31/2013-in-review/#comment-70630

  5. William Gates said

    I guess they still love you posting there.

  6. I think that even most of them would agree that deleting my comments was dumb (I assume Dusty did it), though they dislike me so much that they haven’t been able to do the smart thing and simply admit it was a mistake and move on.

    They are getting a bit better at ignoring me, though we’ll see if Joe can resist responding to my comments that “Joe thinks we should all be able to own and carry hand grenades, anti-aircraft guns, land mines and nuclear weapons, and just kind of ignore that ‘well-regulated militia’ part of the 2nd Amendment” (most of which he has agreed with in the past, and that it’s “just too bad that Ronald Reagan was so stupid that he supported gun control.”

  7. wmgates68 said

    Reagan supported unions also. Even though Joe would say the SAG “wasn’t really a union”. Kinda like when I said Jefferson was a hypocrite since he spoke against slavery but owned slaves. He said, “that doesn’t really make Jefferson a hypocrite”.

    There’s no reasoning with him even though he thinks he’s the master of logic and reason. Basically, he’s the master of copy and paste.

    As far as Reagan and gun control goes, he did sign the Mulford Act as Gov of CA (it was also supported by the NRA) and also banned some types of guns through EO as president. I’m sure Joe has the logical reason of why Reagan did this, but it probably won’t be the truthful one—at least not in the Mulford Act case.

  8. Good points, William — and a great line about “the master of copy and paste.”

    I hope you don’t mind that I cited you over there in regard to Reagan and the Mulford Act: http://therionorteline.com/2014/01/06/who-was-james-puckle-and-why-is-he-relevant-to-the-second-amendment/

  9. William Gates said

    I have no problem with that. I would have posted it there myself but I would be pelted with name calling. I cringe everytime I see someone write “Marxist/Socialist/Communist”. It’s like that’s the phrase that gets them instant credibility.

    I enjoyed posted there but it came too much of a clique versus a blog that discusses ideas. You only have to disagree once with one of them and you’re instantly given the dreaded “Liberal” title. After that, nothing you say is regarded as credible. After a while, I just gave up on it.

    We both know Reagan had a lot of liberal in him. Hell, after all he was the governor of California right? Probably one of the most liberal states in the Union? Maybe he evolved after that.Reagan wasn’t a bad president. He was a good one, in my opinion. Probably not as good as most Republicans want to make him out to be, though. Just as Carter probably wasn’t as bad as they want to make him out to be.

  10. Indeed; most folks are far more complicated than their opponents’ portrayals. None of us are all good or all bad.

    I don’t blame you for giving up on the RNL. I mostly have, though the hypocrisy over the fact that they cut my comments seemed to be worth getting back in, at least briefly. :-)

  11. Reuel said

    My New Years resolution. I will watch more History Channel (2) of course and the Discovery Channel/National Geographic than I will watch Fox-news, CNN MSNBC combined. Oh and I do believe in Santa Claus, so don’t spoil that for me. Happy New Years and may we get a compete separation of the three branches of government. to the most equal point that zero laws get passed. I do believe most new laws are already covered by some old law that someone has passed in the past and just forgot about it. Note all Bills proposed from now until November are for political purposes and were never intended to be a law, just a distraction from the real problems we have. As most would know if they read them, they are Trojan horses. With that said may both sides lose. Happy New Years to James and of course yours. :-) My I do think I have a change of political view over the holiday, No James it was neither a shift to the right or left more to the time I spend on charity will out-weight the time in politics. Lots of needs out there and none will be solved by political hacks on either side.

  12. Amen, brother.

  13. William Gates said

    Well, looks like nothing has changed there. Those guys over there are hilarious. Deserving of a sitcom.

    They did exactly as I knew they would. None would admit a wrong, or correct the person that did the wrong. The best they could do was say they didn’t care about your comments, even though they read them and reply to them. Me and my diverse group of friends talk about that all the time. We also correct each other, too.

    Most people are liberal or conservative, depending on the situation. If they could just admit that, maybe we could have some interesting and meaningful dialog between groups that consider themselves liberal or conservative. Don’t see that happening anytime soon. Maybe with Utah, it has a chance. He’s the most reasonable of the bunch. Plus he seems to be over the “I can’t believe Romney lost” syndrome that he had most of 2013.

  14. And even Utah lied, saying only two people — he and Joe — other than the person who made a comment could delete it, so it had to be me. I don’t think I could delete a comment if I wanted to, and I’m guessing that Dusty (who wrote the original post) could and did. It’s too bad — I once thought Utah wanted to have a thoughtful site.

  15. wmgates68 said

    “I once thought Utah wanted to have a thoughtful site”.

    I think he does/or did but he gets caught up with the regulars there that are more unreasonable than he is. That’s why he and Joe/Don tend to disagree on some points. I don’t think he’s as far to the right as the others. Also, he probably doesn’t post as much on Joe’s blogs as Joe does on his. Which to me, indicates that. He’s probably the closest to center of the group.

    Dusty has posted but still hasn’t confirmed of denied deleting your comments. He’s surely read a thread that it’s been mentioned, so in Joe’s reality world, that indicates guilt. When a person is wrong there, they usually just don’t respond. It is what it is.

  16. Reuel said

    You know this is the longest New Years resolution I have ever kept. A good episode of Ancient Aliens has less lies in it than either Political Party. I think I have completed the transformation. Still going to vote every election, but out of the pundit role. Feels good. Happy Chinese New Years next week. Just practicing. LOL. :-)

  17. wmgates68 said

    Reuel,

    I think if you’d mosey on over to the RNL you’d get the urge again. You’d fit right in.

    http://therionorteline.com/

  18. Reuel said

    Nope not going back, I do believe both sides are wrong and neither one really are concerned for the people they are suppose to be working for. At some point the rest of this country will come to that conclusion, my guess it will be around the 25 Trillion dollar debt limit we incur just from the budget. Not to leave out the bankrupt entitlements that I have been donating to for about 40 years.See QQ nothing posted or argued on any of these website is ever resolved. Why bother, I just will vote against whom ever is in making them out. Party is over.

    Don’t know if you (James) follow the Sea-hawks, but congratulation if so. We Bear fans are still waiting. But I must say I enjoyed seeing the Bronco lose. Can’t explain that, but it seemed all the talking heads were for them. Underdog syndrome I guess. Well good day to you and yours. :-)

  19. William, I’m also ready just to let the RNL flounder in its own waste. I may not be as disillusioned with politics as Reuel, and we’ll continue to disagree on much (such as George W. Bush), but I do agree that neither national party has much to offer most of us.

    I’m focusing most of my own efforts on the local — my community, my workplace, my family, my church — where I’m more likely to be able to have some effect. I’ll continue to slam national politicians (esp. when it overlaps with the local, such as with our witless Congresswoman) on Facebook and sometimes here, but can’t seem to get fired up about arguing with idiots on their pointless pinheaded blogs. (The one RNL exception: an occasional link, without further commentary, to that article about gun violence: http://therionorteline.com/2014/01/06/who-was-james-puckle-and-why-is-he-relevant-to-the-second-amendment/)

    And yes, I’ve been a Seahawk fan since they came into the league, so yesterday was a great day. Here’s what I posted last night on Facebook: “Just 364 days until the Seattle Seahawks defend their title on Feb. 1, 2015, in Phoenix! … Interesting weird factoid: The next two Super Bowls are in NFC West stadiums, Phoenix and San Francisco, meaning that 2015 will be the third consecutive year in which the Seahawks play a regular-season game in the stadium that will host the Super Bowl. I know the Seahawks were successful because they focus on one game at a time — but as a fan, I’m thinking 3-peat!”

    Thanks, gents.

  20. William Gates said

    I think “politics” is the key word. Everyone is tired of it I think.

    Bush? I wasn’t impressed. I don’t think I know anyone that was. Well, maybe those the toe the party line.

    One of my biggest issues is the talking point of how the current system doesn’t work. Well, it’s the only system that we’ve known. We’ve never seen this dream system of unchecked capitalism (nor do we want to) or free markets with no regulations. So, how can some yearn for that so much and know so much about it? Trickle down? Who endorsed that? Who believes in that? I read a few guys post on that, saying it works, but they also believe in Thomas Sowell who says it doesn’t.

    I feel that if we reduce waste, it will reduce national debt. Reduce the debt and all the other things start to fall in place. All the career politicians need to go. Those huge expense accounts needs to be eliminated. We need a mixture of people, such as on a jury, to participate in our government not only on a local level but on a national level.

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