'Tis the season for Bill O'Reilly and other Fox News personalities to rail against the alleged "War on Christmas" -- and they're doing so.
But they've also found time to deride the "War on Tebow," tackling questions about Tim Tebow's religiosity with the same fervor they defend any dilution of Jesus's birthday.
These days, more and more conservatives are coming out of the closet to declare their love for No. 15 -- like, for instance, former Secretary of Education William Bennett, who authored an article for CNN entitled "Don't Mock Tim Tebow." But he's a latecomer compared to Fox News, which understood early on that Tebow's faith makes him a natural icon to the network's target audience.
Examples? In January 2010, The O'Reilly Factor's Bill O'Reilly devoted a segment to Tebow's Focus on the Family-sponsored pro-life Super Bowl ad in which he asked one guest, "Are you offended Tim Tebow is alive?" And Sean Hannity hosted Tebow during the Chosen One's promotional tour for the book Through My Eyes, giving the hurler much more worshipful treatment than did heathen Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.
In the wake of Tebow's current win streak, however, the Fox News love has escalated -- so much so that it prompted the following from Alabama-based Al.com:
It's so funny to watch the Fox anchors prop up Tim Tebow. They think he's the greatest thing to ever play football. A team plays a football game. It takes an offense and a defense to win the games. The kicker won the game for Denver the other night, not Tim Tebow. He didn't kick the field goal. But Fox doesn't want to acknowledge that because they want to promote Tim Tebow because he's a Christian and he loves God, like everybody else at Fox News. If you dare criticize Tim Tebow about leaving his religion in the locker room, you're a secularist.
He's got a point. This week on the Factor, O'Reilly spent a sizable chunk of his show defending "Tebow's religious displays" and ripping sports attorney Kelly Saindon for daring to suggest that Tebowing might be considered excessive celebration under NFL rules. And on a recent episode of Fox & Friends, anchor Steve Doocy led a debate about whether Tebow should follow the advice of Kurt Warner, a star QB who also wore his faith on his sleeve, and tone down his expressions of love for his Savior.
Granted, "debate" isn't really the right word, since all three panelists, including NFL vet Fran Tarkenton, vigorously defended Tebow's moral displays. In their view, what America needs is more Tebowing, not less.
Look below to see The O'Reilly Factor and Fox & Friends segments; the Tebow conversation in the latter starts at about the 4:30 mark.
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