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ARKIE DUMBASS BELIEVES ANYTHING

Thanks to Arkansas Times columnist Ernest Dumas - a more wonderful name I could not invent - the magical fake turkey of legend continues its eternal flight:


David Hackett Fischer’s new history, Washington’s Crossing, affords a sorrowful comparison between the first George W, who crossed the Delaware, and the second, whose closest exploit was to cross the Tigris to be filmed serving a fake turkey to the troops.

Dumas is serving lies to his readers. The editors at the Arkansas Times and the Memphis Flyer - where Ernie’s column was reprinted - either didn’t notice, or didn’t care. An email to the Times may be useful, but when people are still getting simple matters such as this wrong more than 12 months after the event, they’re probably beyond help.

UPDATE. More from Earnest:


William Jefferson Clinton (1946-) was the 40th elected governor of Arkansas, 42nd president of the United States and the most buoyant political figure in American history ... a number of controversial pardons that he issued in the hours before leaving office caused his standing to plummet. But in four years his popularity had returned and voters ranked him among the outstanding presidents.

Sure thing, Ernie. The turkey is fake and Clinton is outstanding and buoyant. Right.

Posted by Tim B. on 01/02/2005 at 04:32 AM
  1. The Tigris is sort of a Delaware River, bordering the cradle of civilization, New Jersey.  Caesar had to cross his Delaware, too, though most people don’t realize he was heading to Pennsylvania.

    Posted by rhhardin on 2005 01 02 at 06:04 AM • permalink

  2. This drivel is in today’s paper because????

    Posted by blerp on 2005 01 02 at 06:38 AM • permalink

  3. Just so you know Tim, the Arkansas Times is the weekly alternative paper there in Little Rock—serving the same ecological nitch as the LA Weekly or the San Francisco Bay Guardian.  So the answer to your question is, no, they don’t care.

    Posted by Andrew on 2005 01 02 at 06:56 AM • permalink

  4. Perhaps the comment “the most buoyant political figure in American history” was a reference to Clinton’s body fat ?

    I would have guessed William Howard Taft, but what do I know, I’m not a journalist critter.

    Posted by Carl in N.H. on 2005 01 02 at 08:06 AM • permalink

  5. buoyant = due to a surfeit of HOT AIR

    Posted by simonX on 2005 01 02 at 08:19 AM • permalink

  6. Andrew � To market strip club ads and tranvestite prostitution classifieds?

    Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 01 02 at 09:10 AM • permalink

  7. On the topic of fake presidential reputations, check out the revised view of ole honest Abraham Lincoln.

    Posted by Rafe on 2005 01 02 at 10:20 AM • permalink

  8. Richard-- AND to run Ted Rall’s scrawls, I bet.  My local facist, er, alternative, weekly crams him right behind the strip club ads and transvestite prostitution classifieds.  It’s quite disturbing to be looking for some comparably reputably entertainment and run into a Ted Rall cartoon.  Ugh.

    Posted by Sortelli on 2005 01 02 at 10:26 AM • permalink

  9. It takes a certain measure of courage, if not originality, to lick a former president’s balls in a public forum such as a newspaper.

    Posted by Big Al on 2005 01 02 at 11:39 AM • permalink

  10. Ernest Dumas, perhaps, is evidence that the “red staters are stupid” meme has a basis in truth, albeit not in the way blue staters seem to think.

    Do I have to? Okay…

    /sarcasm

    Posted by PW on 2005 01 02 at 01:10 PM • permalink

  11. Well, he was certainly outstanding and buoyant when young interns were a mere cigar’s length away.

    Posted by you bet on 2005 01 02 at 01:19 PM • permalink

  12. Hmmm.... interesting.  I don’t recall Clinton’s ratings ever getting over 50%.  I also seem to recall that the “most buoyant political figure in American history” was Teddy Roosevelt. 

    Posted by mamapajamas on 2005 01 02 at 01:20 PM • permalink

  13. The man’s name is “Earnest”. It’s to be expected that he approves of Clinton.

    My top “wish I had my camera” moment was last year, a trailer with Clinton/Gore and Gore/Lieberman bumper stickers all over it, a torn out screen door with a NASCAR shrine built into the front door, and an old, bony dog yawning, laying against the side of it, chained to the water intake.

    Posted by Aaron - Free Will on 2005 01 02 at 01:56 PM • permalink

  14. I absolutely agree about TR, mampajamas, but I suspect poor Earnest is suffering from Monica-envy.

    Posted by Spiny Norman on 2005 01 02 at 01:58 PM • permalink

  15. The level of hatred, among some, for Pres. Bush is such that truth doesn’t matter. What matters is telling stories that continue to reinforce the meme of Bush being stupid and evil.
    I find such a widespread willingness to use whatever means, even known lies, in order to advance an agenda very disturbing. 

    Posted by CJosephson on 2005 01 02 at 02:25 PM • permalink

  16. The least buoyant figure in Australian politics was Harold Holt. 

    Posted by slatts on 2005 01 02 at 02:35 PM • permalink

  17. Slatts, That got a laugh out of me. But you’re right - Harold couldn’t seem to rise above his troubles.

    Posted by Bryce on 2005 01 02 at 02:50 PM • permalink

  18. All right, guys, lay off Holt before it turns into a feeding frenzy.

    Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2005 01 02 at 03:15 PM • permalink

  19. I take it Harold Holt was the Australian PM that drowned. (Was that in the 60s?)

    Posted by Spiny Norman on 2005 01 02 at 04:18 PM • permalink

  20. Richard -

    Yep, that’s the same paper.  Arkansas Times spent most of its time while I was there (1997-1998) bitching about Gov. Mike Huckabee.  And while it was true that Gov. Huckabee lived in a triple-wide trailer at the time (they were refurbishing the governor’s mansion and I live a block away), the Huck wasn’t such a bad guy.  I once saw him putting out his own trash.

    Posted by Andrew on 2005 01 02 at 05:27 PM • permalink

  21. I just read Ernest’s article called “Two George Ws”.  He states that the British were inhumane and killed their (US) prisoners whereas Washington decided to treat British prisoners with humanity and presumably not kill them.  Couldn’t that argument apply to the US now with respect to those held in Cuba?  I don’t see a logical argument which states that the US are now inhumane.  He mentions some interesting historical tidbits, assuming they’re correct.  That’s all I got out of his article.  Maybe I’ve had too many VB, again.

    Posted by Stevo on 2005 01 02 at 09:48 PM • permalink

  22. "Harold Holt” is rhyming slang for doing a “bolt”, or to leave ... and that’s what I’m going to do ... good night all

    Posted by Stevo on 2005 01 02 at 10:21 PM • permalink

  23. This is OT, but ...right behind the strip club ads and transvestite prostitution classifieds...??

    Sortelli, I can understand perusing the strip club ads, but I’m wondering about the transvestite ads.  Or did you sneak a quick peek just for journalistic emphasis?  ;-)

    I have to admit, that is the right place for Ted Rall and his crap.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 01 03 at 01:10 AM • permalink

  24. I wrote to the paper. Some other Dumas named Max-something said I was “splitting hairs.” Yep, that’s what they call it in the MSM when you point out facts now - “splitting hairs.”

    Posted by Dave S. on 2005 01 03 at 05:03 AM • permalink

  25. Their reply to my very polite email:

    “The turkey was a display bird not intended for serving. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A33090-2003Dec3?language=printer

    -----Original Message-----
    From: [mailto:Ushbeti@aol.com]
    Sent: Saturday, January 01, 2005 12:32 PM
    To:
    Subject: Ernest Dumas’ stupid mistake

    Dear Sirs/Mesdames:

    It was NOT a plastic turkey!  Will you kindly wake Mr. Dumas from his stupor and tell him to google (you do have computers there, yes?) the whole miserable and foolish plastic turkey meme so that, lo!  he will discover the turkey Mr. Bush held was a real actual turkey?

    Jeez, no wonder print media will be gone in 10 years.”

    So wait, it’s a “display” turkey now, so that makes the plastic meme ok?

    Stupid print media.

    Posted by ushie on 2005 01 03 at 07:28 AM • permalink

  26. I also sent them an email and got the same response.

    Posted by Tim A on 2005 01 03 at 07:35 AM • permalink

  27. God, it’s like they’re retarded or something. I won’t bother sending them an email because it would read something like this: “You haven’t answered the question which was what the fucking hell is your problem with George W. Bush picking up the fucking turkey whether it was real or not, whether it was made of plastic or clay or cardboard or dried cowshit? Just what the hell is the fucking brilliant analogy you are trying to make here? All he fucking did was pick the GODDAMN THING UP. Jesus Fucking Christ.”

    I’ll bet you I get the same auto-response too.

    Posted by Andrea Harris on 2005 01 03 at 05:46 PM • permalink

  28. Well, when i replied he did ‘grant’ it was a real turkey and not plastic…

    Posted by Tim A on 2005 01 04 at 08:47 AM • permalink

  29. oooh oooh I got a PROPER response from him!!!

    “Dumas, as you know, had a half sentence or so about a turkey (a
    contrived photo op that left the misleading impression that Bush had
    actually served the not-for-consumption turkey) in the course of a long
    and undisputed recitation contrasting how George Washington viewed the
    treatment of enemy combatants and how this administration views same. Do
    I think the article was misleading? I do not. Bush staged a fake turkey
    serving. (Fake pix are his stock in trade: see, his “Mission
    Accomplished” prance in a crotch-augemented flight suit.) George
    Washington vowed not to abuse enemy prisoners. That was the point of the
    column and I don’t think the provenance of an inedible turkey Bush
    postured with does anything to skew the picture. But I plan to clarify
    the turkey issue.”

    Note the ‘clarification’ . yay! 

    Posted by Tim A on 2005 01 04 at 09:19 AM • permalink

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