SPECIAL WAR BULLETIN
24 DEC 2021
Not since Edward R. Murrow has a reporter so bravely brought home the terrible soundscape of war.
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* TRANSCRIPT *
TEDDY ROOSEVELT: Surely, there never was a fight better worth making than the one which we are in.
GARFIELD: Welcome to Bully Pulpit. That was Teddy Roosevelt. I’m Bob Garfield with Episode 22: Live from the War on Christmas.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt this program to bring you a special report. Bully Pulpit’s Bob Garfield is on the battle lines of a terrible conflict, which is setting the world afire. In the midst of the mad fray, without care for his own safety, Mr. Garfield recounts the sights and sounds of war. We now take you to the North Pole.
[THE SOUNDS OF WAR]
GARFIELD: This is the North Pole. Last night, some young reindeer fetched me here. These heroes, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid and — with grim and fantastic irony — Donner and Blitzen, describing the very scene that in this benighted duchy now unfolds. The pilot on our journey was called Rudolph, his caribou nose casting light through the smoke and darkness. The team was determined, for here resides the greatest center of holiday production. The shooting of cannon and ack-ack guns, the shrill roar of a diving airship, fills the night with a deathly din.
A reporter cannot help but cower in the ruins. The secular humanists, in league with communists and cosmopolitans, are upon us. These are the sounds of the war on Christmas.
From my icy shelter (the frozen remnants of a leveled doll factory) the fury seems fantastical. The insurgency began only 13 years ago, in what seemed to be flailing propaganda against a dubious oppression. This is when America first heard from the defenders of Jesus Christ about the godless machinations of the Macy’s department store.
BILL O’REILLY: This year they are touting Santa Claus who will help you “with your holiday wishlist.” So here’s my question to Macy’s: What holiday is Santa celebrating? The winter solstice? The birthday of a reindeer? What?
GARFIELD: That lowly broadcaster, whose name is now lost to history, used his bully pulpit to speak of conspiracy against not just a persecuted religious minority, but a way of life.
O’REILLY: Everything was swell up until about 10 years ago when creeping secularism and pressure groups like the ACLU began attacking the Christmas holiday. They demanded, demanded the word “Christmas” be removed from advertising and public displays, and many people caved into that.
GARFIELD: It all began in a series of small partisan skirmishes
O’REILLY: I’m like a guerilla fighter in the war on Christmas. You know what I do? I put little shepherds right in front of city hall in my town. Or if I know that there’s a secular person in my town or the town neighboring me, I’ll put a little baby Jesus on their windshield.
GARFIELD: For years he would strike small blows against the Godless conspiracy, then melt away to his sacred country club. But like all guerilla fighters, armed with little but his half wits and audience of seething nativists 5 million strong, he incited rage against the false prophets of basic respect. In time, he would all but vanish from the fight. Smeared by the secularists for merely trying to spill his heroic seed wantonly among the faithful, he retired to a life of falafel and shame. Still the movement grew and grew, gathering the momentum history rewards for the zeal of the righteous. From fellow broadcasters…
GRETCHEN CARLSON: I am tolerant! I’m all for free speech and free rights, just not on December 25th!
GARFIELD: …to more fellow broadcasters…
SEAN HANNITY: Welcome to Hannity. The War on Christmas is upon us again.
GARFIELD: …to the emotionally-disturbed imbecile aspiring-dictator community.
TRUMP: And speaking of Christmas, you're gonna be saying “Merry Christmas” again, okay? You’re gonna say “Merry Christmas.”
GARFIELD: Suddenly the dirty gray clouds turn white and the advance grows merciless. The Jews and Muslims and Satanists pour through the outer searchlight defenses. Aloft, a flying machine tumbles toward the pole, ablaze. It is a great, golden, slow-moving meteor slanting earthward. Yellow flares shoot up in bright relief, revealing the airship to be a sleigh, whose desperate escape has been foiled in a hail of flak. The pilot, intrepid Rudolph, with his shiny nose, lights the spiraling path to oblivion.
What I am witnessing is a calculated, remorseless campaign of destruction. Now the little men, brave bantams one and all, are ragged and shivering in the final battle wondering what is it all for. They are but elves, laboring amid the chaos to meet quota. Moments ago, just as a projectile burst in the sky, I witnessed a little gnome utter his last words. In the strange argot of these industrious pixies, and in a squeaky impish voice, he declaimed: “FML. We have product to turn around.” And then he fell, his slippered toes curled toward the blazing heavens.
ANNOUNCER: You have been listening to Bob Garfield in an eyewitness report of his experiences at the North Pole. Now I see we have received a telegraphed dispatch from Mr. Garfield. I quote directly from his wire:
“The North Pole has not fallen. Repeat: not fallen. [stop]
“The advancing cosmopolitans were not waging war against Christmas. [stop]
“It appears to have been some sort of celebration, with fireworks, in the spirit of seasonal good tidings that grace the world. The war on Christmas, it must now be reported, is a figment, neither waged nor declared. [stop]
“Perhaps I was feverish with Omicron, or brainwashed, but assessing the aftermath what I have discovered is evidence only of a very big party. [stop]
“No elves have died. The casualties were limited to an Amazon warehouse, where some workers simply collapsed from exhaustion. [stop]
“Christmas is alive and unmolested the world over. The birth of Jesus Christ is on the lips of billions.
“I can hear the bells. I can hear the bells. [stop]”
GARFIELD: All right, we’re done here. Bully Pulpit is produced by Matthew Schwartz and Mike Vuolo. Our theme was composed by Julie Miller and the team at Harvest Creative Services in Lansing, Michigan. Bully Pulpit is a production of BooksmartStudios.org. I’m Bob Garfield. Merry Christmas.
TRUMP: They are saying “Merry Christmas” again, we got that. That was a big part of what I was doing. I would say it all the time during that period, that we want them to say “Merry Christmas,” don’t shop at stores that don’t say “Merry Christmas,” and I’ll tell you what, we brought it back very quickly.