At a rally in Sunrise, Fla., on Tuesday night, President Trump declared a victory in the imaginary “war on Christmas” while warning of a new one: the war on Thanksgiving.
“Some people want to change the name ‘Thanksgiving,’” Trump told his supporters. “They don’t want to use the term ‘Thanksgiving.’ And that was true also with Christmas. But now everybody is using ‘Christmas’ again. Remember I said that?”
Trump has often boasted about his leadership in saving Christmas from people who wish their acquaintances “happy holidays.” He did so at an interfaith dinner — in May.
“But now we’re going to have to do a little work on Thanksgiving,” the president continued. “People have different ideas why it shouldn’t be called Thanksgiving, but everybody in this room I know loves the name ‘Thanksgiving,’ and we’re not changing it.”
Like the so-called war on Christmas, the rhetorical assault on Thanksgiving is a notion that largely originated with Fox News.
Earlier this month, HuffPost published an article, “The Environmental Impact Of Your Thanksgiving Dinner,” that offered suggestions for meatless alternatives to the traditional turkey-centric meal. The author, Alexandra Emanuelli, also suggested buying locally sourced ingredients and gathering in a location that requires less travel in order to minimize the impact on the environment.
She did not suggest changing the name of the holiday.
For Fox News hosts, the article was the perfect stuffing, spoon-fed to viewers of “Fox & Friends,” “The Five” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” among other shows on the president’s favorite cable network.
“Liberals are coming for your Thanksgiving turkey!” declared Greg Gutfeld, co-host of “The Five,” on Nov. 6, a day after the article was published.
The show included a giant graphic emblazoned with “War on Thanksgiving” as a backdrop.
On “Fox & Friends” the next day, co-host Ainsley Earhardt falsely claimed the HuffPost piece was “telling America cancel Thanksgiving because of the carbon footprint, telling you not to travel to see family, don’t eat meat, eat veggies.”
“Don’t tell us what we can and cannot eat,” said “Fox & Friends” guest Lynette Hardaway, aka Diamond of the Fox Nation duo Diamond and Silk. “If you have a problem with climate change, stop driving cars, ride on your horse to work. You do everything you can to fix the climate, but don’t infringe upon my right to have Thanksgiving with my family.”
Tucker Carlson also falsely claimed that the article was “demanding that you cancel Thanksgiving dinner.”
Other conservative news outlets pounced too.
“Your Thanksgiving, they’d like to remind you, is slowly destroying the climate and killing the earth,” Emily Zanotti wrote in the Daily Wire on Nov. 6. “Your turkey is choking off the planet and probably leaving your children to die vying for the last can of tuna in an arid, apocalyptic landscape. Your mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce is causing your next mass extinction.”
On Wednesday morning, a “Fox & Friends” segment recapped the president’s remarks at the rally suggesting there was a so-called war on Thanksgiving. Co-host Brian Kilmeade was skeptical.
“I don’t think there’s a huge push to change the name of Thanksgiving, is there?” Kilmeade asked.
Co-host Steve Doocy replied: “Well, you know, uh, I think it was in 2015 there was a rumor that Barack Obama wanted to change the name.”
But as Doocy pointed out, that rumor was debunked.
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