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Is Barack Obama’s Situation Room George Bush’s Plastic Turkey

by | 11th, May 2011

ON Saturday 6 December 2003, Mark Lawson told Guardian readers that George Bush was “stuffed by a plastic turkey”.

In a revelation certain to be taught at schools of democracy and journalism for years to come, it has been revealed that the apparently appetising turkey that President Bush carried towards beaming troops last week in Baghdad had been genetically modified to a degree that would lead even the most profit-hungry farmers to protest. The bird was the kind of model used by butchers and Hollywood set-dressers.

Following this disclosure, the president is, unlike his political prop, stuffed…

…the affair of the plastic turkey can only be attributed to insecurity.

…Whatever the details, the message is clear. Though he still lacks anything as pesky as a plausible Democrat opponent, Dubya is starting to fear that his administration may become the second one-term turkey served up by the Bush dynasty.

The plastic turkey of Baghdad had been sold to the readers.

Only, it wasn’t plastic. Also writing in December, 2003, was The Washington Post’s Mike Allen:

In the most widely published image from his Thanksgiving Day trip to Baghdad, the beaming president is wearing an Army workout jacket and surrounded by soldiers as he cradles a platter with a golden-brown turkey.

Officials said they did not know the turkey would be there or that Bush would pick it up. A contractor had roasted and primped the turkey to adorn the buffet line, while the 600 soldiers were served from cafeteria-style steam trays, the officials said. They said the bird was not placed there in anticipation of Bush’s stealthy visit, and military sources said a trophy turkey is a standard feature of holiday chow lines.

The BBC picked up on it and still used it to bash Bush:

They [soldiers] had not been told in advance of Mr Bush’s visit – the first to Iraq by a US president – and even journalists accompanying him were warned not to report the visit until they had left the country on Air Force One, the president’s plane.

So. It was surprise trip. And:

US officials countered they did not know that the turkey was going to be there or that Mr Bush was going to pick it up

The New York Times admitted the turkey was real, in 2004:

An article last Sunday about surprises in politics referred incorrectly to the turkey carried by President Bush during his unannounced visit to American troops in Baghdad over Thanksgiving. It was real, not fake.

Why is this news now? Well, the plastic turkey story nonsense is still on the web and being spread. And people are looking at Obama’s Situation Room photos of the Osama bin Laden kill with a keen eye. Although Mark Lawson has yet to dissect it (cough)…



Posted: 11th, May 2011 | In: Key Posts, Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink