The day before Thanksgiving is a notoriously slow one for political news, with one big exception that beltway journalists look forward to all year: the presidential pardoning of a turkey. The annual tradition is just about as unimportant a news story as they come, but the event is charming and often humorous. And, besides that, there is relatively little else for political reporters to write about today. But just because the president gets to have some fun doesn't mean the reporters shouldn't as well. Still, it can be easy to get carried away. Here are some of the more colorful write-ups on this year's turkey pardon.
- The Super-Detailed Play-by-Play CBS News' Brian Montopoli carefully chronicles, "Apple made a contented-sounding noise following the pardon, which Mr. Obama was quick to note. He and his children then approached the turkey; the president petted Apple on the back of the head, but Malia and Sasha declined to do so."
- Pretending The Turkeys Are People The Christian Science Monitor's Linda Feldman writes, "Obama pardoned Apple and Cider. According to the White House, the birds are 21 weeks old, weigh 45 pounds each, and hail from Foster Farms Wellsford Ranch outside Modesto, Calif. They were named by California schoolchildren. No word on what exactly the birds had done wrong, but they were reportedly relieved to escape the death penalty."
- Blaming Glenn Beck Mother Jones' Kevin Drum says he's tired of turkey pardons. "But of course that's impossible now. If Barack Hussein Obama decided to end the tradition, it would be yet another sign that he hates everything that makes America great, despises our great Christian traditions, and wants to bring Sharia law to the United States. So thanks to Glenn Beck & Co., we're stuck with this dumb tradition for at least another six years."
- Connecting It To 'Dancing With The Stars' CNN's Rachael Anderson goes there. "The stakes may have been high for Dancing with the Stars, but they were even higher for the two turkeys President Obama pardoned at the White House today. Obama offered the gobbling duo Apple and Cider a 'new lease on life' after they won a dance competition against 20,000 other feathered friends. Instead of receiving a mirror ball trophy like in 'DWTS', they got something even better: the gift of life."
- Opportunity for Anti-Obama Rant The Huffington Post's Dan Froomkin opens, "In one of the White House's sillier annual rituals, Barack Obama on Wednesday pardoned the second Thanksgiving turkey of his presidency. He has, however, yet to pardon a single human. ... Obama's grants could speak volumes about fairness, forgiveness, rehabilitation and renewal. He could restore rights, right wrongs, and bring freedom to the unduly oppressed. But he chooses not to." Froomkin dedicates about 1,600 words to criticizing Obama for pardoning turkeys rather than people.