Let's talk turkey

Just two days from Thanksgiving, the White House reminds us that "President Obama will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey, and once again the American people will decide which bird takes the title." Of course, Jason Noble at the Des Moines Register helpfully adds, "When voting for #TeamCaramel or #TeamPopcorn, just remember: you're sentencing the one you don't choose TO DEATH."

Not quite true, as we're told that POTUS will pardon both Popcorn and Caramel (yes, they have names!), it's just that only one reportedly gets to meet Obama tomorrow. Although that certainly didn't stop journalists from running with this, and below are some of our favorites, organized by category.

Journalists who went along with it:
Journalists who got in some great political jabs:
  • Caitlin Kelly with The New Yorker: "You may not be able to sign up for health care online, but by god you can vote to spare a large bird."
  • Binyamin Appelbaum at The New York Times: "There are programmers at the White House with time on their hands?"
  • Tom Gara at the Wall Street Journal: "So the launch of the online Death Panels has gone smoothly."
  • Tara Murtha at Philadelphia Weekly: "Huh. Not what we mean by choice."
  • Lachlan Markay at Washington Free Beacon: "The @PETA statement on this is gonna be epic."
Also, this year, you can actually "learn" about each bird and listen to audio clips of their gobble before making your selection. Here are the journalists weirded out by that:
  • Versha Sharma at Vocativ: "Also, the White House is so weird. The turkeys have favorite songs - Lady Gaga and Beyonce."
  • Mark Berman with the Washington Post: "Yep, let's anthropomorphize these birds and keep on pretending like a turkey could prefer Gaga to Beyonce."
  • Jessica Roy with TIME: "obviously the turkey who loves beyonce should be pardoned."
  • Nikki Schwab at U.S. News & World Report: "The Turkeys' favorite songs are by @LadyGaga and @Beyonce, both big supporters of Obama. Coincidence? You decide."
Journalists who would rather be in Panem:
  • Emily McFarlan at the Chicago Sun-Times: "This feel a little Hunger Games-y to you?"
  • Mike Wereschagin with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Which one's from District 13?"
  • Stephanie Haberman for NBC News: "May the odds be ever in your flavor."​

Journalists who are just plain not impressed:

  • Ned Resnikoff at MSNBC: "It's a dumb/dark/odd/macabre tradition."
  • Seth Fiegerman with Mashable: "This is exactly what social media was made for: deciding who should live or die."
  • Amy Tennery at Reuters: "Cool, except for the part where we VOTE ONE TO DEATH."
  • Annie Lowrey with The New York Times: "We are sad, sad little people."
  • Rebecca Sinderbrand at Politico: "But not as sad as the turkeys. (Hunger Games joke here. Drops mic)."
  • Andrew Kaczynski with Buzzfeed, who got Biblical: "give us barabbas."
Then Dan Zak at Washington Post had a sobering newsflash for us: "In truth, both turkeys get pardoned, and both will be dead within two or so years." So, then ... what is the point, again? Right on cue, Mother Jones adds fuel to the fire with these charts on "The Short, Stuffed Life of a Factory-Farmed Turkey."

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