In a discussion about a lawsuit filed over the presence of a large cross at a war memorial in San Diego, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that the Red Cross "historically ... adopted" its emblem "because of the Christian philosophy of giving alms and giving assistance to people in need." In fact, according to the American Red Cross website, it was "[i]n honor of the Swiss ... [that] the symbol of a red cross on a white background (the reverse of the Swiss flag) was identified as a protective emblem in conflict areas."
Despite his repeated attempts in recent weeks to suggest that "secular progressives" have waged a "war on Easter" resembling the purported "war on Christmas," Bill O'Reilly admitted that "there is no attack on Easter." Further, O'Reilly congratulated himself for the lack of Easter attacks, stating, "[A]fter the thumping that the department stores and all-over crazies took over Christmas, these people say, 'You know, I don't think we want to come up against O'Reilly and these other people on Easter. Let's just let it go.' "
Appearing on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Newsweek managing editor Jon Meacham agreed that the founding fathers would have disapproved of -- as host Bill O'Reilly termed it -- the ACLU's opposition to the "Pledge of Allegiance ... God, Christmas icons." Further, Meacham did not dispute O'Reilly's characterization of the ACLU as engaged in a "jihad ... against Judeo-Christian tradition in this country."
On March 29, Bill O'Reilly appeared to declare that the so-called "culture war" he has waged is over, saying, "I don't feel persecuted as a Christian" because "I can still do what I want to do."
Bill O'Reilly once again resurrected his misleading claim that a Wisconsin elementary school "sang a whole different lyric to 'Silent Night,' " erroneously attributing the school's changed lyrics to political correctness. In fact, the new lyrics were merely part of a 1988 Christmas play called The Little Tree's Christmas Gift.
On his radio program, James Dobson complained that the Republican Party has "very little ... to show for it" in terms of accomplishing the goals of "the pro-family agenda, the pro-moral agenda, [and] the sanctity of life." In response, Sen. Rick Santorum expressed his desire for Congress to vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment, describing the amendment's purpose as "protecting marriage ... between one man and one woman."
On The O'Reilly Factor, National Public Radio (NPR) senior correspondent and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams commented on late-night talk show host David Letterman's treatment of guest Bill O'Reilly during O'Reilly's appearance on Letterman's program. "It's like someone inviting you into their house and you find out you've been invited in by, you know, John Wayne Gacy, the clown killer," he said.
On CBS' Late Show with David Letterman, Bill O'Reilly resurrected his false claim that a Wisconsin elementary school banned the singing of the Christmas hymn "Silent Night," erroneously attributing the school's changed lyrics to political correctness. In fact, the new lyrics were merely part of a 1988 Christmas play called The Little Tree's Christmas Gift. Later in the interview, Letterman admonished O'Reilly, asserting, "I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap."
CNN's Reliable Sources highlighted remarks by MSNBC Countdown host Keith Olbermann, who defended his characterization of Fox News host John Gibson as the "Worst Person in the World." Olbermann gave the "award" to Gibson for his comment, first noted by Media Matters, that non-Christians were "following the wrong religion."
Responding to an unflattering commentary in The New Yorker about Fox News' crusade against the so-called "war" on Christmas, Bill O'Reilly announced that he would add the magazine to his list of "media operations have regularly helped distribute defamation and false information supplied by far left websites."
On The Radio Factor, Bill O'Reilly continued to warn of "a concentrated effort by the secular progressive movement to diminish any kind of spirituality in the public marketplace." O'Reilly was referring to the so-called "war" on Christmas, which he feels is part of a broader agenda to enact "secular progressive programs like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage."
Bill O'Reilly retracted his claim, reported at the time by Media Matters for America, that the Plano Independent School District (Texas) banned red and green clothing.
On The Radio Factor, host Bill O'Reilly called the San Francisco Chronicle's use of the term "field marshal" a "Nazi reference; the Chronicle labeled O'Reilly "a field marshal for the conservative counter-campaign against the 'war on Christmas.' " However, the term "field marshal" is also the highest rank in the military forces of Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and bears relation to the French rank of "Marischal du Camp."
On The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly apparently reversed his previous position that the phrase "Happy Holidays" is offensive, stating, " 'Happy Holidays' is fine, just don't ban 'Merry Christmas.' " O'Reilly has previously claimed the term "Happy Holidays" is offensive to "millions of Christians" and 'insulting to Christian America."