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Robert Houk

Opinion Page Editor
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As I See It

Complaining about everything makes Christmas so much merrier?

December 19th, 2011 9:57 am by Robert Houk

We are a week away from Christmas and couldn’t you have guessed it, Fox News is reporting on yet another liberal plot to steal our joy this holiday season.
In recent years it was the conspiracy to force people to say “Happy Holidays” when they really want to shout “Merry Christmas!” This season it’s a politically correct revision of a beloved holiday classic.
Recently, George Giuliani, a special education professor at Long Island University in New York, appeared on “Fox & Friends” to discuss the bullying of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and to push his alternative take on the Christmas song and the iconic animated TV classic (narrated by the great Burl Ives) it inspired. Giuliani has penned his own Rudolph story called, “No more bullies at the North Pole.”
Amazing. You’ve got to hand it to the producers at Fox. Where do they find these people?
“The whole community of the North Pole is into exclusion, not inclusion,” Giuliani said of the Rankin/Bass stop-action TV special that first aired in 1964. “You even have an island of misfit toys. The word ‘misfit’ is used 27 times.”
Just what is the story of Rudolph about anyway? I always thought it was about inclusiveness — embracing others regardless of their differences. I used to think it was a sneaky way to interject socialism into a children’s story.
But according to Giuliani, I was wrong. He doesn’t think the eventual acceptance Rudolph gains from his tormentors makes up for their name-calling at the beginning of the story.
I never thought of the Rudolph Christmas special as being particularly offensive, not like that other Rankin/Bass holiday classic, “The Little Drummer Boy.” The original 1968 version of this tale has been criticized for portraying Arabs in a stereotypical and unflattering manner. A few years back, the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee called for an end to its airing on network TV. Only an edited version is now seen on cable.
But who knew Rudolph’s story could be so controversial? I just didn’t see it as a child. Nor did I see the diabolical “Happy Holidays” plot that was hatched about the same time by none other than singing cowboy actor Gene Autry, who first made “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” a hit. Autry greets listeners at the beginning of a 1968 recording of that song by saying: “Happy Holidays folks, wherever you are.”
That proves Autry was an original soldier (maybe I should say four-star general) in the war on Christmas. It makes sense, after all. Autry did live in California, which is not called the “left coast” for nothing.
I’m grateful to Fox for informing us of Giuliani’s plot to end the bullying of Rudolph, just as I was grateful for those who brought the dastardly “Happy Holiday” conspiracy to our attention.
I feel the same for the people who alerted us to efforts to “X Christ out of Christmas.” I’d also like to express my gratitude to the linguists who have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Santa is an anagram for Satan.
Good job, folks. Christmas will be merrier this season because of you.

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