Who knew? (Even presidential turkey pardoning is BS ...)
Sigh. I've kind of loved the Turkey pardon thing because well ... I'm a sap. But my Thanksgiving bubble has been burst once again:
Ronald Reagan was technically the first president to "pardon" a Thanksgiving turkey, in 1987 — but he did it as a joke to distract the press from scandal. Reporters had been asking the president if he planned to grant a pardon to key Iran-Contra figures such as Oliver North and John Poindexter, and Reagan quipped that he would have pardoned that year's turkey had it not been en route to a petting zoo already.
Eventually, Reagan's successor George H.W. Bush made the turkey pardon an annual ritual in 1989. But it all started as a glib one-liner meant to deflect attention away from White House lawbreaking. Hardly a sacred convention.
Reagan was actually quite a jerk.
But nothing will ever beat this horrific --- and hilarious --- turkey pardon event.
"I'm in charge of the turkey ..."