Kristen Fyfe


There’s good news and bad news this Christmas.

First, the good. Americans are pushing back more than ever against the generic “holiday” tide (see Santa’s Helpers list below). As part of that effort, CMI is unveiling the Grinch-o-Meter, which rates those who are Christmas-challenged.

But here’s the bad: Some of the Grinches seem to be scaling new heights of peevishness and absurdity. And although the national news media are largely ignoring the cultural battle underway, local news sources have been rich with detail.

Here is a roundup of some of the more interesting people, institutions and media stories in this season’s Christmas culture clash, with their Grinch-o-Meter ratings. The Grinch-o-Meter is CMI’s new tool for measuring the Grinchiness of those seeking to secularize, diminish or tarnish the celebration of Christmas in America.  People who actively seek to wreck Christmas for others (for example, ACLU lawsuits regarding nativity scenes), or do something profoundly petty, get a 10.  Others who start off Grinchy and then correct themselves receive a middling score.  People who embrace and promote Christmas without having their arms twisted get a zero on the Grinch-o-Meter.


Grinch-o-Meter Ratings 2007


  • TOP Grinch-o-Meter Award: The 17 congressmen who supported a resolution recognizing Islam and Ramadan but voted “no” or “present” (that is, there but wouldn’t vote) on a similar resolution introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) recognizing Christianity and Christmas.  Lawmakers who voted “no” for Christianity and “yes” for Islam are: Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Fortney Stark (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). Those who voted “present” on Christianity and “yes” on Islam include: Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Peter Welch (D-VT) and John Yarmuth (D-KY).  [Grinch-o-Meter: 10-Plus]

Kristen Fyfe

Kristen Fyfe is senior writer at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.

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