Herewith Exhibit No. 3,489 in why Fox News dominates cable-news ratings. It’s a segment featuring Bill O’Reilly in a war-against-Christmas discussion with David Silverman, president of American Atheists. A traditional narrative treatment of this clash just won’t do. Let’s go with a list:
*O’Reilly asks Silverman why he’s “messing around” with Christmas; Silverman says he isn’t.
*Silverman speaks to the glories of the winter solstice; O’Reilly instructs him to please celebrate it: “Take winter solstice off and knock yourself out.”
*O’Reilly calls Silverman & Co. a “merry band of fascists”; Silverman explodes, saying, “I am a patriot, sir.”
*Silverman attempts to define what O’Reilly cares about; O’Reilly gets very mad.
*O’Reilly attempts to define what Silverman does in his job; Silverman gets very mad.
*O’Reilly jabs his finger in Silverman’s face.
*O’Reilly says that a Christmas tree is a “secular symbol”; Silverman asks him to explore the first part of the word “Christmas.”
Highlight: O’Reilly contends: “It is a fact that Christianity is not a religion. It is a philosophy.”