Fitzmas

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Fitzmas is a word coined by some liberal American bloggers in the atmosphere of excitement, joy and anticipation, primarily among Democrats, which preceded the announcement of results of Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of the Plame affair. The word "Fitzmas" is a portmanteau of Fitzgerald's name and "Christmas." The most anticipated Fitzmas presents were indictments of Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and others in the Bush Administration.

On October 28, 2005 Fitzgerald announced at a press conference, that the grand jury had indicted Lewis Libby, who was then the Chief of Staff and Assistant for National Security Affairs to Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States (Libby also served as Assistant to the President).

On November 18, 2005, Fitzgerald announced in court filings that the investigation was continuing and would involve a second grand jury, a possible sign of future charges. Furthermore, on December 7, 2005, Fitzgerald presented evidence to the second grand jury. Many in the media had speculated that the investigation was finished by looking at Fitzgerald's body language during his press conference on October 28, 2005 despite the fact that he never said anything of the sort.

Many parodies of traditional Christmas songs were written and posted around the blogosphere, especially on the websites Democratic Underground and Daily Kos. There are also several versions of "'Twas the Night Before Fitzmas" (based, of course, on the classic Christmas poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas"). [1][2] As the term gained popularity, T-shirts with "Merry Fitzmas!" designs were produced and offered for sale. [3] Games such as "Fitzmas Bingo"[4] and Karl Rove piñatas were also created. [5]

The first known use of the term "Fitzmas" was on October 6, 2005 at 8:24 AM by 2Millionth Web Log [6], followed by SpiralHawk on Democratic Underground at 12:56 PM. [7] It soon became sufficiently widespread to draw derisive attention from a columnist for the conservative magazine National Review. [8] Its use spread beyond the Internet, as it was used on various media outlets, including The Al Franken Show, The Mike Malloy Show, The Rachel Maddow Show and Morning Sedition of Air America Radio, The Bernie Ward Show (with a reading of one version of "The Night Before Fitzmas"), The Ed Schultz Show, The Stephanie Miller Show, and, on October 25, 2005, by Sean Hannity on FOX News and Rush Limbaugh on his radio program.

The term has also now appeared in numerous mainstream media sources such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian.

In less than 30 days since the term's coinage, it had grown from zero search results to over one million. By the beginning of November, the word "Fitzmas" drew more than 1 million hits on the Google search engine, and more than 750,000 hits on Yahoo!. However, as of April 2006, hits for the term were under 300,000 on Google [9] and under 100,000 on Yahoo! [10]. These hits fluctuate occasionally in response to news reports raising interest in the story.

Derivative terms

A derivative term, "Fitzween" [11], treats the Libby indictment as more of a Halloween than Christmas, evoking the image of the lesser treats received by children on the earlier holiday, and alluding to the possibility that larger presents may still come later (because Fitzgerald announced that his investigation was continuing). "Fitzween" may also have been employed by bloggers because of the time of year during which Fitzgerald announced Libby's indictment: on October 28, a few days before Halloween.

A few related turns of phrase have appeared.

The term "Treason's Greetings" as sported on some merchandise is a play on the holiday phrase "Season's Greetings" commonly found on many holiday greeting cards, combining the concept of the holiday season and the implication of treasonous crimes being investigated by Fitzgerald.

In the aftermath of the indictment against Libby, some expressed their disappointment that no one else had (yet) been indicted by calling the event "Fizzlemas". [12]

As the events have progressed and the possibility of the investigation continuing for months, more holiday variants on "Fitzmas" have been spotted on Democratic Underground and on The Bernie Ward Show, including "Fitzgiving", "Fitzentine Day", "The Fitz of July", "St. Fitzpatrick Day", "Fitzident's Day", "Fitzer" (complete with "Fitzer Bunnies" and "Fitzer Eggs"), "Fitzanukkah", "Fitz Hashanah","Eid-ul-Fitzr", "Yom Fitzpur", "Fitztille Day" in France, "Fitzo de Mayo" in Mexico and "Fitzing Day" in the UK and Canada.

As it became apparent that nothing would come of this, the term "Hoaxmas" began to be seen on Democratic Underground.

Merchandise

A flurry of merchandise for purchase has appeared to take advantage of this term (and its derivatives), including holiday cards, slogan t-shirts, Christmas tree ornaments, and even piñatas.[13] Americablog is selling t-shirts via Cafepress that read "Treason's Greetings".[14] Democracynaction.com has also purchased Google Adwords text ads based on the term "Fitzmas" in order to sell their merchandise.

External links


This article incorporates material from a previous version of the Wikipedia article "Fitzmas". The list of authors can be found here.
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