The spin and misinformation started on a blog written by an expert on spin and lies, David Addington, a former Cheney aide and now blogger for the Heritage Foundation. Obama was out to get Christmas. Yes, you see, Obama has just so much free time on his hands that he was personally able to hatch a plan to destroy Christmas. And how was he going to do this Grinch-like thing? Why, Obama announced on November 8th that wanted to tax all live cut Christmas trees.
And, of course, with a nicely inflammatory headline, the blog post was linked by Drudge on his site. And that’s when the spin really began.
Obama hated Christmas.
Obama was waging a war on Christmas.
Obama’s government was going to tax these poor live tree growers out of existence and hurt the economy with this further act of socialism to take money from the working folks and hand it over to the poor and the lazy.
Obama and his government needed to keep its greedy fingers out of the pockets of hard working Americans.
Yes, all this and more was cooked up and spewed out by the usual idiots on conservative talk radio, conservative blogs and the rest of the conservative media. And who could blame them? The Obama administration is putting its foot on the throats of the people growing Christmas trees? Obama wants to tax Christmas trees with the Christmas season coming up? How utterly evil of him!
Well, at least it would have been if it was anything like the truth.
The big flaw in this bogus narrative was that “Obama” was doing anything. There are others. First, this was something done through the Agriculture Department. Second, this wasn’t a tax, but rather a 15 cent per tree fee to pay for an advertising campaign to boost the badly sagging sales on live trees and improve the image of the live Christmas tree. Third, this wasn’t something that the Agriculture Department cooked up and imposed on live tree growers. This was something that they asked for and spent lobbying time and money to get.
One Article covers some of that here: (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-1109-christmas-tree-wars-20111109,0,2983619.story)
The Christmas tree growers went to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and asked them to help set up an ad campaign along the lines of the many other successful campaigns (such as the “Got Milk?” and “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner” campaigns) that they have coordinated for other industries. As a part of the proposed Christmas Tree Promotion, Research and Information Order, the tree growers would institute a self imposed fee of 15 cents per tree on themselves to fund the campaign. The fee most likely wouldn’t even have been passed on to the consumers in most cases. Several of the largest tree growers had stated that they intended to eat the 15 cent per tree fee.
This was a positive thing. The tree growers, facing declining sales as more and more people buy fake trees, sought out a proven program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help advertise live trees and do a P.R. facelift on the product. But, because Obama is in office, the last 24 hours has been filled with furious spinning by the conservative media about how the evil Obama was trying to tax Christmas trees, hurt the holiday economy and hurt the working man in order to steal from the producers and give to the lazy as per his socialist ways.
Well, guys, as of late November 9th, mission accomplished. You’ve killed the program. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/09/merry-christmas-agriculture-department-imposes-christmas-tree-tax/)
In the face of the huge backlash created by the fake spin, the Department of Agriculture pulled the program. The tree growers are now, after much work and a lot of time spent in getting this, back to square one. They’re still facing sales in a slump, they’re still facing a bad economy where it’s cheaper and easier in many areas to buy a fake tree or pull out last year’s fake tree and they’re still stuck with doing small local ads that haven’t been working or hiring large P.R. firms that will charge them more than it would be worth to them.
In their orgasmic zeal to attack Obama over anything no matter how much they have to spin or fabricate, the usual suspects have ended up hurting the Christmas tree growers that they spent the last day falsely casting as victims and displaying fake sympathy for. Good job, guys, good job.
And I’ll make a bet with you. I’ll bet you that easily 95% of those people, the ones who knowingly lied and spun and pushed the false narrative as well as the ones who bought the false narrative and then repeated it to their friends via social media and email, won’t even bother to partially undue the harm they’ve now done to the tree growers this year by buying a live tree. And they won’t because they’ve done what they set out to do. They’ve attacked Obama and created yet another false narrative that they can pull out of their asses whenever the mood strikes them. They didn’t really care about the tree growers, the economy, the jobs situation or anything else they spoke of while whining and crying about the evil, Christmas tree hating Obama before, so why should they give a rat’s ass about them now that they’ve won their little battle against Obama?
Once again, mission accomplished, guys. You’ve proven that your talking points mean a lot more to you than reality and you don’t care who you hurt so long as you can score cheap political points. Well done.