December 04, 2003

A READER SENDS THIS PHOTO and this one of Bush actually serving turkey to the troops and says this explodes the pseudo scandal. Pseudo scandal?

Not knowing what he meant, I went looking and found this turkey story by Mike Allen in the Washington Post raising that issue ("the foray has opened new credibility questions").

Yes, it has opened new credibility questions. But, er, not so much for Bush as for his critics. Sheesh.

UPDATE: More on "Turkeygate" here, here, here, here, here, and especially here. Meanwhile reader Elizabeth King emails:

I just read the Washington Post article you linked about the pseudo-turkey scandal (Or turkey pseudo-scandal. Or whatever. Pseudo-reporting scandal is more like it, I think.) I now have an urge to rant that I can't bottle up anymore. You don't have to read this, but I really need to say it.

I am SICK AND TIRED of our media. I am SICK AND TIRED of the superficial nature of their reporting on Iraq and their incessant preaching of quagmirism. I am SICK AND TIRED of their efforts to turn every U.S. military action into Vietnam, all facts to the contrary be damned. And I am SICK AND TIRED of 16-words-gate and Plame-gate and mission-accomplished-gate and now, God help us, turkey-gate.

We live in momentous times, and our media -- the freest and most technologically advanced media in the history of the world -- is mired in 60's nostalgia, conspiracy theories and banality.

Sorry about the rant, but I feel better now.

And reader Susan Shepard emails:

I cannot believe this fabricated "flap" about Bush and the turkey. What are these people thinking of? I can't imagine a bigger non-issue. Every time someone on the left or in the mainstream media starts in with something like this they just make themselves look more foolish. Surely sooner or later even less politically aware people have to stop and think, "Wait a minute, this is getting just a little too ridiculous." I guess in the long run conservatives come out on top in such situations, but it is painful to watch people self-destruct, even people with whom I profoundly disagree.

I swear, I think Karl Rove must pay people to drum up stories like this. Or would that be to drumstick . . . nah, never mind.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Democrat Jeff Haws gets it:

I'm as quick to criticize Bush as anyone, but had anybody even seen that turkey photo before this "pseudo scandal" broke out over it? I know I hadn't. If anyone's opinion of Bush changed because they thought the turkey he held up in a photo looked rather tasty, that's a sad state of affairs for the American electorate. Bush hypercritics will say it's all about the White House trying to put forth an "image," but they key sentence in that Post story is this: "The scene, which lasted just a few seconds, was not visible to a reporter who was there but was recorded by a pool photographer and described by officials yesterday in response to questions raised in Washington" (emphasis added).

I want to beat this guy in the next election. Latching onto issues such as what kind of turkey Bush is holding up will just polarize voters even more and assure his reelection. Not smart.

No, it isn't.

MORE: A military reader sends this:

This turkey business is ludicrous. I've eaten in mess halls at Thanksgiving over the course of my nine years in the Army and I have always seen a fancy turkey that was for display and not for consumption. Like the cornucopias and every other festive trimming, the "show turkey" is a routine part of the presentation for the soldiers eating in the mess hall. When I saw this article on Drudge Report last night, I nearly choked. In the midst of everything important that is going, the fact that people find this newsworthy is simply stunning in its absurdity.


FINAL UPDATE: Definitive roundup here.