Hannity Clashes With Guest Over Whether We Should Lie to Kids About Santa Claus: ‘You Need to Loosen Up’


Tonight Sean Hannity clashed with a guest over whether we should lie to kids about Santa Claus.

Earlier this week, Hannity did a segment on a teacher who caused controversy by telling kids that Santa Claus isn’t real, expressing outrage at how any educator could do such a thing.

King’s College philosophy professor David Kyle Johnson wrote a piece for Psychology Today titled “Sorry Sean Hannity, the Truth About Santa Isn’t ‘Fake News.'” He offered this take on the controversy:

First of all, it’s not clear that the teacher stepped out of bounds. The details of what happened are sketchy. If she took the initiative, unprompted, to set the kids straight about mythical creatures, that’s probably out of line. While I have argued profusely that parents should not lie to their kids about Santa, parents do have a right to make personal decisions about how their children are raised—and a teacher intentionally co-opting such a decision, unprompted, doesn’t seem right (especially if they are a substitute).

On the other hand, if the teacher was asked by the students if Santa and other mythical creatures were real—which, from the report, seems most likely—well, it’s not a teacher’s obligation to protect a child’s naiveté or to back up parental lies. Teachers have an obligation to give their students true and factual information; if a parent decides to lie to their children about something, it’s not a teacher’s fault when that child comes to them as their student and asks for the truth—even if it is about Santa.

He argues that the Santa Claus lie can raise issues as children grow up and learn more.

Well, Hannity invited Johnson on his show tonight and they proceeded to clash over whether we should lie to kids about Santa.

Hannity kicked things off by telling him, “You seem really uptight and you seem like you need to loosen up a little bit and you might want to look through the eyes of a child the anticipation and the fun that goes along with Christmas and the Christmas season instead of being so retentive about it.”

Johnson said he’s mischaracterizing his argument, saying the issue is what “the best parenting practices are and that parents need to be more cognizant about the risks of lying to their children pose.”

Rachel Campos-Duffy expressed her dismay about how people like Johnson “are calling for tolerance and open-mindedness and respect for so many things and yet they can’t seem to find that for Christian traditions and beliefs.”

Johnson said that’s not his point either, saying parents are free to do whatever they want but “I’m perfectly free to point out the kind of risks that a parent should be aware of when they are lying to their children about Santa Claus.”

Campos-Duffy said he’s just overthinking this and Hannity concluded by telling Johnson, “You seem very angry. I just wanted to wish you a merry Christmas.”

An amused Johnson said, “I’m not angry at all, Sean.”

You can watch above, via Fox News.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac