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something is afowl: the hoax of the century

My god, stop the presses! Call out the investigative reporters! Set up a special commission! THE TURKEY WAS FAKE!

Apparently this is big news of a big scandal according lefty bloggers and reporters.

[click for bigger image]The beautifully presented turkey that Bush appeared to be presenting to soldiers during his Thanksgiving visit to Iraq was not, in fact, real. Nevermind that "They said the bird was not placed there in anticipation of Bush's stealthy visit, and military sources said a trophy turkey is a standard feature of holiday chow lines." [emphasis added]

Well, if the turkey wasn't real then the whole thing is a sham, right? This makes Bush a pathological liar. The natural order of progression from a fake turkey would be to believe that the whole trip was fake, that Bush's emotions during his speech were fake and that the soldiers weren't really happy to see him - all those smiles and all that applause was just, you got it, fake.

In fact, I myself have uncovered evidence that the whole trip was just a put-on. That was not Iraq you saw on the television. It was actually a sound stage in Hollywood. No, it was a hangar! The same one where that fake moon landing was filmed. All those soldiers were just SAG extras, earning some overtime holiday pay. And - hold onto your hats - the bird was not only made of paper mache and paint, but it had a small digital readout display embedded in its breast so that Bush could read his carefully crafted lines to the "troops" assembled before him. Look at the evidence!

What an elaborate tale we weave when the public we deceive. But who's deceiving who? Was Bush really performing the equivalent of telling a lie when he held that turkey platter, or is it the reporters and bloggers who are making such a huge stink about a fowl that are dabbling in deceit? After all, making a fake turkey out to be a scandal is pretty much a lie in itself.

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Comments

I think it was not fake. But I am also fairly certain the military did not roast thousands of turkeys. They probably cooked a lot of turkey breasts and wings. This was a real turkey but it was not for serving anyone. It was there as a decoration.

My first reaction to this revelation was "the little weasel heads are getting really desperate".I would love to see a poll of other people's reactions.I am hoping that a majority are seeing this for the straw-grasping that it is.

I can't wait to see the story that leads, "The jacket worn by President Bush in Baghdad wasn't really his jacket, but a one given to him at the last moment by an administration aide" - followed by 19 paragraphs on the history of presidential windbreakers. That will probably turn up in the L.A. Times tomorrow, and make the usual rounds for the rest of the week.

And next week, Nancy Pelosi will be demanding congressional hearings into the Bush Administration's misuse of outerwear.

I think the hysterical reaction over something as stupid as this is indicative of how desperate some are to discredit Bush. I'm no fan of the Bush administration but this nonsense takes the focus off of the real issues and makes us liberals look a bunch of shrieking harpies.

However, a case could be made that the White House choosing to use this picture, is indicative of an overall attitude that massaging the truth is justified if it's for a good cause. I think it's very likely the military uses fake birds for decoration at large holiday meals -- but how often are those decorations paraded around in front of the camera? Why not leave this particular photo out and release the ones that show him serving food with what seemed like genuine humility?

All those does is increase the belief in some quarters that this is an administration more concerned with perception than reality.

Ed, I don't think even the L.A. Times would write 19 paragraphs about Presidents breaking wind. National Enquirer, maybe.

I think this whole turkey flap is being used by the liberal media to distract from the President's having singlehandedly taken out several nests of Ba'ath insurgents during his visit.

I think this pretty much proves we never landed on the moon.

Hmmm, I suppose this means that I don't love my wife since EVERY SINGLE ONE of our wedding photos was staged and established by the photographer. Oh no!

shrug Can't say that I'm surprised, but I don't think it's going to change anyone's mind in either direction.

BTW, kudos to all of you for going seven posts without resorting to "But Clinton...!" Oliver's commenters didn't make it that far.

sigh I hate crap like that. Everyone's grasping at straws to prove their too-far-whacko point. It was an elaborate photo op with (maybe) some consideration for morale boosting built in. He's the President. He gets access to those weapons for his campaign. That's life. Deal with it.

I'm more concerned with two things:

1. How come "bring 'em on" works fine for the troops, but it's "I'll turn this plane around" if a whisper gets out that he's on his way? (Yes, I know he didn't want to be a sitting duck on landing. But then don't go all John Wayne on us, big guy.)

2. How do the Iraqis feel, knowing that their liberator popped in for a visit and didn't even give them the courtesy of a "hey, how ya doin'?"

It wasn't a fake moon landing, but it wasn't Nixon going to China, either.

Impeachment! Impeachment!!!!!

...it wasn't Nixon going to China, either.

I haven't heard any of the, even violently partisan, wonks argue that this was a historic summit. It was a cool gesture for the troops, and yes, a great PR move.

Michele,you scare me,because I just now read that GWB has plans for a moon trip.

Yes it was only a turkey. So let's call the visit a photo-op, complete with props.

1 bird gets roasted and put on display.

the officers might get real turkey breast.
the troops get turkey roll.

you know... chopped, pressed and sliced. the cheap stuff you get at your grocer's deli.

photo op? PR? you bet.
troops rising to their feet and cheering...
staged? not a chance.

Solonor, your comments - echoed my many other shrieking harpies, some even going so far as to label Bush a COWARDS - are no less desparate and pathetic as making a stink about the staged turkey - Oh the HUMANITY!!!

Perhaps "bring it on" was a poor choice of words, but I happen to agree with them. In the war on terror, all foreign terrorists dreaming of the next 9/11 making their way to their inevitable deaths (think Smith's voice here) in Iraq is a GOOD thing. I agree - Bring.It.On.

But that job is left to professional soldiers not to the president. And in case you are too clueless to realize, the "consequences" of a potential successful attack on the president of the US if he rode into Iraq on horseback with the world having a month's notice, are pretty severe. The stability of the world - contrary to the likely position of the shrieking harpies - would be drastically affected by the successful assisination of the US president by terrorists in Iraq.

Think more. Post less.

Solly...how do you know we went to the moon, were you there? ;)

Not being a Bush fan myself, I must point out to those on my left that there actually was a real turkey in the room. ;-)

If NORAD tracks Santa again this year watch for lefty bloggers to claim it's a Bush PR stunt to attract younger voters.

Sherard, you ask too much.

Sometimes I, as a leftist, think my news people make much ado about nothing. Of all of the things that I think that G.W. does thast are stupid, going to visit the troops in Iraq was a good call. I really do think for all of the things that I disagree with, he is a good old boy deep down

WMD = Where's the Mashed potatoes and Dressing?

"Why not leave this particular photo out and release the ones that show him serving food with what seemed like genuine humility?"

What, because the left would've praised him for that? Not a chance.

Turkeygate..........Complaining about turkey now.....Whats next? I hope the economy doesnt get better; they will have nothing to bitch about.

Solonor, you need to understand something about these secret service agents. They take the Presidents security over his wishes very seriously.

I remember when Reagan was shot. There was no gentle concern for his welfare in the first 10 seconds: They stuffed him in the car sideways. I have no doubt that if the door were closed and the window open he would have gone in that way.

So if you think the Treasury guys saying "one whisper" is cowardice on the Presidents part, it might have been the only way he could get them to shut up and be quiet on the trip.

More shocking revelations to come: Next we'll find out that the turkey Bush "pardoned" in 2001 was eventually eaten. When will the lies end?

"I'm no fan of the Bush administration but this nonsense takes the focus off of the real issues and makes us liberals look a bunch of shrieking harpies."

Oh that happened long ago.

"However, a case could be made that the White House choosing to use this picture"

Er, read the story. They didn't, the press did.

The WaPo article says that it was a real turkey, it just wasn't intended to be eaten: A contractor had roasted and primped the turkey to adorn the buffet line... A fake turkey would've been easier.

Al: ...this nonsense...makes us liberals look a bunch of shrieking harpies. Way too late for that regret, dude.

However, a case could be made that the White House choosing to use this picture...

I don't think it was the White House. I've seen this particular picture from about five different angles. Presumably photographers from the various news agencies that were along took them. In some of the pictures (like this one) you can see that a nearby soldier has his arms under the platter, helping to hold it up. Did Bush ask him to? The platter looks very heavy, if that's a real turkey.

so... bush lied and turkeys died?

>"and makes us liberals look a bunch of shrieking harpies."

Hey! Even the harpies are fake!!!

The White House website has another pic of Bush serving the actual meal and another pic... neither one of him and the centerpiece. If the White House wanted this picture out, they had a strange way of going about it.

"this nonsense...makes us liberals look a bunch of shrieking harpies"

Look like?

That's like saying scoring all those touchdowns makes the St. Louis Rams "look like" a bunch of football players.

The DNC 's official blog is suggesting the turkey was provided by Halliburton. I wish I was kidding. At least the Indymediots haven't started calling it a zionist turkey, yet.

If I hadn't read it here, I probably would never have known......

You know what really gets me here? If you read the Washington Post's own story--the one that "broke the scandal"--a few things are quite obvious:

1) This was not a photo-op. It was not staged. Bush was milling around chatting with troops. There were no reporters around. He picked up the centerpiece and moved it while chatting and joking.

2) One pool reporter--not a White House reporter, a random POOL REPORTER--happened to be there and snapped a couple of photos.

3) He sent those to his bosses, and they printed the photos in their papers.

IN OTHER WORDS: Prez picks up the centerpiece, random photographer snaps some photos. Now it's a big cynical photo-op that was staged.

One of my commenters, dowingba, said it perfectly: you can tell what a big liar Bush is! He's even lying in the photo! Can't you see all those soldiers around him, laughing at what a big liar he is?

Yeesh. Then go read the Counterspin story about how the ENTIRE EVENT was staged at 6AM and no one ate any Thanksgiving food. Then when that turned out not to be true, it was Bush's fault anyway.

Seriously folks. I don't hate Democrats. Really, honestly, truly, I don't. I used to be one, and I'll still vote for a sane one. Honest to God, I really will. Will someone please just spread the word that THESE PEOPLE ARE SHOOTING THEMSELVES IN BOTH FEET?!?!? Argh!

That's not the only 'scandal' of the trip...apparently no British Airways pilots spotted Air Force One (or a Gulfstream 5) on the journey over either...

You did not see the infidel carrying the photoshopped zionist turkey! All your stuffings is belong to us! They are all shrieking harpies living in the belly of the great satan!
Do not try to give us the bird!

My point was that this whole turkey thing is silly and makes any case against the wisdom of such a trip nearly impossible to defend.

Forgive me for letting my horrible, leftist ideology creep into my comments. I know how "you people" are sensitive to that kind of stuff, yet I did it anyway. I am so ashamed. I only hope that none of you were permanently damaged by my indiscretion and that I don't see you marching for Palestine or handing out Gephardt campaign fliers tomorrow.

I'll make sure I think more and post less from now on. (Either that, or you can just bite me.)

Good Lord,

I'll bet those yams weren't fresh either - I bet they came from a (gasp) CAN! FOUL Wretched Fiends!!

Isn't there something more important that we can report on today? Sheesh.

"This was not a photo-op. It was not staged. Bush was milling around chatting with troops. There were no reporters around. He picked up the centerpiece and moved it while chatting and joking."

Your kidding, right? Of course there was a reporter around, we're seeing the evidence of that.

The President of the United States just happened to pick up a centerpiece and carry it around? Why? Sudden urge to decorate? A photographer just happened to be standing in front of him when he did it?

This is the Bush administration -- think what you may of them, but there are no accidents. If nothing else, these people do the details.

And Re: The misuse of outerwear...

My Brother (Army Major) was with me when we watched the original news of the event. He commented that the insigna/patch on the Pres's jacket was not authorized for that uniform.

Not a snark(my bro likes Bush), just an interesting observation.

"He commented that the insigna/patch on the Pres's jacket was not authorized for that uniform."

Dang. There goes that details thing.

You know, in every video I saw of W. serving chow, I could have sworn he was handing out ham or some other roast.

Like, anyone could tell they weren't eating turkey.

God, the paucity of brains in the media is frightening. THIS is an issue?

Some questions come to mind here:

1. Was real cranberry sauce served, or just a cranberry tube? Senate hearings are in order.

2. When Lotto winners are shown with those bath towel-sized checks for photo-ops, are those the checks they take down to their local bank, or something smaller? The Senate needs to check on this, too.

3. At the furniture store, are those cardboard televisions and stereos just props? Have we been lied to there, as well? I think the House can handle that one.

"but there are no accidents..."

Oooh boy, somebody has forgotten their meds.... again.

Keep it up, we want to win at least 48 states, and the efforts of you baying moonbats are essential. Write letters to the editor on this issue! Please! Bumper Stickers, Campain Commercials, Radio Spots!

Al, I saw W pick up the turkey, pose and put it down. It was on TV more than once. I watched it while cooking. (Maybe if you were in the kitchen cooking w/the TV on you would have seen it, too?)

It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. A lot of soldiers took a pic of him holding the turkey. And I'm sure they posted them for their families to see.

It was a decoration/prop. Like the prop I used, one platter of full bird for ooh-aah factor and another platter of sliced bird to pass around. And well, son of a gun, I've also had my pic taken w/bird on platter.

And for all you know, a soldier, even a private, might have suggested he do it.

It's a fun shot.

BRB: "...and the efforts of you baying moonbats are essential."

Congrats on the first ad hominem in an otherwise civil thread. My point was actually complimentary to the Bush administration, this a very detail oriented bunch of folks. Though accidents concerning the public persona of leaders certainly happen(the live mic with Bush and Cheney comes to mind)they are few and far between.

Sandy P: Thanks. I'm at something of a disadvantage here as I do not watch television (cable and broadcast in unavailable where I live and I would need a sixty foot tower to clear the ridge for satellite). I'll scrounge around for some footage before speaking further about something I haven't seen.

My intial comment on this was it was much ado about nothing, I continue to believe that. However to not share the majoritys opinion that George Bush is capable of a spontaneous act withing 100 feet of a press memeber.

It wasn't Bush, it wasn't Thanksgiving, it wasn't even Iraq.

An actor, outside of Wichita Falls, last February. They do this for canned footage whenever they need it.

Geez!

the point is that the troops were probably actually served gruel. the photo makes it look compassionate, as if bush actually cares.

These papers will print anything. Next thing you know, they'll have some editorial about Santa Claus being real.

Al, when someone says there were no reporters around, they're proving themselves cognizant that a reporter is someone who writes down notes for an article.

A photographer is someone who takes pictures.

"No reporters around" means nobody taking notes. It doesn't mean nobody taking pictures.

I can't understand how anyone could have thought he was carrying that turkey around to serve it to anyone. What, they're going to tear the legs off? Rip chunks out with their bare hands?

When you want to serve a turkey, you carry around a =carved= turkey, not a whole one.

Sheesh.

First Turkey on his way to give that wax bird to his Pentagon's favorite IPA stooge Chalabi, who just HAPPENED to be in the audience. Watch out! All the press that DIDN'T get invited to this little party are thinking twice about RoveCo now!

"... when someone says there were no reporters around, they're proving themselves cognizant that a reporter is someone who writes down notes for an article."

When the White House states that the photo was taken by a pool photographer that's close enough to a reporter for me. Would it have made a difference if I had said "member of the press". The White House is explaining this to make the distinction between a White Photgrapher and an independent member of the press. You can't have it both ways.

I'll leave this alone. It's silly to argue pedantic points of grammar and intent in someones comment section. Like all of these discussions, nobody (myself included), is changing their minds so it's kind of pointless. I've also invested far too much time arguing with people I essentially agree with (in this case) it's a stupid thing to get worked up about -- I would only ask that you consider the possibility that this wasn't an entirely spontaneous act, and that though it may well have bolstered the morale of the troops it's insane to think that any act a sitting President takes in an election year is without a measure of political consideration.

Ever since they faked the moon landings.....

(please,please I'm just kidding.)

At least the folks at PETA should be happy.

Dean said: "Seriously folks. I don't hate Democrats. Really, honestly, truly, I don't. I used to be one, and I'll still vote for a sane one. Honest to God, I really will."

I used to think the same thing. But I've concluded that the entire party has gone off the deep end. Their entire political platform seems to be "Bush is Evil." Oh, and "We never met an abortion we didn't like."

I've never been a Republican or a Democrat. I've voted both ways in the past, starting with Humphrey. But these days, who in their right mind would trust the defense of the country to the Democrats?

Hey, Harmon, it's "Bush is Clueless," and if you perceive this administration to have earned your trust in defending the nation, then Bush isn't alone in his cluelessness.

I mean, c'mon, dude, this adminitration ignored the prior administration's explicit warnings during the transition about the threat from terrorism. Their primary national security initiative? Missile defense, which as many pointed out at the time, apart from its not working, is irrelevant in an age when the delivery system for a nuke is much more likely be a steamer trunk than an ICBM.

Then 9/11, during which, now that I think about it, Bush took to the skies in much the same way as on this Turkey Day. So, we lash out at the Taliban, which EVERYONE agreed we must do. Except we're still there, two years later, slogging it out in admittedly forbidding terrain that nevertheless took Alexander, without Warthogs & night vision, about four months to conquer. OBL remains at large, and the Taliban and warlords are back at it. Why? Because we didn't, nay couldn't, invest the resources to finish the job because of the neo-con jones for Iraq.

You see, we attacked a nation with no connection to 9/11, no means to threaten us, and really, if you're going to take out a islamic nation in the war against terror, Iraq would reasonably be sixth, maybe fifth, on the list. What now? If the administration doesn't simply declare victory and withdraw from Iraq in the runup to the election, or the next administration brings in the rest of world, we've tied up 10 divisions or so for quite awhile.

So an action that was intended to project strength has in fact revealed weakness. Saddam's on the loose and those nations that don't think we're crazy are simply laughing at us. You couldn't have f**ked this whole thing up more if you tried.

Remember, it's the left mind, not the right, that controls reason and logic.

Since the discussion is getting in-depth about the role of the reporters, I'll give my thought as an editor of a national publication myself:

I hate "canned" shots like the one of the turkey holding the turkey in question. If one of my reporters/photographers came back with that on a roll, I'd file it under fluff. I would run a photo of the president serving food to the troops and/or one of him shaking hands and showing his thanks for their diligence and spirit. Someone made a comment earlier that even if the White House didn't specifically release that photo we're discussing, well, they sure as hell didn't do a lot to stop its appearance, either. The thing is, no editor in their right mind would run such a cheesy, posed shot -- that is, of course, unless A) there were no "action" shots as I just described, or B) it weren't provided by the White House as a souvenir shot that they could, oh, happen to run in their publications if they so desired.

In any event, my feeling was that it was a well-timed publicity maneuver -- just look how his approval rating jumped! Who'da thunk it? And for the record, he could stay stateside and attend some funerals of fallen soldiers without jeopardizing his own life and the life of those who have sworn to protect our (and Iraq's) citizens during this troubled time.

Oy, has anyone noticed that turkey is kosher?

For all those who think this is really important and should be investigated...

it is time for your meds.

Lithium? Zoloft? Thorazine?

It's simply indicative of the overall staging of "gee shucks I'm just one of the guys" by a third-generation politician who inherited billions. Face it, if it was Clinton you would freak out. No-one on the left thinks it's a scandal, it's just part of a pattern of suggesting a thing is real when it's not (like WMDs).