News Anchor Makes Santa Gaffe
HUFFINGTONPOST.COM - A Chicago news anchor enraged parents when she announced during a segment on children's gift expectations that Santa Claus isn't real.
During a conversation with her cohost about how long children should believe in Santa, Robin Robinson, a news anchor at Fox Chicago since 1987, argued that kids should learn early on that Santa isn't real.
"Stop trying to convince your kids that Santa is Santa," Robinson said to cohost Bob Sirott during a segment Tuesday night. "That's why they have these high expectations. They know you can't afford it, so what do they do? Just ask some man in a red suit. There is no Santa."
Robinson apologized to her audience Wednesday during "The Talker," an op/ed segment of the 9 p.m. newscast that regularly shares reader reactions from social media platforms.
"It was careless and callous to say...what I said, in what could've been mixed company," Robinson said. "So many kids don't get to be children, that for those who do get to live the wonder and magic of Christmas, I would never spoil it intentionally. So I sincerely apologize. We have certainly heard how you feel about my mistake, and since The Talker is about opinions: here we go."
In the segment, titled simply "An Apology," Robinson read Facebook comments slamming her slip-up, and went out to Michigan Avenue to confess to viewers and get reactions, which were overwhelmingly critical.
"I think that Santa Claus is an important part of preserving children's innocence," one woman said. Another just said Robinson was "in trouble."
Robinson referred angry parents to "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus," a famous letter to the editor and response that ran in the New York Sun in 1897, where Francis Pharcellus Church assures eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon that the famed Christmas figure is real. She read an excerpt of the piece before Sirott added definitively that "there is a Santa Claus."
Robinson said in her apology that a "very few" viewers defended her statements, arguing that kids "mature enough to watch the nightly news" and the sometimes-violent and upsetting content it contains should be unaffected by the anchor's gaffe.
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