Silent Night of the Grinches as Today Show Airs Pro-Christmas Tree Story

<p><img vspace="3" hspace="3" border="0" align="right" src="/media/2005-12-02-NBCToday.jpg" />I kept waiting for some stern guy from the ACLU to show up. Maybe a Multi-Cultural Sensitivity Trainer from a nearby college. </p><p>But, lo and behold, I waited in vain, as the Today show aired a segment this morning on the Christmas Tree controversy sweeping the nation that was strongly . . . pro-Christmas Tree!</p><p>Matt Lauer introduced Tucker Carlson of MSNBC, who narrated the segment. And while the bow-tie bedecked Carlson is no Pat Buchanan when it comes to the culture wars, he's at least the MSM's idea of a conservative.</p><p>Carlson said Christian conservatives see &quot;secular forces trying to take the Christ out of Christmas,&quot; and observed that &quot;this year they are fighting back.&quot; </p><p>Standing out on Rockefeller Center, Carlson described Christian conservatives &quot;taking their stand over what to call the big green thing directly behind me.&quot;</p><p>A surprising graphic popped up on screen: Christian Comeback - What's Wrong With 'Christmas'?</p><p>A clip was aired of people in Boston, all of whom had been asked what they called it, and to a person they cheerfully said &quot;Christmas tree.&quot; </p><p>&quot;And that's exactly what many Christian conservatives want them to keep calling it,&quot; Carlson explained. &quot;They threatened Boston with a lawsuit for referring to it as a 'holiday tree' on a city web site. Boston's mayor stuck up for Christmas.&quot;</p><p>Today then ran an interview with Mat Staver, President of the Liberty Counsel, who said &quot;Christians have allowed Christmas to be hijacked and genericized and we've gotten to the absurd situation where we take Christmas trees and call them something other than what they are.&quot;</p><p>Here's where I was sure we'd be hearing from a sensitive liberal soul, complaining perhaps that &quot;non-Christians can find a constant bombardment of overtly Christian symbols hurtful,&quot; etc. </p><p>But no! Instead it was on to a discussion of how the US Congress has taken up the fight, with Speaker Dennis Hastert relying on a Supreme Court ruling in declaring that the Capitol's big spruce was indeed a &quot;Christmas Tree.&quot;</p><p>Perhaps the most notorious instance of PC-speak this season was the home-improvement chain Lowe's advertising of &quot;holiday trees,&quot; but there this morning was a Lowe's spokesman saying they've gone back to calling them Christmas trees - to avoid &quot;confusion.&quot;</p><p>In a small nod to balance, Carlson observed that &quot;other Christians see the term 'holiday' as just a matter of politeness.&quot; He then aired the briefest of clips of Brent Walker of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Freedom mildly observing that &quot;it's an attempt by some to be more inclusive, to be more generic, to appeal to a wide variety of people irrespective of their religious tradition.&quot;</p><p>It was hardly the hectoring PC harangue that one might have expected on Today.</p><p>All in all, you'd have to score it Christians 1, PC Lions 0, though Matt Lauer did strike a blow for the PC team when he concluded the segment by wishing Carlson &quot;Happy Holidays&quot;!</p><p /><p />

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.