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

I kept waiting for some stern guy from the ACLU to show up. Maybe a Multi-Cultural Sensitivity Trainer from a nearby college.

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!

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.

Carlson said Christian conservatives see "secular forces trying to take the Christ out of Christmas," and observed that "this year they are fighting back."

Standing out on Rockefeller Center, Carlson described Christian conservatives "taking their stand over what to call the big green thing directly behind me."

A surprising graphic popped up on screen: Christian Comeback - What's Wrong With 'Christmas'?

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 "Christmas tree."

"And that's exactly what many Christian conservatives want them to keep calling it," Carlson explained. "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."

Today then ran an interview with Mat Staver, President of the Liberty Counsel, who said "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."

Here's where I was sure we'd be hearing from a sensitive liberal soul, complaining perhaps that "non-Christians can find a constant bombardment of overtly Christian symbols hurtful," etc.

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 "Christmas Tree."

Perhaps the most notorious instance of PC-speak this season was the home-improvement chain Lowe's advertising of "holiday trees," but there this morning was a Lowe's spokesman saying they've gone back to calling them Christmas trees - to avoid "confusion."

In a small nod to balance, Carlson observed that "other Christians see the term 'holiday' as just a matter of politeness." He then aired the briefest of clips of Brent Walker of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Freedom mildly observing that "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."

It was hardly the hectoring PC harangue that one might have expected on Today.

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 "Happy Holidays"!

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.