Thursday, December 3, 2009

Peter Bronson Implies that Hanukkah is Inferior to Christmas

In case you missed it, former Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Peter Bronson has started a new blog. You may remember Bronson for posting a fake picture of Al Franken in a diaper on his (Enquirer) blog and pretending that the photo was real. This was despite the fact that the photo had been debunked years before by many other sources, including his own paper.

When my fellow writer, Jason Haap, at the Cincinnati Beacon called him on it (gaining national exposure), Bronson first tried to justify it and then deleted the entire post from the web shortly before losing his job at the Enquirer.

Bronson resurfacing on his own website means that he is no longer is bound by any constraints and is now free to spout his Conservative views to his heart's content.

Take this piece from just the other day in which Bronson expresses anger over "the most despicable 'holiday' ad this far". What commercial you may ask? This one:

Can you guess why Bronson awards this commercial the most despicable yet? (Hint: it is not because the commercial is super annoying) Here is why:

The American Family Association threatened a boycott over the ad, and the Gap people apparently got the message. The AFA announced:

“Gap’s Vice-President of Corporate Communications, Bill Chandler, informed the AFA via email that Old Navy’s new commercial “has a very strong Christmas theme.” … ”We firmly believe that Gap is responding to an enormous amount of pressure from the AFA network. It looks like Gap has finally decided that a recession is a bad time to take a principled stand on secularism and alienate a huge percentage of their customer base. We’re happy that they’re apparently keeping Christ and Christmas in the Christmas season.”

Liberals in the press had seizures defending GAP and ripping AFA for its boycott threat. I guess there is no insult to Christians that is too tacky for “tolerant” liberals to support.

That's right, Bronson thinks that this ad is "insulting" to Christians because it mentions Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Solstice and that it is evidence of how PC our culture has become. In case you missed it, the ad didn't insult Christmas or neglect to mention Christmas, it just mentioned other celebrations that take place during the holiday season.

Bronson again:

Christmas is a holy day. Christians respect Hanukkah and even Kwanzaa. (Solstice? Please.) So is it really too much to ask for a little respect in return, even from the retailers who exploit Christmas to make their biggest profits?

It is unclear in Bronson's post how he feels that the holiday of "Christmas" and "Christians" in general were insulted (aside from over-commercialization). Since Christmas was mentioned in the commercial, one can only assume that he is angry that other holidays were included. Bronson claims that "Christians" respect other holidays (except for the one that he thinks is really nuts), but if he views that Christmas was insulted simply by mere mention of other holidays in the commercial, then one would have right mind to question whether he really does "respect" these other holidays.

Well, it's a good thing that we don't have to guess any longer. One reader that commented on Bronson's post pointed out that there are multiple holidays that are celebrated during that time of year and it looks like GAP was just trying to appeal to their young, hip and diverse audience. Here was Bronson's response (emphasis mine):

Hannukah is a pretty minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, Kwanzaa was just made up and solstice is strictly from the outskirts of Green Town. Equating those with Christmas denigrates the meaning. I guess that was already done long ago by the commercialization of Christmas, but it doesn’t help to accelerate it in the name of more commercialization. I think you’re right that the younger generation is more PC. And it’s a pity.

That's right, equating other holidays, like Hanukkah, with Christmas "denigrates" the meaning of Christmas. So the way that Christmas is insulted in the GAP ad according to Peter Bronson, is because the other holidays are merely mentioned in the same breath as Christmas. Doesn't sound very respectful to me. Seems like the problem is not with the so-called "PC culture", but with Bronson's view that inferior holiday celebrations somehow cheapen the holiday that he celebrates.

This piece is also posted here.

1 comment:

Quim said...

ugh - this time of year always seems to bring out the best in Chirstianists. The ad is seriously obnoxious, but most of the groups celebrating holidays at this time of the year do so with gift giving so businesses catering to gift giving are going to market to those groups.
I guess Bronson isn't so much into free market capitalism as he professes.
Not surprising - he's a neocon through and through.....