I read recently about a turkey farm where the birds are dispatched for Thanksgiving meals "humanely" - which apparently makes the birds taste better, or at least eases the guilt to the consumer, and coincidentally drives the price of the birds way, way up.
I have worked with game birds in the past, and know how to "dispatch" them. Frankly, I don't see how giving the bird a well meaning hug before it is killed changes anything for the bird. It is still dead, and its death is still just one step on the way to someone's dinner table.
Just goes to show you I guess.
I was thinking of this the other day when I saw the video of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin "pardoning" a lucky Alaskan turkey. Unlike a similar ceremony that takes place each year at the White House, Gov. Palin went directly to the turkey farm, walked right into the holding pen among dozens of domestic turkeys, and took it upon herself to select the lucky bird. It is obvious that she does not delegate responsibility for her actions to others.
Afterward, when the governor emerged from the holding pen where she had read an official State of Alaska proclamation freeing the turkey, she held a press conference for the local media. As she was answering questions one of the local film crews walked behind the Governor, and began shooting a scene some yards to her left, where the turkey farm workers were going about the business of slaughtering birds that hadn't been pardoned.
As is to be expected, the national media immediately jumped on this obvious act of duplicity and began spreading a story about a another "bizarre" incident involving Governor Palin. But when you actually see the film, you realize the governor had nothing to do with the turkey farm workers going about their jobs, and nothing she did or said - about how her family celebrates the upcoming holidays, and her son's service in Iraq - was in any way bizarre or connected to the workers.
In fact, it was apparent that she wasn't even aware of what was happening. And the action wasn't behind her, as I said, it was off to her left, some yards away.
But this incident merely highlights the depths to which the media, both in Alaska and nationally, will go in its non-stop effort to discredit Sarah Palin. It is equally obvious that this reprehensible, unprofessional propaganda will continue as long as she is on the national scene.
There is no doubt in my mind that the continued attacks on Sarah Palin, including lies being spread by former workers in the John McCain campaign, are a deliberate attack designed to keep her from coming back on the presidential campaign trail in time for the 2012 election.
It seems that McCain's handlers, who have to be the all-time incompetents in the campaign strategy profession, were involved in a deliberate effort to sabotage McCain's campaign, either with or without his knowledge. It also seems that the decision to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate was not intended to enhance his campaign, but to drive it even deeper into the negative.
Anyone who has dealt with the inside the DC beltway or Manhattan Island elitists knows that they consider anyone who is not them to somehow be less. That means less intelligent, less sophisticated, less capable and certainly less worthy.
When Sarah Palin emerged from the wilds of Alaska you can bet that McCain's "strategists" figured she was a back country hick who would quickly become an even bigger embarrassment to the McCain campaign than he was. But she surprised them.
Sarah Palin burst on the scene as a straight talking, straight shooting, knowledgeable and capable chief executive who suddenly energized not just the Republican base, but also a big chunk of the crucial independent vote. What a shock that must have been to the McCain team!
Based on statements in the media that have continued after the election - from anonymous campaign "insiders" of course - Sarah Palin was chosen so these insiders could make a mockery of her and the McCain campaign. If the vote had been the landslide that nearly every media outlet was predicting, it would have been very convenient to make her the scapegoat, so conservative voters wouldn't spend much time questioning how McCain became the GOP nominee in the first place.
But Sarah Palin upset the apple cart and endeared herself to the America public. Only dolts, dupes, idiots and lamebrained nincompoops accept the garbage said about her at face value - especially when the media reports that the source of this slander invariably is "anonymous insiders."
I don't think this is a post-election cover-your-ass strategy at work. I think it is part of an ongoing effort to keep Sarah Palin in Alaska for the next twenty years.
To obtain a classic example of how the media has been lying and distorting Gov. Palin's comments, any American voter who takes any pride in their pre-election selection efforts need only find a tape of what she said about Russia - "you can see it from some of Alaska's islands" and compare it to what was said about her on Saturday Night Live - "you can see it from my house."
Sarah Palin is back in Alaska now, going about the business of being governor, including pardoning turkeys. McCain is out of the picture and the president elect is reneging on his campaign promises on a nearly daily basis - first Iraq, then Guantanamo, today the rollback on President Bush's tax policies.
However, the media is paying scant attention to McCain, the president-elect, or even President Bush. Yet it still is hounding Sarah Palin and deliberately producing contrived propaganda and calling it news. Why? You'd think she'd be yesterday's news.
Gov. Palin should take some time to think about her future and her options. If she is going to return to the campaign trail, she must give serious consideration to how she intends to deal with the media.
The American media - whether it is the treasonous New York Times, or Fox News reporter Carl Cameron who has no qualms about passing vicious rumors with no attribution or attempt to verify them - is compromised as far as political coverage is concerned. There is not a single news outlet on the national scene, print or electronic, that can be trusted to tell the truth.
Thus, Sarah Palin and any other national candidate will have to determine how to communicate their messages directly to the voters without the media filter. There are ways to minimize the impact of the media, and there must be a sea change in the way the candidates treat the media, including how much access is permitted.
Face it. Sarah Palin got no votes from what people saw on television, network or cable, and no votes from the print media. When she was speaking at live events such as the GOP convention, she scored big with the public, but when her comments went through the media filter, she suffered.
Changes are required. But as has been made clear by McCain's advisers and the ongoing media efforts to demonize her, Gov. Palin can not get her advice from establishment media or inside-the-beltway strategists. That truly would be hiring the fox to guard the henhouse.
Sunday, November 23, 2008