The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting the fallout of a hoax perpetrated on unsuspecting War-on-Christmas warriors who besieged a San Francisco elementary school after it was reported that a student got suspended for wishing an atheist teacher a Merry Christmas.
The story appears on NationalReport.net, a site that freely admits that news stories it shares may or may not be true and that names used in the stories may or may not be real:
Timothy Dawson, a 9-year-old student at Anon Elementary School in San Francisco, CA., was in the school cafeteria Monday eating with friends when he was taken to the principalâ€™s office and given a week-long suspension. His punishment was consequence for saying â€˜Merry Christmasâ€™ to his homeroom teacher earlier that morning. Dawsonâ€™s teacher, 35-year-old Paul Horner who is an outspoken Atheist, was offended at the students display of Christmas spirit and had staff suspend the young boy for the rest of the week.
According to the Chronicle, the story resulted “in e-mail tirades and more than 75 phone complaints and veiled threats of violence against the fictitious teacher or the actual principal. And taxpayers picked up the tab for beefed-up security and staff time to deal with the phony story.”
The most hilarious part of this story is the reaction of the reporter writing about it in San Francisco. Not even a “legitimate” media source can resist opining about the “war on Christmas” as a result of an Internet hoax. Check out this bit of “reporting”:
The fake story claimed the incident exemplifies the ongoing “war on Christmas,” a debate that some cable networks and conservative talk show hosts say has taken root in such liberal bastions as San Francisco. That’s despite the 80-foot Christmas fir in Union Square with its 21,000 twinkling lights and the daily bumper-to-bumper downtown traffic caused by shoppers looking for presents to put under their own bedecked trees at home.
The irony in this is rich. What a pathetic statement for our society.