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O’Reilly Producer: ‘We Saved Christmas Last Year’

By Matt Corley  

"O’Reilly Producer: ‘We Saved Christmas Last Year’"

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As part of his annual War on Christmas mania, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly pounced on the town of Great Barrington, MA last year after the town’s selectmen voted 4 to 0 to shut off decorative lights by 10pm in order to be fuel efficient and reduce the town’s carbon footprint. O’Reilly claimed that “the real strategy here is to diminish the public display of Christmas in that secular town” and sent his producer, Jesse Watters, to harass the selectmen.

On his show last night, O’Reilly re-visited the issue with Watters, who had just returned from “yet another visit to Great Barrington.” Watters claimed that the townspeople were “thankful” that O’Reilly “saved Christmas last year”:

O’REILLY: Where’s the love? I’m not feeling any of the love here, Jesse.

WATTERS: Well, here’s the deal. They’re very thankful that we saved their Christmas lights last year. Because without us, they wouldn’t have had any lights whatsoever. But they’re a little embarrassed about the negative attention that their town has drawn because of the controversy.

So on the one hand, they’re thankful that we saved Christmas last year. But on the other hand, they’re a little angry with The O’Reilly Factor and you personally.

Watch it:

Watters is delusional when he says that O’Reilly “saved” Christmas and Christmas lights in Great Barrington. The town never banished lights. They only chose to turn them off two hours earlier than they had previously. Additionally, there is no indication that O’Reilly’s outrage had any effect on changing the town’s policies. It only resulted in “angry, even obscene e-mails from across the country.”

This isn’t the first time The O’Reilly Factor has taken credit for things he had no measurable effect upon. In 2005, O’Reilly claimed that his “reporting and some reporting of others” led to lower gas prices. That same year, he falsely claimed that his French boycott “hurt France.”

Transcript:

(VIDEOTAPE)
NAVARINO: Call them whatever you want to call them. I think they’re just great. They’re Christmas lights. They’re Hanukkah lights. They’re everybody’s lights. We just want people to enjoy our beautiful town.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want Bill O’Reilly to come down here so, you know, we can just have a little meal with him, talk some sense into him. He doesn’t get us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Merry Christmas to everyone that doesn’t watch FOX.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to say merry Christmas ?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O’REILLY: It’s really pathetic, because one of the ladies said she grew up there. And it used to be — and I remember going there, because I went — I’m talking to Jesse Watters, by the way, The Factor producer.

When I was in Boston, we used to go to Berkshires where the Great Barrington is. Used to be beautiful. Lennox is beautiful. Adams is beautiful. This town is held hostage by secular progressives.

Now, you went to see some of the guys that have ordered no Christmas lights for global warming and don’t say merry Christmas and all of that. What did they say to you?

WATTERS: Well, I mean, this year it was like totally different than last year. Last year it was like Vegas compared to this year. There was people out all over the streets. There was lights hanging across the streets on Main Street. It was very inviting. But I think that was determined to be a safety hazard by the utility company.

O’REILLY: Yes, we called them and they say that’s bull. So this is what it was last year. We’re looking at last year. And now you’ve got a couple of pathetic lights up in the trees. But what I’m interested in is they really hate us up there, right?

WATTERS: Well, we were received kind of bizarrely. We have a love-hate relationship with Great Barrington.

O’REILLY: Where’s the love? I’m not feeling any of the love here, Jesse.

WATTERS: Well, here’s the deal. They’re very thankful that we saved their Christmas lights last year. Because without us, they wouldn’t have had any lights whatsoever. But they’re a little embarrassed about the negative attention that their town has drawn because of the controversy.

So on the one hand, they’re thankful that we saved Christmas last year. But on the other hand, they’re a little angry with The O’Reilly Factor and you personally.

O’REILLY: Would you say — last question. We heard some people wanting Christmas in Great Barrington and some people not wanting. If they had a vote, would Christmas win or lose?

WATTERS: Christmas would definitely win. You know, there’s a vocal minority that’s against it. I think it’s kind of cool and hip to dump on Christmas these days. And then you have these academic elites that just think theoretically it’s an exclusionary holiday.

O’REILLY: All right, Jesse. Thanks very much. We appreciate it.

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