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The War on the War on Christmas Starts Earlier Every Year

There are certainly wackos on all ends of the political spectrum, but I think there is something special about right-wing wackos. From my perspective, the right wing seems to be better at things like blind obedience and unjustified respect for authority, which leads to things like this.

The chart below comes from a web analytics company called Hitwise that measures how traffic moves around the web. They noticed a ridiculous spike in traffic to Mrs. Field’s Cookies website and decided to investigate. The interesting thing in the chart is that Google, which is normally the top referring site from just about every site on the web, has dropped to 6th behind a bunch of web based email programs.

The 3rd result is the one behind it:

American Family Association and Mrs Fields

The America Family Association sent out an alert to their members telling them about an issue that was on the front line in the war on American families. What was that? A rumor was going around that Mrs. Field’s Cookies was no longer selling Christmas Cookies:

A little Internet searching revealed the source of this mystery. Apparently, according to this story, a Michigan woman, called a Mrs. Fields to order Christmas cookies. The company representative gave her inaccurate information according to a later statement from Mrs. Fields that, the store was no longer carrying “Christmas” cookies. An email blast was issued from the AFA site. Mayhem ensued. Mystery solved.

Apparently, the biggest issue facing American families today is the availability of cookies labeled as “Christmas” from a mall store. The troops were rallied for this?

A quick glance at the Mrs Field’s website reveals two things. Can you guess what they are?

Mrs Field's Cookies

1. Christmas Gifts are available through the link on the lower left corner on the homepage.

2. It’s not even Halloween yet.

The reason I say this is specifically a right-wing thing is the left is way too disorganized to dwarf the traffic coming into a website over something this trivial. It takes a special kind of blind obedience of your members to pull this off.

If I’m wrong, let me know.

5 thoughts on “The War on the War on Christmas Starts Earlier Every Year”

  1. And what is a right wing nut job ordering cookies for? Shouldn’t she be at home making house and baking cookies for the neighborhood?

  2. A few facts of which you may be unaware:

    1. At the time the AFA email went out (11 October), Mrs. Fields indeed had no mention of Christmas on their website; references were added the evening of 12 October. The website image you show above states “Hacker-Safe Tested 14 October”.

    2. Mrs. Fields responded to customer inquiries with confirmation that a customer service representative had incorrectly provided the information to which the AFA had responded. They disclaimed this as Mrs. Fields policy, however.

    3. The Fall 2007 catalog for Mrs. Fields includes products labeled “Happy Holidays” and “Peace on Earth”, but no mention of Christmas.

    4. The AFA sent an update on 31 October acknowledging that the problem had been corrected.

    AFA may be over-sensitive to removal of “Christmas” from holiday products, but then you appear to be over-sensitive to the AFA in general. At least, their facts were accurate at the time stated, if a bit sensationally presented, while yours appear to be simply off the mark.

    In any event, I hope this clears things up a bit.

  3. George, what’s the definition of “the problem had been corrected?”

    Was there really a “problem” in the first place that justified sending out a red alert to AFA’s blindly obedient members?

  4. Hi, Kohler! Thanks for asking. 🙂

    “The problem”, as stated by Mrs. Fields, was a customer service representative who provided incorrect information (i.e., that Mrs. Fields was changing “Christmas” to “Holidays” to avoid offending anyone).

    The “correction” was retraining the customer service representative to properly represent Mrs. Fields position (i.e., they provide Christmas products starting 1 November each year), and responding to customer queries with an apology for the miscommunication and a clarification of their policy.

    I presume that “defending Christmas” is a hot button issue effective in recruiting members and /or donations for AFA, and so they use it – just as left-wing sites rely on any news story with W in it, and right-wing sites on any news story with Hilary in it. That’s fundraising 101.

    Whether Mrs. Fields dropping references to Christmas justifies an email – if your goal is to convince businesses that dropping Christmas will offend their customers and hurt their sales, then notifying those customers when a company tells someone it’s dropping Christmas seems like a pretty basic strategy. Those who subscribe to AFA are likely to be interested in just that kind of information. At least, the surge in email seems to indicate an interest. 😉

    Pejorative terms like “blindly obedient members” makes clear your emotional bias against the AFA. Hating the AFA doesn’t change the facts, of course, just your perception of them.

    You might try emailing Mrs. Fields directly and *ask* them what happened. They seemed very up front about what they view as a simple, regrettable mistake by one service rep when I did. *I* plan to buy their cookies. 🙂

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