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Washington Post's Milbank Joins Sharpton in Mocking Conservatives Over War on Christmas

Media Research CenterOn Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, as host Al Sharpton went after FNC host Bill O'Reilly for metaphorically complaining about a "war on Christmas" by liberals who have worked to water down the Christian holiday's public presence, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank took his own jabs at O'Reilly and Republicans.

After Sharpton opined that "I think the right just doesn't like the idea of a changing in America," Milbank began:

So we have to have Father Christmas Bill O'Reilly come out and do this each year. It really wouldn't be the same without him sort of like Santa and the reindeer. You know, as a kid I always looked forward to Charlie Brown's Christmas coming on TV, and now I look forward to Bill O'Reilly doing the war on Christmas which if it ever existed, it has not existed in as long as I can remember.

He dismissively added:

But I think it has a lot less to do with holidays than trying to make liberals look as if they are godless. And I think the very fact that I'm having this discussion with a reverend would suggest that that's probably not working out too well.

Sharpton then referred back to the Republican National Committee's tweet honoring Rosa Parks, which the MSNBC host lambasted on Monday, as he went after another tweet from the RNC regarding Christmas. Sharpton:

You know, I want to put up a tweet from the National Republican Congressional Committee advertising shirts over the holiday weekend that said "Happy Holidays is what liberals say." And the back said, "Merry Christmas." After some criticism, they replaced it with a shirt that says, "I'm not afraid to say Merry Christmas." Dana, what does something like this do for a party that says they want to rebrand itself?

Milbank suggested that Republicans were undermining Christmas time being a "joyful season" as he responded:

Well, it seems each day we're having another one of these episodes. They, you know, want to improve race relations and they have that errant tweet about Rosa Parks. Now, they're trying to score some points with their base and they wind up offending people who are saying, "Well, what's wrong with being happy during the holidays?"

So they did retreat somewhat from that and have made it more of a pro-Christmas message rather than an anti-holidays message. But, you know, as you showed in your earlier segment about, you know, riling up the base for all the reasons for impeachment, this is another example of just trying to rile up the base in what might otherwise be a joyful season.

Sharpton then moved on to rant that conservative attitudes about poverty constitute a real "war on Christmas," before running out of time to let Milbank respond. Sharpton:

I mean, to me, Dana, that's the real war on Christmas. When you dump on the poor or are unsensitive to them and say nothing about those that are making record profits, that's the war on Christmas.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, December 3, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: Oh, those secular progressives. As a non-secular progressive, let me wish everyone Happy Holidays. Or should I say Happy Thanksgivakwanzaachristmakkah. Joining me now is Dana Milbank. And, Dana, let me also be the first to wish you Happy Holidays. I think the right just doesn't like the idea of a changing in America. And what do you think of-

DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: And a Happy Hanukkah to you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: What do you think about this war on Christmas is really all about as you sit there in your holiday regalia?

MILBANK: I do have my holiday regalia on, and I want to wish you both a Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year. Look, this is-

SHARPTON: Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah.

MILBANK: Exactly, all of those things.

SHARPTON: I say it all, and am I progressive. (MILBANK LAUGHS) With a capital P.

MILBANK: Excellent. This is the season for old chestnuts roasting on an open fire. So we have to have Father Christmas Bill O'Reilly come out and do this each year. It really wouldn't be the same without him sort of like Santa and the reindeer. You know, as a kid I always looked forward to Charlie Brown's Christmas coming on TV, and now I look forward to Bill O'Reilly doing the war on Christmas which if it ever existed, it has not existed in as long as I can remember.

But I think it has a lot less to do with holidays than trying to make liberals look as if they are godless. And I think the very fact that I'm having this discussion with a reverend would suggest that that's probably not working out too well.

SHARPTON: You know, I want to put up a tweet from the National Republican Congressional Committee advertising shirts over the holiday weekend that said "Happy Holidays is what liberals say." And the back said, "Merry Christmas." After some criticism, they replaced it with a shirt that says, "I'm not afraid to say Merry Christmas." Dana, what does something like this do for a party that says they want to rebrand itself?

MILBANK: Well, it seems each day we're having another one of these episodes. They, you know, want to improve race relations and they have that errant tweet about Rosa Parks. Now, they're trying to score some points with their base and they wind up offending people who are saying, "Well, what's wrong with being happy during the holidays?" So they did retreat somewhat from that and have made it more of a pro-Christmas message rather than an anti-holidays message. But, you know, as you showed in your earlier segment about, you know, riling up the base for all the reasons for impeachment, this is another example of just trying to rile up the base in what might otherwise be a joyful season.

SHARPTON: You know, let's listen to what I call the real war on Christmas.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK RADIO HOST: Look at poverty in this country. Everybody out of work is eating. They've got big screen TV, probably have a car, probably have a cell phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Minimum wage is something that the government uses to force employers to pay low-end employees more than they're worth.

GLENN BECK, TALK RADIO HOST: I've got news for you, in other countries, they're not washing their clothes and sitting in air conditioning watching their big screen TV. They're dying. That is poor.

BILL O'REILLY, FNC HOST: My contention is that the Obama administration is encouraging parasites to come out and, you know, take as much as they can with no remorse.

SHARPTON: I mean, to me, Dana, that's the real war on Christmas. When you dump on the poor or are unsensitive to them and say nothing about those that are making record profits, that's the war on Christmas.

MILBANK: It does have-

SHARPTON: I've got to go, though.

MILBANK: Okay.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Dana. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year-

MILBANK: You too.

SHARPTON: -and enjoy the holidays.