Fox News' John Gibson responded to Neal Gabler's criticism of the "war on Christmas" hyped by Gibson and other Fox News hosts by calling Gabler "an ultra-lefty liberal" who would send Gibson to "a Khmer Rouge re-education camp."
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On the December 5 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson, host Gibson responded to media writer Neal Gabler's comments that Gibson and fellow Fox News anchors Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly were "demagogues" by stating that Gabler was an "ultra-lefty liberal" who, if "in charge," would send Gibson "off to a Khmer Rouge re-education camp to make sure that his [Gabler] message that there is no war on Christmas is beat into my [Gibson's] head."
Gibson's comments came during the "My Word" segment of his show, in which Gibson opines about a topic of his choice.
As Media Matters for America has previously noted, Gabler made his comments came during an appearance on the December 3 edition of Fox News Watch in which panelists discussed, among other things, a purported battle over public acknowledgement of Christmas. Gabler claimed that Fox News Channel's coverage of the issue was excessive; declared the so-called "war on Christmas" a "demagogic campaign"; and referred to O'Reilly, Hannity, and Gibson as "demagogues" who seek to "rally the masses."
Calling dissenters "anti-Christmas warriors," Gibson concluded the segment by likening the the "war on Christmas" to "the secret bombing of Cambodia [by the United States during the Vietnam War]. It was a secret from everybody except the people getting bombed."
Gibson also acknowledged "[a]nother guy on television somewhere" who called Gibson "the worst person in the world." On the December 2 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named Gibson that day's "Worst Person in the World" for Gibson's November 17 suggestion that people "following the wrong religion" were not reciprocating the tolerance afforded them by "the majority religion -- Christianity." Responding to Olbermann's designation, Gibson stated, "[M]aybe the guy [Olbermann] is seeing my hair on the real worst people" while airing an edited picture of Saddam Hussein with Gibson's blond hair.
Gibson is the author of the book The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Holiday is Worse Than You Thought (Sentinel, October 2005), which defines the so-called "war on Christmas" as the "secularization of America's favorite holiday."
From the December 5 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:
GIBSON: All right, it's time now for "My Word." I was away for a few days, and the war on Christmas exploded. O'Reilly's been leading the charge and covering tons of places where someone's trying to change the name of the tree, change the name of the season. You'd think saying the word "Christmas" would kill some people.
On my own network, ultra-lefty liberal Neal Gabler called me a demagogue for even bringing the subject up. If Neil were in charge, I'd be sent off to a Khmer Rouge re-education camp to make sure that his message that there is no war on Christmas is beat into my head.
But par for the course, Neal is almost always wrong, and his co-panelists on Eric Burns's [Fox] News Watch program were so fatigued from trying to counter his out-deep-orbit diatribes that they hardly put up a fight anymore.
But Neal's not the only one. Another guy on television somewhere called me the worst person in the world. I tried to imagine how that could be possible. Like maybe the guy is seeing my hair on the real worst people. You never know. Maybe this explains why he could say such a thing.
Look, denial is the name of the game with the anti-Christmas warriors. They deny they are changing the name of the Christmas tree. Everybody knows this country has been calling the thing a holiday tree or giving tree. Where did they ever think -- get the silly idea there was a Christmas tree anyway?
The same thing with the war. They're denying it is even happening, accusing me of making up a phony war. But no one will say the incidents in my book didn't happen. Instead, they say it's just a few people who have gone over the top, not really a countrywide movement.
Well, I think not. I hear it all the time from my emailers and from callers to the radio shows I do and from people who walk up to me on the street. I do go out in the street. It's like the secret bombing of Cambodia. It was a secret from everybody except the people getting bombed.
Same deal here -- people trying to keep Christmas in schools and parks and libraries and city halls know about the war on Christmas. The people waging this war are trying to keep it secret, but it's too late. They have been outed. That is "My Word."