December 21, 2003

Talking Turkey

What my father used to call the "Peanut Gallery" is still trying to push the lie that Bush was lifting about a plastic turkey when he went to visit the troops in Iraq over Thanksgiving. Indefatigable dumbass Greg Easterbrook does them one better -- he not only repeats the lie that the turkey in question was plastic, he claims that it was brought over to Iraq as some sort of sinister political prop. I swear to god; here is the complete entry (in case Easterbrook or his editors try to deep six these words -- and I've also saved it as a screen capture, haha):

AND ABOUT THAT FAKE TURKEY: The "decorative turkey" in George W. Bush's hands in the Thanksgiving pictures from Baghdad should in fact make people angry. Hundreds of American dead, thousands of Iraqi dead, and the White House is staging phony photos on Iraqi soil? The occupation of Iraq may be justified, but White House use of the war as a political prop is becoming unseemly. And think: somebody had to fly a fake turkey to Iraq. Voters are not stupid; this sort of thing may backfire on Bush.

Good lord. Every single untruth about the event and then some is included therein. I'm surprised he didn't start babbling (or whatever is the word for the keyboard-using equivalent) about Bush forcing the men to bow down and worship his evil Turkey Gods. By the way, this post is dated December 10th. I skimmed the subsequent posts; there is no indication that Easterbrook has read any of the news articles that put paid to the plastic turkey/staged photo op myth. Loser.

(Via a commenter to this Tim Blair post.)

Update: Oooh. Now I've done it. BTW, I wouldn't describe my reaction as "disappointed." I've not expected much out of Easterbrook for quite some time.

Posted by Andrea Harris at December 21, 2003 11:36 AM

Easterbrook has been a fiskable fool for ages. His TMQ column is well regarded, and I don't watch enough about football to really call him on most of it, but I can say one thing: every time he writes something about wagering on football, you can take it to the bank that it's just plain wrong. Outside of football, just forget it.

Posted by: Hermit Dave at December 22, 2003 at 11:10 PM

"Good lord. Every single untruth about the event and then some is included therein."

Nope! He forgot the untruth about how the troops were roused out of bed to be served dinner at 5 am -- the one where the pundit subsequently responds to emailers trying to explain the concept of time zones by accusing them of gullibility!

Easterbrook, by the way, is an excellent writer on certain topics like environmentalism and economics. He does, though, have a sort of creepy philo-Semitism that comes across much worse than simple disnterest would.

Posted by: Otter at December 22, 2003 at 11:20 PM

If I turned out stuff even half as full of crap as the soi-disant media moguls I'd be looking for a job, and you know what? I wouldn't find one. More to the point, I wouldn't deserve one. I would say that, to a first approximation, 80% of the current cadre of journalists is unable to find its arse with both hands, a map, and GPS coordinates. A huge number of journalists are apallingly ill-read; they have virtually no knowledge of mathematics, science, engineering, music or art. In many cases they wave their lack of erudition as a badge of membership - as if being an unlettered oaf was somehow the only authentic route to enlightenment.

Easterbrook works in mainstream journalism. It's therefore overwhelmingly likely he is a pillock. The whole Disney/Jew/Nazi thing showed he has a tin ear for the new media Zeitgeist.

Posted by: David Gillies at December 22, 2003 at 11:55 PM

You spoke too soon....Easterbrook probably has possession of the photographic proof!

Posted by: Natalie at December 23, 2003 at 12:03 AM

Easterbrook is usually pretty good about stuff like this--for example he was an early debunker of the BS story "Bush is allowing more arsenic in the water".

Hard to tell, maybe he's exercising some of his wry humor. I mean, surely he doesn't think that they flew a special plane with a turkey on it to Baghad for the event (don't answer that Michael Moore), does he?

It's an oddball post for Gregg. Maybe he's pinch-hitting for Chait?

Posted by: Pat Curley at December 23, 2003 at 04:05 AM

As far as football goes, he picked the Ravens (9-6, first in AFC North), to lose 10 games this year, finishing behind playoff-bound Cleveland (4-11, last in AFC North). More spectacularly, he felt one of the biggest draft busts would be Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs (12 sacks, six forced fumbles, fast-emerging as a terror in the backfield and well-worth the #1 pick... that might not mean much, but the all-time record for sacks by a rookie is 13.5; nobody keeps records on forced fumbles).

Based on Easterbook's residence (Bethesda, MD), he'd have the Ravens on 12 games a year, so that'd be his second-most-watched team after the Washington Slurs, and, thus, one he ought to know something about.

I wish he'd kept his job w/ ESPN so I could gloat at him now (though I'd wait 'til after the Pittsbugh game and playoffs to really rub it in.)

Posted by: David Moynihan at December 23, 2003 at 04:41 AM

Hey, Greg:

Here are even MORE points you can make:
1) Bush is Hitler;
2) It's all about the oil; and
3) Bush went to war because the economy is the worst it has been in 20, I mean 40, I mean 60 years.

And Greg, you KNOW these points are all true, just like your turkey story (pun intended). After all, how could they be false? You can read about them on the INTERNET!

Posted by: WWWD at December 23, 2003 at 07:49 AM

Did you say it wasn't plastic? Do you mean that Bush had an innocent turkey killed just to serve as a decoration? Why didn't he pardon it?

It would have been OK if it was tofu.

Posted by: Amphipolis at December 23, 2003 at 08:26 AM

I actually like Easterbrook a lot. He's a great investigative journalist, if a bit quick to fly off the handle.

What I don't like about him is that he calls his TNR project a "blog". It is not a blog. Blogs feature links and interaction with readers. Easterbook's...thing...features virtually no links, and maintains the Big Media habit of completely ignoring the readers.

He's not a blogger. As much as I appreciate him as a writer and polymath, his site is a weekly newspaper column, unedited and online. A blog it is not.

Posted by: Slippery Pete at December 23, 2003 at 11:20 AM

Man, you're all deluded propagandized fools.

Yes, it's a real turkey, and it was brought to Iraq on Air Force One and prepared after landing, so that Dubya could ritualistically heft the bird while standing on the ancient sands of Mesopotamia.

His dad made him do it. It's a Skull and Bones thing; now the Bush family is almost guaranteed dominion over all the principalities and powers of the earth.

In a few weeks, you'll see some footage of Dubya wearing a weird mask and doing a little dance on the White House lawn, shaking a human thighbone over his head, which will make the pundits' tongues wag anew. That's Nixon's thighbone. It's all about mastering the occultic powers, people! Don't you get it, man?! We're being sold into bondage to darkness!! The Angelic Light of the West is being defeated by the generational evil of the Bushes! Prescott Bush ate Jewish babies! They're out there! They're out there right now! You don't know! Nobody knows! Only I know, and I'm telling you man we're all gonna be sucking Satan's testes in an eternal Republican Hell on Earth!

Vote Dean 2004.

Posted by: Ian Wood at December 23, 2003 at 12:28 PM

Demons, eh?

I, for one, welcome our new insect demon overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground caves.

Posted by: Al Maviva at December 23, 2003 at 12:40 PM

You told! Now you're going to have to go into hiding! Run, man, run!!!! Before They get you.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 23, 2003 at 06:52 PM