A Chicago news anchor surprised some parents and potentially confused some children when she announced during a nightly newscast that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.
Robin Robinson, an anchor at Fox Chicago, responded to a segment about managing gift expectations of children during Christmas by saying that they should know there is no Santa Claus.
“Stop trying to convince your kids that Santa is Santa,” Robinson said to co-anchor 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.”
A bewildered Sirott responded, “Hey, Ebenizer, what’s with you?” a reference to Ebenezer Scrooge, the Christmas-hating star of A Christmas Carol.
The station was flooded with angry responses to the segment, with parents demanding an apology.
Robinson, who has been on the station since 1987, apologized to her audience the following day on a segment called “The Talker,” which shares reader opinions. Robinson read many of the Facebook posts that angry parents wrote to her about the comments, noting that she did not realize that children would still be awake for the 9 p.m. broadcast. She apologized multiple times.
“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.”
Robinson then went out onto the street to tell passersby about her goof, getting live reactions from them about how terrible it was. She finished by reading a letter published in the 1897 New York Sun entitled “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” and apologizing again.