Dec 16, 2013 3:40 PM by Alyse Rzemek
DENVER (AP) - The U.S. and Canadian military's beloved Santa Tracker is facing something new this year - public criticism.
A children's advocacy group says an animated video on the NORAD Tracks Santa website injects militarism into Christmas by showing fighter jets escorting Santa's sleigh.
It's a rare swipe at the popular Christmas Eve program that gives second-by-second updates on Santa's global whereabouts.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command defends the video as non-threatening and safe for kids.
The kerfuffle erupted two weeks ago when the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood said the video brings violence and militarism to a beloved tradition. Blogs and Twitter lit up with volleys from both sides.
NORAD says it's a "manufactured controversy." Officials say they didn't know about the video until reporters called.