Santa Claus Visits Fox News for the Holidays

Fox News Channel’s host Megyn Kelly made national headlines this week when she confirmed that Santa Claus is white, addressing mass speculation about the true identity of this mythical figure.  Ok, not really.

Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly told viewers that Santa Claus is white during a recent broadcast.

Her segment about Santa, however, did in fact generate a barrage of criticism and late-night TV jokes, prompting an on-air response from Kelly, which seemed more like justification rather than an apology.  The Fox News host said that her “white Santa” segment was a mock debate not to be taken seriously.

Whether or not Santa is or was white is irrelevant, although today’s modern fantasy of the jolly, red-suited fellow may be derived from the Dutch Sinterklaas.  The fact is that Santa is make-believe and continues to evolve as a worldwide brand embraced by millions of children and adults across the globe.

But the issue here in the U.S. is less about Santa and more about race relations than anything else as even Kelly points out in her rebuttal.  Her remarks certainly struck a chord among the black community, only heightening tensions since it came from Fox News, the bully pulpit for the right-wing conservative agenda.

All the drama makes for snappy headlines and more eyeballs glued to news about a fabricated story that has no real relevance.  Kudos to Fox News for the accomplishment, even though the story’s enormous popularity may have come as a surprise to the network.  Maybe the topic is rooted in a deeper divide between the right and left in America, only exasperated by the origin of a fictitious man in a red suit.

It’s hard to tell what really is driving the story, which may continue to be debated in the ensuing weeks.  Either way, journalists be aware, Santa Claus is coming to town, so be good for goodness sake.

Santa’s Public Relations Machine Ramped Up This Holiday

Edmund Gwenn and Natalie Wood in the 1947 film classic “Miracle on 34th Street“

Santa Claus is coming to town, really. Recent studies say holiday online spending is up 12 percent over last year. Retail sales for this November were up almost one percent compared to 2009 preceded by four straight months of increases. This is good news as retailers pump discounts and markdowns to drive holiday revenues in a sluggish economy.

It’s probably hard to fathom that the country officially has been out of The Great Recession since June 2009. Even though retailers seem to be doing better, a stroll down most main streets show a more realistic picture with empty storefronts as many businesses have gone belly-up.

Buying gifts however seem to overshadow the true meaning of the holiday, evermore perpetuating the dichotomy each season brings. Nevertheless, airwaves are flooded with ads for high-tech gadgets and the hottest toys for kids.

Although cash registers are ringing, unemployment is still high and even close to depression-era levels in some states. This certainly puts a damper and a cold stamp of reality on this year’s holiday season.

So, where’s Santa? Apparently he’s in Fort Meyers, Florida. A six-year-old girl got her Christmas wish answered after she sent a heartfelt letter to Santa Claus, with a little help from the U.S. Postal Service. Her letter to the North Pole said she was afraid of waking up on Christmas morning without any presents to open. Like many families today, her folks have fallen on hard times. Employees at the local Page Field post office rallied and are doing everything they can to help the southwest Florida family from buying pillows to putting gas in their car

This is good news and reaffirms the fact that the holidays bring out the best in people. Hopefully this Fort Meyers family will have a very merry Christmas. What’s even better is that there are thousands of stories like this across the country of people helping each other in these tough economic times. This one just happened to be the result of a letter to the North Pole. Good thing Santa is on the job.