But guess what? Most major PBS stations echo the sentiments of the Grinchy Nine. They have been wary to put on a show titled "The Birth of Christ." Now, these same PBS stations aren't scared to run "Frontline" documentaries spreading the Gospel-shredding theories of agnostic academics like John Dominic Crossan and Elaine Pagels who question the divinity of Jesus, but they're wary of appearing to give aid and comfort to a simple concert that might present a warm glow toward Christianity.
This is where PBS station managers look like the House members voting no to recognizing the importance of Christmas. To date, only 48 of the more than 300 PBS stations have picked up the show. Most of the stations that have signed up to air the concert during the Christmas season are in smaller markets and in red states, from Wyoming to West Virginia. The biggest PBS markets, stations in Boston, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., have resisted signing on at this writing.
Since their release on Nov. 6, the CD soundtrack and DVD of this concert, narrated by Liam Neeson and performed by some of Ireland's best vocalists, have been sales sensations. There is an irony here, too. The producer of the "Birth of Christ" CD and DVD is the Sony Corporation. Sony is the single most arrogant, deliberate supporter of offensive junk on television. Remember, it was Sony Pictures that chose to be the sole and official sponsor of the fourth-season premiere of FX's ultra-sleazy series "Nip/Tuck" last year.
But beggars can't be choosers. Sometimes, you should simply choose the good works as they appear and hail each gem as they surprisingly bubble up. The same is true of New Line Pictures, which put out "The Nativity Story" last December and the atheistic "Golden Compass" movie this December.
As more people learn about this "Birth of Christ" effort, they will wonder why on Earth a PBS station manager would pander to pledge-drive viewers every year with every kind of music from doo-wop to disco but won't sign on to an inspirational concert that warms millions of those viewers' hearts, making them cry about the Christmas story.