White House Turkey Trot: A Children’s Treasury of Dumb Tradition

  nation of turkeys

Happy Poultry Lobbyist Day, Harry!On this Thanksgiving Morning/Mourning, we want to remind Americans that all presidents have always looked like twits during the annual Turkey Pardon Photo Op — of course Barack Obama looked like an idiot pretending to care about that dumb bird headed to Disneyland. (This is exactly why Obama seems so bored dealing with unemployed/destroyed people; he thinks they are turkeys, too.) Anyway, here’s Harry Truman, reportedly forced by the National Turkey Federation to start the dumb tradition, thus ensuring that other popular Thanksgiving main courses of the time — ham, roast beast, parsnips, etc. — would fall by the wayside. The Turkey Industry was the General Motors Bailout of 1947.

You don't want to know what LBJ did to that dead bird.Obviously faked, this photo of JFK’s 1963 pardoning of the bird allegedly took place just four days before he was assassinated by the CIA. Note that only a lone turkey is shown; presidents are always presented with two live turkeys, “just in case something goes wrong.”

That turkey's got a hidden mic up his butt! Nixon’s own pardon would come soon enough.

Whip Inflation Now, turkey!America was outraged by yet another shocking pardon by Gerald Ford, who is pictured here being only vaguely aware he’s president, like always.

Come look, mommy, it's a big scary bird!Say what you will about Reagan, but this was obviously the high point of his year.

Bow to me, goddamned bird.But once the Bush Dynasty had formally taken power, the childlike glee was forever gone. Now the weeping turkey cowered and bowed before GHWB, pledging all the Saudi and Kuwaiti oil fields in exchange for clemency.

Depends what you mean by 'pardon.'“You know, Jesse Jackson won South Carolina, too. What? Oh I hereby pardon this turkey and Marc Rich.”

Have you seen Dignity?Can you believe 2008 was George Bush Junior’s last Thanksgiving in the White House? Good-bye, George! Thanks for, uhh, fucking up the whole world forever, you turkey.

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A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

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38 comments

  1. Texan_Bulldog

    That picture of W getting fellated by the turkey will never get old. Happy Thanksgiving Wonkette world!

  2. memzilla

    Thank Jeebus that Shrub is out of the White House. I hear that Beelzebub is building a tenth circle of Hell just for his type of vapid, arrogant, willfully ignorant, pseudo-patrician Ivy League pretender and his hand-up-the-a** puppeteer Cheney. Hope y'all have the same exit strategy for that one that you used for two trumped-up wars, you mendacious piece of brain snarge. [ http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/snarge ]

  3. Sue4466

    At least when W pardoned the bird he didn't look like he had more important things on his mind. Now that's a sign of a competent leader.

  4. Sue4466

    At least when W pardoned the bird he didn't look like he had more important things–or well, anything–on his mind. And given how that all turned out, it's exactly what we want in a turkey pardoner.

  5. OkieDokieDog

    8 photos and I spotted 3 women amongst all those old white guys. Women could cook that turkey AND run the government, while these dudes just stand around looking stupid waiting for someone to bring them a turkey samitch.

  6. OneDollarJuana

    Hey, except for the first turkey, all those other turkeys are white! I thought we were over racism.

    1. Sparky_McGruff

      Everyone knows that the dark turkeys were convicted in a proper trial. Only white, republican turkeys face the terrible bias of our justice system. (Ref: Libby, Scooter and DeLay, Tom)

  7. revmod

    I think those turkeys are looking fatter and fatter as the years pass. Are we sure they only get stuffed with anus burgers after they die?

    1. OneDollarJuana

      I think they feed them Double Downs from KFC. Not quite cannibalism, but close. Kinda like eating monkey meat. Or Southerners.

  8. Lucidamente1

    There's no picture of Eisenhower ("we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the poultry industrial complex").

  9. Wadisay

    Back in Truman's day, the AEC used A-bomb tests to cook turkeys. Harry's bird looks like it was cooked standing up, one nano-second at 50,000 degrees.

  10. charlesdegoal

    Where's Lydon Johnson? The story, as I remember it, was that he replaced the turkey with a goose. He ran into Ted Kennedy who asked "What are you doing with that turkey", to which Johnson is supposed to have replied "It's not a turkey, it's a goose", eliciting the famous "I was talking to the goose" from Kennedy.
    That was when Democrats still had a sense of humor.

    1. OC_Surf_Serf

      fuck it…let's give them their 1948 back…its what they all want…so let's go back to:

      -Tax rates for the rich/corporations at 85-90%
      -A US Military the world is also proud of
      -Detroit builds desirable automobiles and has 98% of the market.
      -We travel without having to expose our woohoo.
      -We actually loan/pass out cash to the world and have a trade surplus.
      -We have high tariffs on imported crap.
      -We have 70% of the US workforce members of a Union.
      -The rich fucker who's name is on the building only makes 30X his lowest worker.

      1. Sparky_McGruff

        Sure, there's those things. But I think they miss the 1948 where the darkies stayed on the other side of the tracks, and you could comfortably take care of the uppity ones by having the sheriff come out with the dogs, or have an all-white jury put them away for lookin' at the white wimmen.

  11. rocktonsam

    I agree.
    Since my daughter and her husband just had to have kids and overpopulate the world, we like to sit down on thanksgiving morning and watch the Macy's parade.
    NBC's parade production is nothing more than ads,bad broadway productions, and Al ROKER,who gives a fuck about celebrities and Lauer and that really horny lady.
    I hate the USA and it thanksgiving because being thankful ain't enough unless you buy something or suck the celebrities butthole.
    I do like Snoopy and being drunk by 9:30 also.

  12. sherriawilson

    Wow, so that's the price W charged for pardons. If only the inmates in Texas and Scooter Libby had known.

  13. V572625694

    Carter hardly started any wars, and said we have to stop hogging more than our share of the world's stuff. Who wants to remember that? And his post presidential activities embarrass every other past president.

  14. slowhansolo

    A total hoot, appreciate the effort, but it's so unnecessary. That photo stands complete in all its glory. It transcends the season and ought to be posted daily somewhere just because.

    And didn't he make that same face dancing with all those brown people, also?

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