Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Turkeys vs. Humans?

So a friend of mine and longtime abolitionist, Marshall Dayan, well known in this community and a past recipient of NCADP's Lifetime Achievement Award, put this thought in my head. And oh my, we have to blog on it!

Seems President Bush today, in the annual pre-Thanksgiving ritual, pardoned two turkeys. I think we are now into the double digits if you consider the number of turkeys Bush has pardoned while serving as the leader of the most powerful nation's Executive Branch.

By contrast, during Bush's one and a half terms as Texas governor, he managed to pardon one human being who was on death row. Actually, it wasn't even a pardon -- it was a commutation. Henry Lee Lucas, who was about to be executed for a crime he did not commit, had his sentence commuted to life in prison. He died not too long afterwards.

For those who wonder just our far the Fourth Estate has fallen, check out this breathless coverage:

Press corps turns out to see lucky turkeys escape death

President Bush pardoned the annual Thanksgiving turkey Tuesday

The turkeys -- a primary and an alternate -- are named May and Flower

Vice President Dick Cheney wanted to name them Lunch and Dinner, Bush said

Pardoning of the turkeys is a tradition entering its 60th year


By Erika Dimmler, Brianna Keilar, Suzanne Malveaux and Emily Schultze
CNN

In this Behind the Scenes, CNN correspondents who cover the White House give a window into what it's like being a witness to history -- in this case, the president's annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As members of the White House press corps, we often get a front row seat to history. But it's normally not a mosh pit. Today's event was a little different.

A jampacked crowd gathered at the Rose Garden to watch President Bush pardon the annual Thanksgiving turkey.

Everyone turned out. Network correspondents? Check. Scribblers and bloggers? Doublecheck. Every still photographer who has covered the White House seemed to be there, too.

What about White House staff? Check. Even Chief of Staff Josh Bolten was there, accompanied by actor and fellow musician John Corbett.

The president announced the names of America's most famous turkeys -- a primary and an alternate -- as voted on by America.

May and Flower were the winning monikers, which, the president remarked, was "certainly better than the names the vice president suggested, which was Lunch and Dinner."

(Or, Scooter and Libby, as one member of the press corps was overheard suggesting).

May was subdued throughout most of the ceremony but managed to show a bit of gratitude with a few audible "gobble gobbles" toward the end of the president's speech, as he offered thanks for the men and women of the U.S. military. Watch Bush pardon the Thanksgiving turkey »

Jaded members of the press corps lined up after the ceremony to get their photo snapped with America's most famous bird.

Both turkeys then alighted onto their personal three-vehicle motorcade, complete with blaring sirens and police motorcycles, en route to Dulles airport.

Once at Dulles, they will fly first class on United Turkey One to Orlando, Florida, where May will serve -- not be served -- as Grand Marshall in Disney's Thanksgiving Day parade.

When the birds land in Orlando they will be welcomed with a red carpet reception. According to Disney's Michelle Stepney, all passengers on today's United Turkey One will be given free passes to Disney World.

1 comment:

Jesmi said...

Its a good news .The birds land in Orlando they will be welcomed with a red carpet reception. According to Disney's Michelle Stepney, all passengers on today's United Turkey One will be given free passes to Disney World.