Turkeys 2010

25 November 2010

It is time once again to pick up the crown that Skippy dropped and announce the Turkeys of 2010. Skippy is the childhood nickname of famed Chicago TV newscaster Walter Jacobson who used to give out Turkeys to those of dubious achievement during the year.

Close your eyes, here we go. These awards are in no particular order.

On April 20th, there was a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In the aftermath, BP CEO Tony Hayward was caught on video saying that he wants his life back. I see, this whole thing was just an inconvenience to you and not anyone else affected by the spill. You are an Unctuous Turkey.

Speaking of BP, have you noticed how good they are at Public Relations? They manipulated everyone to call it “The Gulf Oil Spill” not “The BP Oil Spill.” Even Wikipedia doesn’t recognize it as BP Oil Spill, calling it instead the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. BP you are PR Nightmare Turkeys.

Rep. Joe Barton, during a congressional hearing into the spill had the temerity to apologize to Hayward and BP for making them pay for the damage they caused. As a coda, Barton is now in line to become the chair of the Energy Committee. One can only wonder whom else he will apologize to if that happens.  Oh, by the way, who is the biggest contributor to Barton’s campaign fund? If you said the oil and gas industry, you are way ahead of me. Barton is a Double-Unctuous Turkey. (Note: I just love using the word unctuous.)

This election cycle was not without Turkeys, but the biggest one could turn you into a newt, literally. Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell admitted that when she was a teenager she “dabbled” in witchcraft. I miss the good old days when politicians used to “experiment” with marijuana. Sadly, O’Donnell lost in her bid to represent The First State. O’Donnell is a Broom-Driving Turkey.

This leads us into the Tea Party. Did you know that TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already? Earlier this year, a CBS poll showed only two percent of the Tea Baggers think taxes have been decreased. 46 percent say taxes are the same and a whopping 44 percent say they believe taxes have gone up. A recent Rasmussen survey reported that 66% of Americans believe the nation is over-taxed. According to someone who actually has facts and knowledge, two things that are in short supply at the Tea Party, William Gale, co-director of the Tax Policy Center and director of the Retirement Security Project at the Brookings Institution stated, “taxes are at their lowest levels in 60 years. The rise of the Tea Party at a time when taxes are literally at their lowest in decades is really hard to understand.” For being good-hearted but ultimately ignorant, the Tea party is a bunch of Twinings Turkeys.

While we are on the Tea Party, what happed to the GOP? How could this once powerful party get hijacked by whackos? After the 2008 whooping they took, they really did open up the big tent. Sadly, al the loons walked in while the door was open. It’s scary that these Tea Baggers were all coming of political age under the Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan. Apparently, they never listened to a word he said, they just liked it when a conservative was in office. The GOP seeing the new blood thought it was great and they were on their way back. With the Tea Baggers now holding the GOP hostage, we are on the way back indeed, to the 1950’s in terms of social issues. What happened to the real GOP that would have kicked these nut bags out on their asses? When did the GOP become, ah, Democrats? For being pushovers, the rank and file GOP are Turkeys.

In 2008, we were promised hope and change by a new president. Well two years in and where is it? Obama waltzed into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with a huge voter majority, almost 10, million votes, a majority in both houses of Congress and a generous agenda. In that time he and his wimpy Dem brethren have turned tail and hid every time anyone threatens a filibuster. He did get the healthcare bill though (though it will likely be repealed) but it was watered down. He didn’t do jack shit about the environment, the deficit, jobs etc. The previous president did whatever he wanted to whether we liked it or not. Obama needs to be more like Bush (I just threw-up a little in my mouth.) For leading us down the primrose path, you are a Presidential Turkey.

Turning to the media, a few weeks ago MSNBC suspended commentator Keith Olbermann indefinitely for making unauthorized political contributions without telling his bosses at NBC. The suspension sent shockwaves through the media. Hell, even FOX News commentators sided with the liberal Olbermann. FOX, of course, employees the four leading republican presidential candidates (Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee) and has had its commentators (Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck) hold rallies for republican candidates. How long is “indefinitely”?  According to NBC, just two days. Olbermann was reinstated on Monday, after being suspended without pay on the previous Friday. I got more time for pulling the fire alarm in 9th grade.

I am not done with the fourth place network. Loyal readers of Pure Gibberish will remember that I addressed NBC’s late night kerfuffle last December (https://puregibberish.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/nbc%e2%80%99s-dilemma-or-2003-re-visited/). NBC had moved late night stalwart Jay Leno to the 10:00 pm slot and Conan O’Brien was rewarded with “The Tonight Show.” Conan held court for a prestigious nine months and Leno was in his slot for less than four when the rumblings began. Leno’s show wasn’t hitting the ratings benchmarks and he wanted his old job back. NBC, being the clever bastards they are, wrote Conon’s contract to state he would host “The Tonight Show” but it never specified the time. The brilliant plan was to have Jay go back to 11:35 pm and Conan have his show at 12:05 am. Well that started a whole thing and it didn’t involve make-up sex, although someone did get screwed. Jay returned and Conan walked with a phat buyout of $32-million. Almost a year later Jay’s ratings have not climbed to where Conan’s were when he left. Coco is now at TBS and has had decent numbers for basic cable. For showing the Sheinhardt Wig Company: “Not Poisoning Rivers Since 1997,” was right for unloading the network, NBC is a Peacock Turkey.The huge summer spectator sport was not baseball or the World Cup (see below) it was “LeBron Watch.” Cleveland Cavalier superstar LeBron James was out of contract at the end of the last NBA season. He had a huge decision to make; stay in his hometown of Cleveland and bring “The Cleve” their first championship in any sport since 1964 when the Browns won the pre-Super Bowl era NFL Championship or go and win a ring somewhere else. Many teams put on a show in order to win LeBron’s considerable talents for the next few years. What no one knew was that the deal was already done. While Cavs owner Dan Snyder acted confident that King James would stay, it was long ago decided that he would go. In 2008, during the Olympics, James and fellow “Redeem Team” members Chris Bosh and Dewayne Wade hatched a plot for all of them to play together in Miami when James became a free agent. To make matters worse, James was going to announce his “decision” on a live, hour-long show on ESPN. When he made his announcement, he didn’t even show remorse at swerving Cleveland. The next night there was a rally at American Airlines Arena in Miami where all three players showed up to a packed house and acted like spoiled millionaires who just put one over on everyone. Commentators were already proclaiming this the greatest team ever, the season not played and the NBA title handed to them. As of this writing the Heat are less than tepid. They are one game over .500 and currently fifth in the playoff race. James is averaging 23.5 ppg, four points below his career average. Lebron James is a Cleveland Steamer Turkey. (Trust me, don’t look it up.)

I was all over the World Cup. I know I may be the only one and I will take all appropriate ribbing for it. In a quarter final match, Uruguay was playing Ghana. The score was drawn at one when in the closing moments; the Ghanaians released a furious attack at the Uruguayan goal. Two shots were stopped and with the goalie out of position a third shot was headed toward goal. The ball was going in save for one man, striker Luis Suarez. Not being a goalie, the rules state all Suarez could do is head the ball away. Instead, he did the unsportsmanlike like thing and stopped the shot with his hand, like a volleyball player. In football (soccer) that is verboten. The infraction carries with it an automatic red card (ejection) plus a penalty kick (one player vs. the goalie). Ghana’s penalty kick master Asamoah Gyan took the shot and missed, hitting the crossbar instead. Celebrating from the player’s tunnel was the banished Suarez. Uruguay went on to win the match and advance to the semi-finals. After the match, Suarez told reporters, “I think I made the best save of the World Cup. It’s difficult to be sent off at a World Cup. It’s complicated but the way in which I was sent off today — truth is, it was worth it.” Was it out and out cheating, no. Suarez showed that bad form amongst athletes is not just an American attribute. Football prides itself on sportsmanship. To further the point, just this week, Suarez was red carded for biting an opposing player in the neck. Luis Suarez is a hand-drawn Turkey.


After yet another losing season and another manager, in 2007 the Cubs were looking for a new leader. Out stepped Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg. He had a meeting with GM Jim Hendry about his plans to manage. Hendry was direct with the Hall of Famer; “Ryno, you need experience. Fear not, you can work your way up to it in the Cubs minor league system.” Ryno dutifully did this. He toiled four years in the minors. He rode the bus, he ate at dives on the road and he did something that the Cubs are not used to – he won. Here it is 2010, lo and behold, the Cubs, after another year of futility, are looking for another manager, the 49th since the last time they won the World Series The last time a former Cubs player managed the team, Don Zimmer took them to the playoffs and actually won a game. It should have been a no-brainer, name a Cub legend and all around good guy as manager. He wins the World Series and finally brings glory to the Northside. Did that happen? Quicker than Keith Moreland drops a routine fly ball; Hendy decided that the new manager should be Cubs caretaker manager Mike Quade. Meanwhile, Ryno accepted the position of AAA manager at Philadelphia, the team who drafted him in the 20th round in 1978. He is being groomed at as the heir apparent to current manager Charlie Manuel. Meanwhile the Cubs are looking like 103 years without a World Series. Jim Hendry, you are a Wait Till Next Decade Turkey.

Finally, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).Last week, the TSA announced they were going to start treating suspect passengers like a 15-year-old boy at Sanderson HS with his first girlfriend. Nothing will be off limits in the “pat-down.” If I tried doing in public what TSA agents are doing at airports, Det. Stabler would have me in one of his famous interrogation rooms where I would admit to everything from being Steve Bartman to the Zodiac Killer. For making passengers stand in line for hours and then being able to group them while being paid for it all in the name of air safety, you are a Hands On Turkey.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving from the biggest Turkey of them all.


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