Tuesday, December 10, 2013


This is a bit "inside the beltway," perhaps, but those readers who may be familiar with the exotic cast of characters who come and go on MSNBC, and the nature of the programming they do there, will find a piece by Charlie Cooke at NRO pretty interesting. If you're not familiar with MSNBC, especially their evening line-up, you might find Cooke's column sufficient reason not to become more familiar with it.

Suffice it to say that I can think of no other news talk medium that has had to suspend or fire more people for reasons having to do with hate speech, vile tastelessness, and lack of professionalism than has MSNBC. The parade of miscreants in the last few years includes, but is not limited to, Don Imus, Keith Olbermann, David Schuster, Ed Schultz, Lawrence O'Donnell, Howard Finemann, and most recently Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir.

The network also features Chris Matthews who, if obsequiousness toward the President were a crime, would be serving a life sentence. It also provides a showcase for race-hustlers like Al Sharpton who never should have been hired at all after his egregious role in the infamous Tawana Brawley case and his other incitements which led to various acts of violence in New York in the eighties and nineties.

There are others at MSNBC who stun the viewer not with a lack of decorum or courtesy but with sheer vapidity. Melissa Harris-Perry comes to mind as does Mika Brzezinski.

I know, I know. Some will say, "But look at FOX news!" Yes, FOX subjects viewers to Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, but these are merely insufferably rude, pompous narcissists, and there are, thank goodness, only two of them. O'Reilly and Hannity are simply not in the same league as people like Bashir, Schultz, or Olbermann whose hatred and dehumanization of those, particularly women, whose politics they oppose transcends the insufferable and reaches all the way to repugnant and despicable.

Anyway, if you've ever watched MSNBC, and maybe if you haven't, you'll want to read Cooke's piece.


Some people get a little miffed during the Advent season over the use of Xmas rather than Christmas, but perhaps their discomfiture is misplaced, as R.C. Sproul explains:
People seem to express chagrin about seeing Christ’s name dropped and replaced by this symbol for an unknown quantity X. Every year you see the signs and the bumper stickers saying, “Put Christ back into Christmas” as a response to this substitution of the letter X for the name of Christ.

First of all, you have to understand that it is not the letter X that is put into Christmas. We see the English letter X there, but actually what it involves is the first letter of the Greek name for Christ. Christos is the New Testament Greek for Christ. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is transliterated into our alphabet as an X. That X has come through church history to be a shorthand symbol for the name of Christ.

The idea of X as an abbreviation for the name of Christ came into use in our culture with no intent to show any disrespect for Jesus. The church has used the symbol of the fish historically because it is an acronym. Fish in Greek (ichthus) involved the use of the first letters for the Greek phrase “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” So the early Christians would take the first letter of those words and put those letters together to spell the Greek word for fish. That’s how the symbol of the fish became the universal symbol of Christendom. There’s a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect.
This is interesting, but I suspect nevertheless that a lot of people use Xmas to avoid saying Christmas and have no idea what the etymology of the word is.