December 07, 2004


Joel Stein is the latest to fall for the fake turkey fable:

"Reality" was always a misnomer for shows that involve Donald Trump or people on desert islands. But these shows purporting to be unadulterated documentaries are unreal in a more obvious way: They are secretly crafted in advance by writers. And I've got the entertainment equivalent of the Pentagon Papers to prove it. Maybe more like the equivalent of the photo with President Bush holding the fake Thanksgiving turkey in Iraq, but still, they are definitely papers.

What was that about reality, Joel? For his efforts, Stein is added to the bogus turkey legion of supergeniuses.

(Via Andrew at Pathetic Earthlings, currently playing with the whisky fairy)

Posted by Tim Blair at December 7, 2004 03:45 AM

One has to wonder just what the left wants to believe about the world, and what they actively reject as not being compatible with their private universe. This plastic turkey urban legend has been elevated to mythical proportions by this inability.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at December 7, 2004 at 05:34 AM

Actually, I don't think they really care whether the turkey was plastic or real. The story itself is a metaphor for everything they choose to believe about President Bush and the right in general. The operative phrase here is "choose to believe", implying a complete disregard for any inconvenient facts.

Posted by: Rebecca at December 7, 2004 at 06:31 AM

If I remember correctly, not only did they call the turkey a prop, they also declared it "delicious" or "delectable" or some such. One wonders how, exactly, the Times got into the habit of actually eating enough plastic turkey to enjoy the taste.

Posted by: Nightfly at December 7, 2004 at 07:04 AM

I have to admit that I don't care whether the goddamned turkey was real. What matters is that the troops were ecstatic over the President's visit to Iraq. The sailors and Marines were delighted when the President flew onto the USS Abraham Lincoln, off San Diego. All of them were elated at the Army-Navy game yesterday, where the President did the coin toss, etc.

The left can't stand the fact that most military guys adore President Bush - he's one of them. The lefties will always be outsiders. They don't get it, and won't even try. In their impotence, all they can do is take snide, dishonest swipes at the military and their Commander-in-Chief. Screw 'em.

Posted by: Butch at December 7, 2004 at 07:48 AM

The turkey was r-e-a-l. It was a real ornamental gobbler that military messes traditionally have at Thanksgiving dinners. The media is just sour-grapes over good Bush military photo ops:

The carrier landing- ballsy time at the controls and Bush looking good in a flightsuit in front of ecstatic military.

Thanksgiving in Iraq- a gutsy surprise trip to a dangerous theater and Bush looking like Father America carrying the turkey presentation platter in front of appreciative military.

The media was and still is apoplectic over the photo images of Bush as a strong, competent, caring, and beloved leader. They really need him to do more pratfalls, like Ford gave them.

Posted by: suzanne at December 7, 2004 at 08:47 AM

As others have said, even if it WAS fake it doesn't matter. I had relatives serving in Iraq who, although not physically were Bush was, were THRILLED that our president had the balls to show up as he did.

I can just imagine the Secret Service agents who protect Bush having fits about what he did .. "He's going WHERE!!? SH!T, is he crazy, there's a war going on over there!!"

It wasn't like the president just dropped into some mess at a very safe location in the US. No, he went THERE to be with them. I thought it was GREAT.

He could have showed up with an entire truck load of plastic turkeys and I still would have thought it was GREAT. It helped boost morale for my relatives who were over there at the time.

Does Bush get ANY credit for what he did? No. The media try and turn this into some huge joke to be used against him.

People who still believe in the 'plastic turkey' must be the same kids we all knew who refused to grow up and realize a lot of childhood figures, like the Good Tooth Fairy, weren't real either. Some people just don't want to grow up and discard childish myths.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at December 7, 2004 at 09:37 AM

At noon the paper tigers roar
And rubber zebras gallop by -
While up above them, in the sky -
The plastic turkeys fly.

With apologies to Miroslav Holub and A.D. Hope.

Posted by: TimT at December 7, 2004 at 09:53 AM

Remember this -- The troops freaked to see George Bush come to them, and serve them meals.

Hillary made the troops wait an hour and a half while she and her entourage ate.

Yeaaaaah... run Hillary in '08...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at December 7, 2004 at 10:46 AM

Give it up, Timmy. The Leftists are not about to let this one go. They've lost big down under and up here; all they have left are their myths.

Posted by: DrZin at December 7, 2004 at 10:50 AM

Making our troops wait for dinner is some popularity-enhancing move with the troops, yessirree.

Come to think of it, when Hillary was first "lady," she made Marines who are assigned to guard the White House serve hors d'oeuvres to guests. This was perceived as, um, highly irregular and humiliating to proud, tough, young warriors.

Now that she's become a "moderate," she wants a seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee. (You don't suppose she's posturing for a presidential run in 2008, do you?) Can you imagine the reaction by the military guys if she were ever elected Commander-in-Chief? I'll take a plastic turkey any time.

Posted by: Butch at December 7, 2004 at 10:59 AM

Rumor Control has it that the helicopter ferrying Senator Clinton around The 'Stan was code named "Broomstick One".

Maybe we should name any aircraft dedicated to the MSM "Turkey One"?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at December 7, 2004 at 11:59 AM

Obviously there should be an Annual Plastic Turkey Award, & a coffee table book released with the Award’s launch.

Posted by: ForNow at December 7, 2004 at 04:43 PM

Can you imagine the reaction by the military guys if she were ever elected Commander-in-Chief?

Well, if she came to visit the troops, at least they'd get to meet a real plastic turkey...

Posted by: PW at December 7, 2004 at 06:18 PM

Or how about W in Chile, turning back to rescue his own Secret Service guy when the Chilean security tried to cut him off?

Even if the turkey was a prop, the president is 100% authentic. Even a small drop of such a thing shakes the Potemkin ideology of the modern Left.

Posted by: Nightfly at December 8, 2004 at 05:46 AM

With all due respect, the big point is not whether "even if the turkey were fake or a prop" that Bush is great. He sure is, but that the press is lying, misrepresenting and propagandizing this turkey thing is the crux of the matter.

The presentation birds are traditional military mess items. Period. And the media 1) are ignorant, mindless and mean, 2) are too lazy to research a basic fact which they themselves have made a newsworthy item, 3) know NOTHING about the military and yet presume to report to lay people about its affairs, 4) intentionally are smearing Bush with phony-prop-photo-op staging, 5) are ridiculing Bush's good relationship with the military and, 6) are doing all of this while still calling themselves journalists in search of truth, objectivity and fairness.

Theirs is pseudo journalism using the presentation bird as a prop in their bid to undermine Bush. They are the turkeys and fakers.

Posted by: suzanne at December 8, 2004 at 06:13 AM

Right on, suzanne. As a former journo major, I can reliably add that when one starts being a journalist, one stops reporting. Telling the facts comes a distance second to saying what one thinks. There are always still a few who actually think that the truth matters, which shows in their work (Chris Hitchens pops to mind); let them blog or opine, but keep them off the front page.

Posted by: Nightfly at December 8, 2004 at 07:19 AM