How rich is this irony? ABC aired “A Charlie Brown Christmas” — the iconic 45-year-old animated Christmas special that decries the commercialism of Christmas — and edited it severely to make more room for commercials.
It is not the first time the aged Christmas special has made headlines this holiday season. When President Obama pre-empted the national airing of the special for a speech a city mayor (named Wiseman, of course) accused the President of trying to hide its clearly Christian messaging.
The attack against ABC is gaining momentum on the Internet. One blog post noted:
How many minutes did you cut out of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” so you could run more commercials? Gone was Sally’s materialistic letter to Santa, which finally sends Charlie screaming from the room when she says she will settle for 10s and 20s. Gone was Schroeder’s miraculous multiple renditions of “Jingle Bells” from a toy piano, including the one that sounds distinctly like a church organ. Gone was Linus using his blanket as an improvised slingshot to knock a can off the fence no one else can hit, complete with ricochet sound effect. Gone were the kids catching snowflakes on their tongues and commenting on their flavor. Gone even was poor Shermy’s only line. He thought he had it bad because he was always tasked to play a shepherd. He had no idea.
And why were all these classic scenes cut? To plug more ads into the show, of course. To sell burgers and greeting cards — and to relentlessly plug the insipid-looking new Disney “soon to be a classic” show immediately following.
There will be news to follow on this one, we’re sure.