March 26, 2004


Colleen Redman keeps the legend alive:

I doubt that many people realize that the turkey used in another photo-op, when Bush was in Iraq on Thanksgiving Day, was a fake. In reality it was 6 a.m. and the soldiers ate, not the Norman Rockwell-looking (fake) turkey that was presented, but from cafeteria style steam trays.

It’s nearly April, and Colleen is still horking up conspiracy theories that were dashed before Christmas. What’s that phrase the Left used to use? “Move on?” Something like that, anyway.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 26, 2004 01:07 PM

Gawd, so many knuckleheads, so little time.

Don't know how you have the energy Tim.

I'm exhausted.


Posted by: SteveMG at March 26, 2004 at 01:18 PM

Tell her (but please be nice!)

Posted by: coward at March 26, 2004 at 01:29 PM

I may be wrong, but as I recall Air Force One landed after dark, stayed only a couple of hours, and took off again while it was still dark. If the food was served at 6 AM Iraq time, that would have meant they were taking off in broad daylight. Also, wouldn't 6 AM Iraq time have put the story on the late news the night before in the U.S.?

I think 6 AM Eastern Time is more likely...

Posted by: Siergen at March 26, 2004 at 01:49 PM

I believe the original deal was that one of the stories on it accidentally printed AM instead of PM, and this was siezed on by all manner of loons. The fact that the turkey he picked up was real, but intended as a decoration rather than as food, was somehow converted into "a plastic turkey."

Posted by: Big Dog at March 26, 2004 at 01:55 PM

I love that "I doubt that many people realize," as if she's breathlessly passing on something that's only been whispered until now. I wonder if she called her "sources" on this and asked for permission to publish.

Posted by: Brian Jones at March 26, 2004 at 02:07 PM

Maybe the thing to do is to assemble a definitive statement about all aspects of the turkey story, complete with non-defunct URLs. Then we send it to every one of these leftist journalists with a public email address.

Posted by: ForNow at March 26, 2004 at 02:08 PM

The Turkey Was Real?

But They Could'nt Eat It?

Thats Like Fake Beer!!


Posted by: IXLNXS at March 26, 2004 at 02:12 PM

mmmm... Fake Beer.

Yes, they sell it in Kuwait. Budwieser NA Looks like an american Bud can, but has a big red NA at the end of the name.

Makes you pee, but doesn't get you drunk. Very frustrating.

Posted by: Kevin at March 26, 2004 at 02:19 PM

Lets bury this story along with the credibility (what credibility ?) of the leftists who repeat it.

Someone get ahold of the American soldiers who ate the turkey and ask them if it tasted like plastic.

Posted by: Jono at March 26, 2004 at 02:27 PM

Hey,I'll be driving by Floyd,Va. this week-end. Why don't I pay a visit to this kooky broad and shove that "fake turkey" up her ....(fill in the blanks)
I'm usually a very polite woman but in this case,I will allow myself to this kind of act. Come to think,perhaps that's exactly what she needs..

Posted by: Fly at March 26, 2004 at 03:09 PM

My original articles about the 6am deal start here. (New site here.)

Some guy named Wayne Madsen picked up on a typo in the Washington Post and spewed out an article-length rant in a rag called CounterPunch. He eventually, if smarmily, withdrew the 6am charge, blaming Bush and the media for his error in judgment.

This is the first time in months that I've heard the charge resurface, though I don't usually hang out underground, so I don't know how widespread the 6am conspiracy theory is.

Posted by: Brian O'Connell at March 26, 2004 at 03:53 PM

Whoa! I think I just had a minor epiphany. I've been thinking about traditionalist and conservative ideologies and organizations (such as churches, for example) in regards to a big ol' piece I'm writing and this point immediately clicked into something. One of the keys of bad traditionalism is the inability to get rid of bad traditions through criticism and finally culling. When that happens with a traditionalist organization it rapidly turns into a cruft pile, because it has no "immune system" to get rid of the crap, it just keeps on collecting tradition after tradition. Eventually a critical mass of bad traditions will be reached and the organization will break down or fail in catastrophic fashion.

I've just now realized, though I should have earlier, that hard-core leftism is one such bad traditionalist organization. All you have to do to avoid criticism is bring the right bona fides and skew in the right direction. If you're a member of the club you get a free pass, nobody's going to point out your plastic turkey is naked. One result has been, especially in the areas of attacks on Bush or the VRWC, a massive accumulation of faulty lines of reasoning. Plastic Turkey, "Bush lied", Bush was AWOL, Halliburton, etc. Time and again these attacks have been met with sound reasoning and firm data and shown to be groundless, yet that has no effect, they are still held dear. Because, of course, these things become near instant traditions, immune from criticism from within the group (which is the only criticism that matters for them). It's as bad as trying to pry people away from Sharia law. Except it's worse because the hard-core left is accumulating traditionalist cruft at a much faster rate, on the time-scale of the media cycle rather than generations. And this will inevitably result in a quicker pace toward cruft critical mass.

Posted by: Robin Goodfellow at March 26, 2004 at 04:44 PM

*sob* Noam turned his comments off *sob*

Posted by: a at March 26, 2004 at 05:07 PM

Tradition is divided here (exacerbated, no doubt, by the Julian/Gregorian calendar shift) as to whether George and his band rode with "the sun in the west, the moon eastwardly climbing," or rode with "the sun sunk in west, the moon brightly shining." At this late date, given the corruption of the texts, the lapse of time, that we have only just won Europe and all it's records back from the Saladin after 2 centuries, we conjecture either:

George and his band came to a man named McDonald, just after the nooning, and they were fed a Happy Meal. This is the accepted reading, as George and his cohort were engaged in lusty battle and needed their vittles at regular and proper times.

But there is another reading, that suggested by some of the slime-infested remnants of records recovered from the subterranean ruins of the Louvre:

George and his band drank whiskey shots with beer chasers until after midnight, at which point they ordered take-away. At that late hour nothing was left but refried rice and two orders of Kung Fao Chicken. In a show of cameraderie George shared the KFC with each soldier, even if it meant only a bite.

The truth, on this earth, will never be known.

Posted by: Timothy Lang at March 26, 2004 at 05:47 PM

Out of all the turkey knuckleheads, Colleen has got it the least wrong. In the context of the photo op, it was a fake - ie, no-one was to eat the turkey, it was just decoration, Bush was not handing it out to anyone. At least Colleen hasn't claimed the turkey was plastic or anything, like the other knuckleheads.

By all means, Tim, keep up the ground-breaking turkey exclusives. It's what makes your blog so great.

Posted by: fatfingers at March 26, 2004 at 06:06 PM

Yes, when Colleen claimed the turkey was fake she didn't actually say the turkey was fake, so she's less wrong than wrong.

I mean, at least where fatfingers is concerned. But he still waits for proof that Al Qaeda was linked to the 9-11 attacks.

Posted by: Sortelli at March 26, 2004 at 06:49 PM

While the turkey was used as a decoration, I'm sure it was eaten eventually -- probably by the kitchen staff. They always get the best stuff.

Posted by: Joanne Jacobs at March 26, 2004 at 07:02 PM

Dunno 'bout that Joanne. When I was helping to slop the swill in one army mess after another, I don't remember getting much but a sour reminder to be at work at 0600hrs the next morning. Mind you, if there's any young officers reading this, take it from an old hand...Don't order the special sauce.

Posted by: Al Bundy at March 26, 2004 at 07:12 PM

There's another howler in this silly bitch's piece: she says that Bush 'appeared to fly a fighter jet onto an aircraft carrier'. Oh yeah, right: I'd love to see someone try dogfighting in an S-3B Viking. And Bush didn't land the thing - no-one who wasn't recently carrier-qualified would be allowed to do that. Bush took over the controls for a bit inflight, but he didn't land it.

It's just another example of how 99% of journalists are unable to get even the most basic facts correct when writing about the military.

Posted by: David Gillies at March 26, 2004 at 11:50 PM

"Budwieser NA Looks like an american Bud can, but has a big red NA at the end of the name.
Makes you pee, but doesn't get you drunk. Very frustrating."

Buddy, it takes serious drinking effort to get drunk on normal Budweiser. I sympathize.

Posted by: Fred at March 26, 2004 at 11:55 PM

Buddy, it takes serious drinking effort to get drunk on normal Budweiser. I sympathize.

Without revealing too much, let's just say I live in the vicinity of Budweiser's parent company. I can assure you that people around here don't measure their beer consumption by the can, but by the six-pack. And it ain't because we're mostly Catholic either.

Posted by: Tongue Boy at March 27, 2004 at 12:17 AM

A decorative turkey platter is sometimes used at important meals. It may have been sufficiently cooked only on the outside. Bush picked it up in what appeared to be a joshng moment, as if to say, “here’s my portion.” There were other photos showing him doling portions food out to the chow line. But the media preferred the platter picture either because it looks more striking.

What the media accomplished was to distract from the meaning of the visit. Bush boosted our troops’ morale—& reassured Iraqis of the USA’s commitment & resolve.

The next day in Baghdad a thousand Iraqis marched in a demonstration against terrorist attacks. A week later, with US copters hovering protectively overhead, ten thousand (according to Al Jazeerah) to twenty thousand (according to Walid Phares) marched in Baghdad in a demonstration against terrorist attacks. According to Reuters there were marches in other Iraqi cities as well. UPI reported one’s occurrence in Basra. Phares said that the signs in the Baghdad march included snippets of Bush’s speech from the week before in Baghdad. Most of the major news media reported little on this in comparison with the endless discussions of incidents during Air Force One’s flight to Baghdad & of a supposedly plastic turkey at a supposedly 6AM dinner.

The slanted news media’s urge to impose its interpretation in spite of things collaterally observable was roundly demonstrated. And the accumulation of bad interpretations is a vegetabilizing entrenchment of rhetoric. People are supposed to be intelligent & are supposed not to rely just on “codes.” They’re supposed to do something along the lines of checking, corroborating, correcting, etc. &, being rather more than vegetable, are not supposed to leave that sort of task to the trial-&-error process of biological evolution. But to sustain these bad interpretations it takes more than laziness on the part of the more mentally active elements in the left.

The interpretation itself reflects a larger power drive. The leftists’ need for the turkey to be fake is itself a development of their need for the turkey-moment to have been scripted, manipulative, conceived by Karl Rove earlier & far away. They get so busy with their smoke-&-mirrors models of the Bush Administration that they distract & misdirect themselves & as many others as they can from the bigger world beyond. The maze that they seek to solve is of their own ongoing device, so they never solve it but go on merely generating ever new reasons to hate Bush.

Posted by: ForNow at March 27, 2004 at 01:00 AM

Another worldly leftist who doesn't get the concept of time zones.

Posted by: Karol at March 27, 2004 at 04:40 AM

The whole "plastic/fake turkey" business just once again illustrates that Democrats in the U.S., and leftists in general, are so utterly ignorant about the military that they simply cannot comment without looking like idiots.

Yeah, it was a "fake" turkey -- I wasn't there, but I would put money on it, broke as I am -- a special display made up by the cooks. If it was eaten at all, it was eaten hours later by the cooks and cleanup workers, after it had gotten cold and dry.

And everybody in the place, from Bush to the second assistant plate-scraper in the scullery, knew that. If they thought about it at all, they appreciated it -- some cook spent a fairly considerable period of time putting it together as an emblem of what they ought to have. They all, including Bush, ate from the sliced turkey loaf on the steam tables, but it was nice to have one example of the sort of thing they'd have if they were home, and not concentrating their resources on getting explosives downrange instead of luxuries.

So Bush clowns. He picks up the display turkey and holds it up: Look, people, I'm important, so I get this one! And the room explodes in laughs, whistles, and catcalls: Yeah, wait'll you bite into it, Sergeant XXX didn't bother to take the giblets package out! Careful, you'll break your teeth! That's not a turkey, it's a Tikrit buzzard! Hooah! And on it goes... It would have been *better* if the turkey was PVC. The joke would have been more pointed.

You can't buy that kind of moment; you have to be the kind of person it comes to naturally, and, even if you are that kind of person the moments come all to seldom. Morale, hah. Bush is saying, You guys are great! and the troops are responding, Yah, and we'll follow you anywhere. Priceless.

Can you visualize John Kerry in a similar venue? He would sit down, gesture for the turkey to be brought over, and demand a knife because he's better at carving than anybody else. Then he'd sit and eat, with the General and his aides at the table and nobody else. The troops would murmur and nudge one another. What an asshole...

So the lefties would really be better off if they'd just ignore military stories. They're so tone-deaf to military affairs they can't tell the difference between Shastakovich and Snoop Doggy Dog, and it would pay them to just not comment on any aspect of the business.

Ric Locke

Posted by: Ric Locke at March 27, 2004 at 10:13 AM

Man, that’s a good post, Ric, I hope you don’t mind if I quote it in the future.

(But regarding the part about Bush eating the turkey loaf, I read that he kept busy & ate nothing. It would make more sense for him to eat dinner on Air Force One—as he surely did eat meals on board at some points, since it was a 17-hour trip each way.)

Posted by: ForNow at March 27, 2004 at 11:10 AM

Were'nt ANY of you bloggers in the US armed services?? Decorative turkeys are nearly always displayed at Thanksgiving meals for service members. Especially where there are to be high-ranking officers. In 10 years, I never NOT SAW ONE.

The press is ignorant. Is loathsome. It knows next to NOTHING about our armed service members and traditions and enjoys taking gratuitous potshots. So, what's new?

Officer's wife

Posted by: c at March 27, 2004 at 12:46 PM

Er, c, scroll two comments up.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 27, 2004 at 12:53 PM

Get a life Tim. There is so much more in the world than plastic turkees... I bet you hold the world record for this reference.

Last time I did a search you were over 50 and that was weeks ago.

drunk and irritable,


Posted by: Last One Speaks at March 27, 2004 at 01:50 PM

The whole plastic turkey lie is completely frustrating, Andrea, especially when decorative set-aside turkeys always have been, are, and most likely always will be a part of Thanksgiving Mess dinners. IMO, no explanations should be necessary. The defensive posture ad nauseum should be taken by the fool, blind partisan press that knows absolutely NOTHING about US military tradition. The press are the real turkeys, and none of us should try to explain away pretty turkey platters. Bush only did what nearly every US CO does- highlight the pretty platter that the cook made up.

Why are we still trying to explain away the obvious and not demanding to know why the press hasn't done inordinately simple research on mess tradition? Because they know we will and that they don't have to. And so it goes

Officer's wife again

Posted by: c at March 27, 2004 at 02:04 PM

The press doesn’t merely fail to know military tradition. I was never in the military & I figured out the attitude that Bush was showing with the turkey. I didn’t need to be explained to about decorative turkeys. It’s not a matter of our spoiling the press by our doing their work for them & making them lazy. They’ll get it wrong no matter what, because they’re frothing propandists in a big tiresome long-term political ideological contest.

Posted by: ForNow at March 27, 2004 at 02:27 PM

Also, I admit that, as Blair regulars know by now, I’ve grown perversely (NOT pervertedly) fond of the turkey legend.

Posted by: ForNow at March 27, 2004 at 02:42 PM

Yeah tim, for the sake of Last One Speaks, blog about something more important like genetically modified SUPER MUTANT KILLER TURKEYS.

Posted by: Sortelli at March 27, 2004 at 02:52 PM

Using one of the turkeys for decoration (estimated cost twenty dollars) is a lot cheaper than a plastic turkey...and when you feed three hundred, of course you serve them from turkey already cut and kept warm in the dinner tray. But since few of our elite liberals have dirtied their hands working in blue collar jobs, they are showing their ignorance of basic food preparation, not merely anti Bushism.

As for 6 o'clock, they obviously don't know about time change either. Heck, just check the time on the Free Republic post that announced "someone is eating dinner with me"...that beat the media by three hours.

Posted by: Nancy Reyes at March 27, 2004 at 10:16 PM

Ha ha, thanks ForNow. Spleenville's HREFs have foiled me again!

Posted by: Sortelli at March 28, 2004 at 12:27 PM

"Mission accomplished" is a much more useful phrase.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at March 28, 2004 at 10:46 PM

I sent the lady a controlled, non-scatalogical, non ad hominem email, pointing to the already widespread debunking of her little myth.

And wishing her well in her future studies. She'll probably enjoy Grade 4.

Sharps Shooter in Bangkok

Posted by: Sharps Shooter at March 28, 2004 at 11:36 PM