Does Fox News employ anyone who might broadly be considered a “fact checker”? Because it never really seems like it:
Seated in front of a glittering backdrop of New York City, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly began a “Taking the Religion Out of Christmas” segment on her prime time show, “The Kelly File.”
“Well, it is now just two weeks until Sparkle Day in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,” she said Wednesday night. “What is ‘Sparkle Day,’ you ask? Well, it used to be Christmas,” she said, unable to suppress a laugh, her crew chuckling off camera.
HAHA that is funny, Sparkle Day! What can I say? My old hometown loves two things: dumb names and doing War on Christmas! LOL!
As it turns out, Megyn Kelly was just slightly off in her story. See, Pittsburgh has in the past employed the term “Sparkle Season” as a marketing gimmick to get people to shop downtown (they’ve always been desperate to get suburban shoppers to pass up the local shopping mall and do their holiday buying downtown) without getting into the whole religious holiday aspect of things. Pretty silly, I’ll grant you, but nobody ever used the term “Sparkle Day,” which sounds even dumber.
Also, there was one other teeny thing wrong with Kelly’s story. See if you can catch it:
Pittsburgh did sparkle once upon a time. From 1994 to 1997, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership used “Sparkle Season” as a marketing slogan to promote Downtown shopping, though “Sparkle Day” was never used. At the time, the slogan was mocked by many and maligned by religious groups that believed it was preposterously secular.
I bolded the important part to help you! Yes, Pittsburgh is waging a War on Christmas so perverse that they haven’t actually done it in 17 years! Those anti-Jesus monsters!
Luckily, Kelly didn’t let a little thing like being off by almost two decades get her down:
Indeed, Fox News backtracked Thursday night, with Ms. Kelly saying, “We also mentioned Pittsburgh, which we pointed out replaced the Christmas season with, quote, Sparkle Days. As it turns out, however, Pittsburgh saw the error of its ways a long time ago and Sparkle Days are no more. Sorry about that, Pittsburgh, and Merry Christmas.”
She ended with a smile as a man in the background chuckled loudly.
Yes, let’s all have a chuckle! It’s not as though this admittedly trivial error speaks to a broader and more serious problem at Fox News, by which I mean its essentially “facts optional” modus operandi! ROFL!
Also, a special shout-out to Reverend Franklin Graham, who was probably Kelly’s source for the “Sparkle Day” unfactoid and whose staff, when confronted with the real story, demonstrated their deep devotion to the Eighth (Ninth?) Commandment, the one about not bearing false witness, by pulling out the old Jonah Goldberg bullshit “central to my point” chestnut:
The Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham and president of the Billy Graham Evangelical Foundation, was a guest of Ms. Kelly’s on her Wednesday night Fox News segment. Her reference to “Sparkle Day” may have come from him — in a newsletter entry from last month, Rev. Graham wrote, “The city of Pittsburgh refers to the Christmas holidays as ‘Sparkle Days,’ in an ironic attempt at avoiding offense.”
Reached Thursday, a spokesman for Rev. Graham noted that even if it was an out-of-date reference, it was still illustrative of a larger point.
Well, if your larger point is “Franklin Graham is a huckster fraud who would never let the facts get in the way of his argument,” then I completely agree, this is very illustrative.