The NYT’s Frank Rich catches fake turkey fever:

[Bush] got away with using a stunt turkey as the photo-op centerpiece during his surprise Thanksgiving 2003 visit to the troops in Iraq.

He got away with? Help me out here, Frank; what’s the standard punishment for a president caught in possession of a “stunt turkey”? Is it normal that the user of a “stunt turkey” faces retribution? Indeed, what is a “stunt turkey”, besides someone who doesn’t even read his own newspaper’s corrections?

These fake-turkey conspiracists are fools, and Karl Rove is laughing at them. Why? Well, it’s a ruse as old as politics itself. While Bush distracted journalists by holding a turkey, the real fake turkey was being SERVED TO THE TROOPS! Connecticut National Guard sergeant Paul Tarbox blows the lid off the greatest scandal since the earth’s surface cooled to a degree that would allow life:

Tarbox recalled eating “fake” turkey at Thanksgiving. “The Army calls it turkey, but we don’t know what it is,” he said.

(Emphasis mine.) That deep intel on turkey fakeness was right, oh yes; but journalists simply looked in the wrong place. Now that his crime has been exposed, I expect Bush will resign within hours.

(Via Sissy Willis and Will Stroock)

Posted by Tim B. on 06/19/2005 at 11:07 AM
  1. What do stunt turkeys get paid these days?  Did that particular stunt turkey get a bonus, being as it was in a war zone?

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 06 19 at 12:55 PM • permalink

  2. Do stunt turkeys get roasted in the place of the celebrity turkeys?

    Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2005 06 19 at 01:12 PM • permalink

  3. Here’s a photo of Dubya serving stunt turkey to the troops during the Thanksgiving visit to Iraq. And here’s another.

    The fiend.

    Posted by Bruce Rheinstein on 2005 06 19 at 02:26 PM • permalink

  4. The only reliable cure for fake turkey fever is a high colonic dose of Dave’s Insanity Sauce, applied with a glass-stemmed turkey baster. Get well soon, Frank!

    Posted by paco on 2005 06 19 at 05:40 PM • permalink

  5. Stunt turkey?

    Did it have a spotter, too?

    Rich’ll have that in his next column. It’ll be a gay Republican spotter too.

    Whoever says the Left doesn’t have any new ideas is wrong. They’ve got lots of them. But they’re all just loopy ones.


    Posted by SMGalbraith on 2005 06 19 at 05:43 PM • permalink

  6. Stunt turkey is at least more accurate than plastic turkey. What’s the motivation for twisting around such a simple event?

    Bush, on a whim, picked up the full-dressed, not-meant-to-be-eaten, decorative turkey at the event and lots of media took pics. He served “real” turkey moments later from steam tables.

    Have the leftist insurgents of the press never been to an event with decorative food before? I find this hard to believe, as the press is no stranger to free buffets.

    Posted by Brian O'Connell on 2005 06 19 at 06:08 PM • permalink

  7. I’m just wondering what kind of stunts the turkey did.  Did it do turkey karate fights?  Or was it more like an Evil Knievel turkey?  Did it jump over a dozen Hummers on its turkey motorcycle?  The American public needs answers!

    Posted by dorkafork on 2005 06 19 at 06:55 PM • permalink

  8. Frank Rich gets away with using a stunt brain. Many years a theater reviewer for the NY Times when Pinch Sulzberger* and gang put him on the Op-Ed page, Frank froths at Bush for all disturbances to a theater-like world tailored for the comfort of decadent leftist reviewers of theater. If someone points out that Bush went out of his way to cheer the troops up and reassure the Iraqis, Frank will respond with abject incomprehension, followed by poisonous emissions.

    * Refuses to strike Pulitzer awarded for NYT’s Walter Duranty’s reporting which covered up Stalin’s mass murders.

    Posted by ForNow on 2005 06 19 at 08:13 PM • permalink

  9. Rich apparently is aware it isn’t plastic but felt Bush was being superficial.  So he said stunt turkey, a compound noun, to draw on ``something done for attention or publicity.’’

    But Bush was entertaining the troops with a little joke, not seeking credit for himself, and that’s a choice he makes consistently.

    Remember back when the Chinese returned the crew of the P3E, and they showed up in Hawaii and Bush didn’t.  He didn’t go so that the story wouldn’t be about him but about the crew, an idea foreign to a NYT theater critic.  That turned out to be typical Bush.

    Whenever it was that Bush got religion, he sticks to it.

    A sneer is easy to master, the saying goes.  Bush isn’t big on sneers

    Posted by rhhardin on 2005 06 19 at 08:34 PM • permalink

  10. I have a plastic story which I’d like to share:

    Phillip Adams, under cover of darkness, slips his wife a plastic substitute (with the new Pork-E-Feel silicone cover) because his own natural appendage is rendered ineffective - smothered as it is beneath the swinging bags of adipose tissue from his belly.

    This is undoubtably a true story, and no evidence to the contrary will induce me to retract or qualify it.

    I would appreciate it if references to Phabulous Phil’s Plastic Phantastic could be slipped into Iraqi war coverage at every opportunity.

    Posted by Sensible Swim on 2005 06 19 at 08:37 PM • permalink

  11. Here’s a question that’s been bugging me for the past year-and-a-half: we keep reading that the turkey Bush picked up was not intended to be eaten.  So what was it going to be used for, after the feast?  Surely they weren’t going to throw out a perfectly good bird.  I’d hope it was intended to be eaten by somebody - perhaps the serving staff, after the main feast was over, or perhaps it was due to make an encore appearance at lunch the next day, no longer looking quite so pretty.

    Posted by Milhouse on 2005 06 19 at 09:08 PM • permalink

  12. Two plastic turkey stories in as many days! The gift that keeps on giving!

    Posted by debi L. on 2005 06 19 at 09:54 PM • permalink

  13. Is it odd, though.

    Whenever I hear Tim’s name or read it on another blog, the first thing that comes to my mind is plastic turkey.

    I don’t think that’s healthy; but I’m not sure.

    Should I get that checked out?

    It would be a great name for a band, though. Or a blog dedicated to uncovering leftist claptrap.


    are both available.

    Imagine that.


    Posted by SMGalbraith on 2005 06 19 at 10:07 PM • permalink

  14. 11. Zev Sero -

    In my experience (Ft. Jackson, SC & Tongu Ri Korea, approx 1000 yrs ago) You have two choices when cooking a turkey—appearance, or flavor.  A lovely mahogany color outside, generally produced a lovely mahogany flavor inside.  I never served in a command that was actually so inhumane as to require serving troops to eat the presentation bird.  Immediate steps were taken to prevent even the Korean staff from resurecting it.


    Posted by srqlarge on 2005 06 19 at 10:34 PM • permalink

  15. Plastimabushhalliburkey.  Although that does look and sound like the ultimate WMD.

    Zev Sero, a fake stunt turkey as described by the MSM would surely end up in the front-end display of Big Lots (a U.S. discount buyout outlet), where nobody would expect to eat it.

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 06 19 at 10:40 PM • permalink

  16. Fair enough. In that case, though, why don’t they use plastic?  Maybe the persistance of the plastic turkey myth is because people find it hard to fathom that the army would waste food like that, so they reason that it had to be plastic…

    Posted by Milhouse on 2005 06 19 at 10:41 PM • permalink

  17. This sort of propaganda campaign hasn’t been seen since Gobbles. I mean Goebbels.

    Posted by Jim Treacher on 2005 06 20 at 01:10 AM • permalink

  18. Zev: I imagine that it’s easier to prepare one additional turkey that’s just for show at each base, rather than order (say) 100,000 plastic turkeys that would then need to be inventoried, stored, tracked, and abused.

    Posted by david on 2005 06 20 at 02:13 AM • permalink

  19. Pity the stunt wasn’t John Howard’s-there’s still time for a senate enquiry.There must be an asio file on it smomewhere abouts.

    Posted by crash on 2005 06 20 at 02:22 AM • permalink

  20. somewhere.

    Posted by crash on 2005 06 20 at 02:25 AM • permalink

  21. 100,000 plastic turkeys stockpiled for use once or twice a year would either be lost, or desert and join the Democratic National Party.

    But now that I hear about stunt turkeys, I understand why the turkey served in the mess hall tastes so much like....turkey.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 06 20 at 03:08 AM • permalink

  22. What’s with you Americans and baked birds anyway? It’s not enough to have just a baked turkey, oooh no! You have to be bigger and better with your

    Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 06 20 at 04:04 AM • permalink

  23. That’s appalling Deo!
    Never eat anything bigger than your head.

    Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2005 06 20 at 05:15 AM • permalink

  24. Maybe that should be ‘Never eat anything bigger than a nine year old boy’. (apologies to Michael Jackson)

    Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 06 20 at 05:38 AM • permalink

  25. Well Tim, you may be a down market RWDB but Lambert and Quiggin read you carefully. Your complaints about turkeys has induced attacks on you for quoting Yannacone on Charles Wurster. If you haven’t read it Yannacone is a liar!

    Another statement about Wurster reported in the Seattle Times, October 5, 1969. No doubt would be dismissed as a lie as well.
    Charles Wurster, chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, commented, “If the environmentalists win on DDT, they will achieve a level of authority they have never had before.. In a sense, much more is at stake than DDT.”

    Whether or not Wurster said too many people, Desowitz stated this in 1992
    “Population control advocates blamed DDT for increasing third world population. In the 1960s, World Health Organization authorities believed there was no alternative to the overpopulation problem but to assure than up to 40 percent of the children in poor nations would die of malaria. As an official of the Agency for International Development stated, “Rather dead than alive and riotously reproducing.”

    I have memories of discussions in the 60’s and 70’s as to the necessity of reducing birth rates before decreasing death rates but maybe it was RWDBs.
    Anyway the turkey, a simple and easily falsified statement has set them off about you and Wurser, keep up the good work.

    Posted by Ros on 2005 06 20 at 06:54 AM • permalink

  26. mmmmm ... turkey.

    Posted by Achillea on 2005 06 20 at 02:55 PM • permalink

  27. #9 I agree. It’s a sneer thing.

    #22 at first I thought Phillip Adams had fallen asleep on the beach.

    Posted by Sensible Swim on 2005 06 20 at 07:04 PM • permalink

  28. Rim shot for Treacher.

    Bada bing.


    Posted by SMGalbraith on 2005 06 20 at 10:46 PM • permalink

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