Last night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly took aim at the retailer Crate & Barrel in his latest “War on Christmas” segment. O’Reilly cited a recent article in which Crate & Barrel spokeswoman Betty Kahn is quoted saying, “We would definitely not say Merry Christmas.”
O’Reilly claimed to have “confirmed” the quote was accurate. As a result, he said he would no longer shop at the store, and alleged that the six Muslim imams removed last week from a US Airways flight “wouldn’t get handcuffed in Crate & Barrel if they started chanting and stuff.” Watch it:
But in an interview with ThinkProgress, Kahn said her quote was misconstrued. Crate & Barrel has no policy encouraging or discouraging store employees from saying “Merry Christmas” or any other greeting. Kahn said she was trying to communicate that the store does not actively require employees to say “Merry Christmas.”
Kahn’s explanation is supported by the fact that Crate & Barrel’s website features various Christmas promotional materials, including a special Christmas section (located at CrateandBarrel.com/Christmas), pictured below:
O’REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I’m Bill O’Reilly.
In the “Impact” segment, most American retail stores are saying “merry Christmas”, as we mentioned, but not Crate & Barrel and Best Buy. Incredibly, Crate & Barrel spokesperson Cathy — I’m sorry, Betty Kahn — Betty Kahn told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, quote, “We would definitely not be saying merry Christmas.” Wow.
O’REILLY: All right. Crate & Barrel, you know, I don’t care about them. I got one near my house. It’s a nice store. But I mean, I’m not into it. But the woman comes out, and we confirmed this, Betty Kahn, “We’re absolutely not going to say merry Christmas.” It’s annoying. Isn’t it?
I mean, I’m not going to go there because it’s annoying, for no other reason. Betty, you’re annoying. Am I overdoing it?
POWERS: Yeah, I think you are.
O’REILLY: Yeah, you think so??
POWERS: It would be impossible to say how much I don’t care that they’re not saying “merry Christmas.”
O’REILLY: All right, but you don’t care?
POWERS: I don’t. I love Christmas.
O’REILLY: You don’t know why other people do?
POWERS: No, actually, I don’t.
O’REILLY: You don’t understand anybody who’s annoyed by it?
POWERS: It has nothing to do with Christianity. It has nothing to do with Jesus’ birth.
O’REILLY: True, true. All that’s true.
POWERS: And it’s a business decision. If they choose not to say “merry Christmas,” well, how does that how I affect how I celebrate Christmas?
O’REILLY: Because it’s just so small. It’s so small and dumb.
POWERS: Maybe they feel like their clientele is so diverse that they would just rather say happy holidays. I mean, why can’t they just make that decision? How would this ruin your day, though?
O’REILLY: Because you — it doesn’t ruin my day. It’s just one of these little annoying things that I say if you’re not going to say “merry Christmas,” and it’s a federal holiday, I’m not going to buy the lamp. I mean, I am that small.
POWERS: I think the other stuff — I agree with that.
O’REILLY: I am. I am that — Michelle, you — you know me. You know I am that petty, that if you’re going to annoy me like this because I just get annoyed. It’s a federal holiday. Say “merry Christmas,” say “happy holidays,” stand on your head. I don’t care. But to say, “We’re absolutely not going to say ‘merry Christmas’,” I’m not going there then. That’s how small I am. Am I wrong?
MALKIN: Well — well, look. On my aggravato-meter, it’s a two. On yours it sounds like it’s about a six with 10 being total eye-popping outrage. But so you’re not going to buy any crates or barrels. And you know…
O’REILLY: Right. There — I think it’s, you know. Isn’t it dumb?
POWERS: That you feel that way, yes.
O’REILLY: No, isn’t to dumb for a spokesman of a major — of a major company, where 80 percent of the country is Christian and 90 celebrates Christmas, isn’t it dumb, Michelle, to come out and say, “I’m absolutely not going to say that”?
MALKIN: You know, it probably is.
O’REILLY: Thank you.
POWERS: Michelle is sucking up.
MALKIN: I am. You have to look at the clientele of Crate & Barrel. Do you shop there? I don’t shop there? Who shops there, Kirsten? Come on, you know.
POWERS: I have some Crate & Barrel stuff.
O’REILLY: Come on. Maybe the imams who got thrown off the plane will.
MALKIN: Well, there you go.
O’REILLY: I bet you they wouldn’t get handcuffed in Crate & Barrel if they started chanting and stuff.
POWERS: Probably not.