Friday, November 9, 2007

Fox News’ Hannity rails against Halloween

Fox News’ Hannity rails against Halloween, which ‘teaches kids to be liberals’
Posted November 2nd, 2007

Last week, The Onion, which is a satirical publication, ran a very amusing editorial cartoon, mocking right-wing attitudes. The cartoon asked, “Halloween: What is it teaching our kids?” It depicted a kid trick-or-treating with a bag that read, “Something for Nothing,” under the caption, “Everyone deserves hand-outs!”

Proving once again that today’s right is practically impossible to satirize, Fox News’ Sean Hannity actually made the same argument, on the air, in the hopes of labeling Halloween a “liberal holiday.”

On the October 31 edition of Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity claimed that “Halloween is a liberal holiday” and “is teaching our kids to be liberals.” Hannity explained that “we’re teaching kids to knock on other people’s doors and ask for a handout.” Co-host Alan Colmes responded by asking if that meant that Christmas is a “liberal holiday.” Colmes asserted that Halloween represents “the act of giving,” and asked: “Isn’t that a Christian thing, to give, to share with your community?” Hannity replied: “Not to teach your kids to beg for a handout.”

In all sincerity, I thought Media Matters was kidding about this, until I watched the clip. Hannity, apparently in all seriousness, said we shouldn’t teach “our children to beg for something for free.” He concluded, “You’re teaching your kids to beg for a handout.”

In the broader cultural context, I think a sea-change of sorts may be underway. The caricature of late has been that of a politically-correct, liberal intellectual going around denigrating the things “regular people” enjoy. I wonder if Hannity is helping push the pendulum in the other direction — all activities should be measured against a right-wing worldview. If they’re perceived as politically heretical, they should be dismissed.

Hannity, in other words, seems anxious to push conservatism away from the mainstream. If we’re lucky, he’ll keep it up.

Just out of curiosity, I checked out Focus on the Family’s take on Halloween, assuming that if any high-profile conservatives would hate the holiday, it’d be the Dobson crowd.

Here’s the official Focus take on Halloween:

Whereas it can be argued that Christmas is a Christian holiday with Christian origins that has suffered the effects of growing secularism, Halloween can be traced to distinctly pagan sources. It is reasonable, then, that many believers would find some aspects of its celebration disturbing. I agree with them in that regard.

The traditional emphasis upon the occult, witches, devils, death, and evil sends messages to our kids that godly parents can only regard with alarm. There is clearly no place in the Christian community for this “darker side” of Halloween.

Even here, however, there is a place for some harmless fun. Kids love to dress up and pretend. If the Halloween experience is focused on fantasy rather than the occult, I see no harm in it. Make costumes for your children that represent fun characters, such as Mickey Mouse or an elderly grandmother, and then let them go door-to-door asking for treats. This side of Halloween can be thoroughly enjoyable for the little ones.

Congratulations, Hannity, you’re to the right of Focus on the Family on a pagan holiday.

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