Fox News And Sarah Palin Drag ESPN Into ‘War On Christmas’
The Fox News network has managed to drag ESPN into their “War on Christmas” crusade. The sports channel rejected a commercial from a children’s medical center on religious grounds because it mentioned the birth of Jesus and “God’s healing presence.” Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly and politician Sarah Palin responded by claiming that Christianity was being removed from the holiday season. After much protest among conservatives, the network eventually relented by agreeing to air the commercial.
The ad for the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center was supposed to run during a college basketball game, but ended up being pulled at the last second. ESPN offered to promote the hospital if they offered an alternative ad, which led to the rants by Palin and O’Reilly. “ESPN, you’ve come a long way, baby… from your known wholesome, bold Americana “persona” to now being afraid to support freedom and not being bold enough to allow acknowledgement of the ‘Reason for the Season,’ wrote Palin on her Facebook page.
O’Reilly spoke on his show by declaring ESPN’s message is that, “we do not recognize the federal holiday of Christmas and we do not recognize the right of a Catholic hospital to mention God’s healing power. That is a gross violation of freedom of speech.”
But when the story went viral, Dan Buck, executive director for the hospital, said an ESPN spokesman informed him the network had a change of heart. “I said: ‘I appreciate you making the right decision. America will be happy you made the right decision, and I’m sorry it came to this,’” explained Buck. “When God closes one door, he opens 10 more.”
Buck also confirmed that since the controversy took place, more than $2,000 had been donated to the hospital from 19 states.
(Photo: City of Bristol)