I wouldn't know anything about it, except that yesterday, a big chunk of the Rightie Hateosphere -- including the White House's darling blogger, "Captain" Ed -- jumped on a story by the [fake?] online "newspaper" The Examiner that was taken (without any attempt to check facts) from a "Liberty Counsel" press release (as was admitted later on).
There is such a nest of vipers here that it's going to take some untangling, so bear with me as we look at all these "moral" Americans.
i. hysterics from the rightie blogosmear™
This was the "news" story by "journalist" Tapscott:
Mark Tapscott is editorial page editor of The Washington Examiner and tracks the internet revolution in media and government. He is a member of the National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame and a member of the Media Bloggers Association board of directors. He is also a founding member and host of NewsTrust.net, as well as a visiting journalism fellow at The Heritage Foundation think tank.
Now the Okie Napoleon is banning 'Christmas'
Oklahoma attorney general Drew Edmondson drew national scorn earlier this year when he arrested Paul Jacob of the Sam Adams Alliance and Citizens in Charge, and two colleagues on trumped-up charges that they violated a discredited state law requiring all circulators of initiative petititons in Sooner Land to be residents. [Note: "Sooner Land"? Is this supposed to journalism, or a National Lampoon piece?]
Now the Okie Napoleon is banning Christmas!
I am not making this up (because I am from Oklahoma and this guy is an embarrassment).
Edmondson issued an advisory opinion to officials at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford advising them that the word "Christmas" should not be spoken by any employee of the state school, not written in any official holiday decorations.
Matt Staver and Liberty Counsel issued the following statement on the Edmondson action:
[quotes from PRESS RELEASE]
If you would like to tell the Okie Napoleon what you think of his advisory, you can reach his office via telephone at: 405-521-3921. Don't forget to wish him a "Merry Christmas." Please be courteous and be clear that you think Edmondson's advisory opinion is beyond ridiculous.Notice anything here, like, this isn't news? It's propaganda? From Mr. "Hall of Fame" journalism guy?
One more thing: SWOSU is NOT part of my alma mater, Oklahoma State University.
UPDATE: More info on the Okie Napoleon's arrest of Paul Jacobs (sic, it's "Paul Jacob")
I've received a bunch of inquiries about the Edmondson arrest of Paul Jacobs. (sic) Here is an Examiner editorial on the case. Go here to the Free Paul Jacob web site put together by some of his loyal supporters.
And, since when is demanding that readers mail-bomb an attorney general's office (not in YOUR state) legitimate "news"? Especially when the story turns out to be bogus.
It's one severely fact-challenged propagandist quoting a press release. 'Captain' Ed jumped on it in typical Rightie So-Superior Know-It-All-Manner:
This decision comes from the same fine folks who had Paul Jacob arrested and who will prosecute him for assisting in a referendum. Now Oklahoma AG Drew Edmundson has decided to ban any mention of Christmas from the halls of Southwestern Oklahoma State University, by any state employee, in oral or written form. Mark Tapscott has the details ...Adding:
Normally, I'm inclined to dismiss the idea of a "war on Christmas". I see the real war on Christmas more in the incessant commercialization of the holiday. It seems very strange to obsess over gift lists and run up credit-card debt to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, who came to free us of worldly concerns. I'd classify this more as a martinet run amuck, imposing a general sort of political correctness rather than an animus towards Christmas or Christians -- exactly what he did with the Paul Jacob case, too.Begin to catch the meme?
I've written at length before about Paul ‘The World's Dumbest Felon™’ Jacob and his gang's attempt to jackboot a TABOR law into Oklahoma, even though Oklahoma says ONLY OKLAHOMANS can make Oklahoma state law via the initiative process. And I've noted the the eerie abandonment of the concept of "home rule" by bloggers like Cap'n Ed to shadowy millionaires and their operatives -- like Paul Jacob -- who feel free to pass laws that THEY don't ever have to obey, or, in Jacob's case, who feel that they don't have to obey any laws if they don't feel like it.
Jacob's "buddies" in the conservative movement, carefully cultivated over the years are writing about the "Oklahoma Three" and there's a "Free Paul Jacob" website, even though the weasel hasn't even been incarcerated!
So, somehow this phony "War on Christmas" meme is being tossed up to "prove" that the Oklahoma Attorney General knows less about the law than, say, the average dumbass rightie blog reader. Or writer. Here's RedState (owned by Tom Phillips' Regnery Press/Eagle Publishing empire, which launched Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and others as "authors," and which is currently being sued for allegedly cheating their conservative authors out of royalties by underreporting sales, and heavily discounting to Conservative book clubs):
Okie Attorney General Bans Christmas. Seriously.Gee. They've already lost the actual REASON that Paul Jacob, the World's Dumbest Felon™ [My 'dumbest felon' sobriquet is at least accurate, as opposed to the mindless playground name-calling of "Okie Napoleon" which means ... what, exactly? That the AG intends to invade Russia?] was indicted by an Oklahoma grand jury. All that matters is the propaganda they're spoon-fed, as here. Oh, and Captain Ed, after drinking the Koolaid, takes a moment to barf it back out, and comes up with this:
Drew Edmondson is the out of control Oklahoma Attorney General. Recently he rounded up conservative activists and threw them in jail for circulating petitions to get conservatives on the ballot. [I think something got garbled in transmission to Erick.]
Now, however, Drew Edmondson has done something even nuttier. He has issued an advisory opinion from the Attorney General's Office directing universities in Oklahoma to refrain from using the word "Christmas."
Mark Tapscott with the Washington Examiner has the details. Mark notes, "Edmondson's issued an advisory opinion to officials at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford advising them that the word "Christmas" should not be spoken by any employee of the state school, not written in any official holiday decorations." [Written IN holiday decorations? How do you do that? Is it like a ship in a bottle?]
Attorney General Edmondson can be reached at 405-521-3921. Call and wish him a Merry Christmas and ask why he banned the word.
Oklahoma Cancels Christmas (Update: No They Didn't)Red State still hasn't heard the news, evidently. But similar snotty attacks and then retractions were forthcoming from Wake Up America!, Weasel Zippers, Fort Hard Knox (who have official Paul Jacob staffers weepy-posting for the felon), Hot Air!, Stop the ACLU (who, evidently, are against 'civil liberties'), Thunder Run, and others. The American Pundit snooted, and now isn't quite sure about retracting.
UPDATE: I'm putting this at the top because early callers to the AG's office claims this isn't true, and they are wishing people a Merry Christmas when greeting callers. So I called there myself, and spoke with Emily Lang, spokesperson for the AG. Ms Lang confirms that they are greeting callers with "Merry Christmas" as a means of refuting this story. AG Edmundson did not issue this order, she insists; they are checking with assistant AGs to see if the advisory ever existed at all. At any rate, the AG does not believe state workers should refrain from Christmas greetings.
Ms. Lang wants people to know that they have a Christmas tree in the office, and hopes everyone has a Merry Christmas.
And yes, I consider this sloppy work on my part. My apologies to readers and the Oklahoma AG's office. Original post follows ....
... the Okie Napoleon attacks Update: No he didn’tStop the ACLU:
posted at 1:55 pm on December 20, 2007 by Bryan
But speaking of marking out Christmas, Oklahoma attorney general Drew Edmondson is attempting to scrub the holiday that shall not have its name spoken from the state of Oklahoma.[quotes Examiner story]Unbelievable. Also, probably illegal. Certainly a sign that the war on Christmas rages on in some quarters. Stop the ACLU is also on the story.
Update: The Okie Napoleon is innocent.[quotes Captain's Quarters concluding with] ... And yes, I consider this sloppy work on my part. My apologies to readers and the Oklahoma AG’s office.Same here. My mistake for posting the story.
Oklahoma Attorney General Bans Christmas (update: or not)Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these the same screeching baboons who parse every jot, question every tittle, screech and throw feces every time the "MSM" makes an error, and yowl when they either don't issue retractions, or retract without groveling in the dirt?
by Special Contributor @ 1:02 pm on December 20, 2007.
Mark TapScott (sic) sends this update: Is That Eggnog on My Face? Maybe (sic)
Update: Maybe I won't eat my words.
Update: Captain Ed emails to let me know I may have jumped the gun. If so, I will be happy to eat my words. Here is the status via Captain Ed.
[Quotes Captain's Quarters]
Mark Tapscott reports on the "Okie Napolean". (sic)
[Quotes 'Examiner' story]
You can reach Mr. Edmonson via telephone at: 405-521-3921. Make sure to wish him a Merry Christmas while you are on the phone. Make sure to let him know just how ridiculous his politically correct scrooge crap is ... politely if possible.
So, where are the retractions here? Captain Ed wisely makes a full retraction (which doesn't excuse his running the sensationalized story any more than Tapscott's mindless plagiarism of a PRESS RELEASE). But many, like STOP THE ACLU and RED STATE, having once made the error, are loathe to make any statement other than I MIGHT have been wrong. Or none at all.
(The clear implication being that an error is so inconceivable that without legally admissible evidence, STOP and his ilk have no reason to retract their slanders. Just remember, the Rightie Hateosphere is a Hypocrisy-Free™ Zone. By fiat.)
Sauce for the goose is NEVER sauce for the gander, evidently. "Errors" are herein swept under the rug, even as they accuse the MSM of sweeping errors under the rug. Don't hold your breath waiting for the Confederate Yanker to hyper-parse this story, or question the "Examiner"s ad rates.
The alleged "reporter" Tapscott -- in the employ of whoever owns the [fake?] e-newspaper The Examiner -- can't admit that he's ROYALLY SCREWED UP, and posts the following two sensationalized updates (rationalizations?) about the whole bogus, bullshit, phony "War On Christmas" meme, which should be seen before we get to the real "meat" of this story:
Now the Okie Napoleon is banning 'Christmas' (UPDATED!) (AND CONFIRMED)And then the douchebag lamely "retracts" his story, but retains his "brilliant" name-calling tactic (no doubt what made him a "hall of famer"):
December 20, 11:40 AM
UPDATE III: SWOSU says it ain't true
Just got a call from a Brian Adler (SP?), who identified himself as a spokesman for SWOSU. He said of the Liberty Counsel news release: "I don't know where they got their information. They didn't talk to anybody here. Our lawyers are calling them."
When I asked if he was saying he was certain Liberty spoke to no one at SWOSU, Adler qualified his original statement, saying "well, nobody that I am aware of." When I asked him if SWOSU plans any kind of legal action against Liberty - otherwise why have the lawyers call - he got rather defensive, said "well, maybe they won't call, but somebody from here will call."
At that point, he said "Merry Christmas" and hung up!
UPDATED IV: College official confirms anti-Christmas order
A veteran administrative employee of SWOSU confirmed that she and her colleagues in her department were told by their boss "to take the word 'Christmas' off of our email signatures and not to use that word in any official correspondence."
Connie Phillips, SWOSU's admissions coordinator, said she refused to comply. "I told them they could write me up but I was not going to take it off my signature."
Other SWOSU employees were resisting the orders as well. "The people in the business office had a decoration up with the word 'Christ' in it and they were told to cover it over. They did but then they took it off. It's been on and off about three times now, I think."
Phillips said others in her office agreed and that a number of SWOSU employees came to work today wearing buttons saying "Merry Christmas" as a protest. "We just can't believe this is happening, this is supposed to be America."
Asked if she was concerned about reprisals, Phillips said "I don't know, I guess we'll see. I've been here 24 years and I've got just four more years to retirement, so I hope not."
Is that egg(nog) on my face? MaybeHa ha. Eggnog on my face. (Which isn't at ALL like saying: I screwed up, I'm sorry.) Blaming the press release -- instead of his OWN WEASEL-LAZY ass for not taking ten seconds to FACT CHECK. That's called "unprofessional." And, "malfeasance."
December 20, 7:08 PM
Well now, this has certainly been an interesting day. Let's review:
1. LIBERTY COUNSEL issues a news release claiming that:
“Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU), has issued a disturbing policy which requires all employees to refrain from using the word 'Christmas' in oral or written form. This directive was given by the university upon legal advice of the Oklahoma Attorney General, W.A. Drew Edmondson.”
The release quoted Matt Staver, Liberty Counsel's head honcho and dean of the Liberty University School of Law, and noted that a demand letter had been sent to SWOSU officials.
2. Figuring the head of an accredited law school would not have issued a news release without having confirmed its contents beforehand, I posted on the issue here on Tapscott's Copy Desk, quoting the release in full and noting that Edmondson is the same guy who charged the "Oklahoma Three" with violating a state law requiring initiative petition circulators to be Oklahoma residents. I called Edmondson the "Okie Napoleon."
3. 4. 5. 6. 6A. 7. [long, wordy filibuster, then ] ... If they do and it turns out Edmondson had absolutely nothing to do with anything here, I will promptly retract the assertion in my original post that he was "banning Christmas" or had "issued an advisory opinion" to that effect.
But "Okie Napoleon" stays. Even if he's not the Grinch who banned Christmas, he's more than earned the sobriquet.
I thought he was some kind of Big Time journalist. It turns out, instead: Lazy admitted plagiarist.
PRESS RELEASES are, yes, winkingly expected to be cribbed from, but it's not different than writing your term paper by copying Cliff Notes verbatim.
It's still plagiarism. Only difference is that the flack who wrote the press release WANTS you to be lazy and crib. Your BOSS, however, does not, nor does your READERSHIP. They expect you, Mr. Hall of Fame, to bloody well check the facts, at least.
Now you know why so many people despise journalists, who, too often, misspell the bloody names, and get the dates reversed, never mind the facts underlying.
What kind of douchebag mindlessly takes a press release at face value and then tells his readers to harass someone in another state ... at CHRISTMAS?
Worse, supposedly, this assmonkey is DEFENDING Christmas! Hunh?
Earning himself the very prestigious sobriquet of "Assmonkey McDouchebag." Congrats, pal. You earned it. Sorry you blew your appearance on O'Reilly or Hannity tonight. But at least you've got your sobriquet.
ii. Under God, with liberty and moolah for some
Liberty Counsel declared their war on the War On Christmas in October.
[continued in part ii]
cross-posted from his vorpal sword