Because it’s almost Christmas and we apparently have nothing better to occupy our time. That’s why.
Yesterday, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley was a guest on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper. It was actually a compelling interview where Tapper was questioning Haley about the move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, among other things. (I lost track of how many times Tapper asked her how this was going to move the ball forward in the peace process at around the fourth effort.) The video is coming up below and if you missed the interview it’s worth a look. But it was a completely normal exchange of season’s greetings at the end of the segment which wound up creating more of a stir in some corners of the internet.
Horror of horrors, when the interview concluded, Ambassador Haley said, “Merry Christmas” to Tapper. Why is that an issue? Because Jake Tapper is Jewish. Despite the fact that this goes on between people of all faiths (or none) all over the country every day at this time of year, you just knew somebody would jump on it. And in this case it was the liberal site Crooks and Liars, along with sympathetic liberals on Twitter.
“Madam Ambassador,” Tapper said at the conclusion of the interview. “Thank you so much. If I don’t see you, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.”
“Merry Christmas, Jake,” Haley replied.
At the conclusion of his next interview with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Tapper demonstrated how to acknowledge someone of the Jewish faith.
“If I don’t see you before Tuesday,” Tapper told Schiff, “Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year’s as well.”
“Same to you, sir,” Schiff agreed.
So… there you are. Tapper must have been outraged! How insensitive of someone representing the United States in an international body so rich in diversity, right? Well.. .not so much.
This is correct; I not only didn’t take offense, I took @nikkihaley’s “Merry Christmas” in the spirit it was intended, spreading cheer and good wishes, as I intended it to her. 🎅 🎄 🎁 https://t.co/UFfczeVrDT
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) December 10, 2017
I checked with a source at CNN and was informed that the network doesn’t actually have a policy in place for how to greet various people during the holiday season, nor what to do if they extend a greeting inappropriate for the on-air host’s religion. And can I just say… thank God for that. If we’ve actually gotten to the point where major news outlets have to implement policies to regulate season’s greetings, maybe this whole concept of inventing radio and television in the first place wasn’t such a great idea and could use a second look.
Our colleague Susan Wright at Redstate was equally unimpressed.
I’ve discussed the matter of “Merry Christmas” before, and how insignificant it is, whether we say it or not, in the grand scheme of faith and life.
Well, I’m equally exhausted with those who leap at the chance to use a simple phrase meant to express glad tidings as a breathtaking offense…
Does that mean that Haley was being insensitive? Was she taking a swipe at Tapper’s Jewish faith?
I don’t think that was it, at all. I think it was an honest reaction and meant with good will. When you get enough guys like this social justice warrior, who seems to be outraged on Tapper’s behalf, simple issues become complicated.
Susan does go on to make a slightly different point about how season’s greetings can be an issue on both sides of the ideological aisle. Apparently conservatives can get carried away as well, and she references, as an example… coffee cups. (Or are we supposed to say “Covfefe cups” this year?) Fair enough, Susan. And in the interest of full disclosure, here’s the one I was using this morning.
Huh. Maybe I have a problem after all. (In case you wanted one, the RNC was selling them around Christmas in 2015. Not sure if they will this year.)
Here’s the video of the interview I promised above. As I said, it was a good exchange so it’s worth a few minutes to watch, but if all you want is the Merry Christmas Massacre, that obviously comes at the end.
Oh, and Merry Christmas, y’all.