The holiday season is widely considered the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s consistently a battleground for Fox News, which has already launched its annual “War on Christmas” crusade that will likely carry through its airwaves until the big day arrives on Dec. 25.
The first target of 2015? Starbucks.
On Monday, the cable news network began labeling the corporate coffee purveyor’s bland, red holiday cup design (which Donald Trump suggests boycotting) as the first shot fired in the cultural battle, and continued on Tuesday with a “Fox and Friends” segment that went online after the morning show aired.
“I think we should start a promotion. Go in, buy your Starbucks, take a Sharpie and write ‘Merry Christmas’ on it,” country singer Larry Gatlin said to a panel, which also featured MTV reality stars Nicole “Snooki” LaVelle and Jenni “JWoww” Farley.
But the former “Jersey Shore” cast members didn’t bite.
“I think it’s crazy,” Snooki said. “I think it’s a red cup, and I just feel like people are really sensitive nowadays, and they just want to start something.”
“But like start something over nonsense,” JWoww added. “There are real-world issues out there, and I don’t think a Starbucks cup should be one of them. When I take my daughter to see Santa, I want the full effect. When I got to a Starbucks to get a coffee, I don’t care what it’s in, as long as it tastes good.”
Co-host Steve Doocy made sure to point out that his guests probably say “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays” — an expression some Christians consider a grenade lobbed at them by agnostic activists conspiring to ruin Christmas. Once again, both women didn’t really care for the distinction.
“I do both,” Snooki said. “I do have a lot of Jewish friends.”
Another co-host quickly pitched the ball back to the guy who actually cares about getting in on the good fight.
“We’re not going to change [Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz] and his way of doing business,” Gatlin said. “I would say that the best way for those who believe in Christmas and what it means … is sit down before they open the presents and open to the second chapter of Luke and read them the story, so that when their contemporaries wage a war on Christmas, they’ll have something to talk about and know what the deal’s really about.”
The discussion follows Monday’s “Fox and Friends” segment, in which host Kelly Wright waded into the outrage by asking, “Is Starbucks acting more like Ebenezer Scrooge to bah humbug Christmas?”
Starbucks has released a statement explaining the purpose of the red cup was “to create a culture of belonging, inclusion, and diversity. The cup is meant to be a blank canvas … that encourages customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way.
“In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups designs. This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories,” Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice president of design and content, said in an October blog post introducing the 2015 cups.
Watch the video below.