Turkey Gate – The Fiasco That Wouldn’t Die.

22 11 2008

Sarah Palin’s turkey pardoning has indeed caused a big flap (pardon the pun). It’s not so much that we don’t deep down understand where our food comes from. It’s not that we’d expect our rifle-totin’, NRA member for life, moose field dressing governer to be squeamish about the turkey killing that was happening on a turkey farm. It’s simply the fact that she showed without a shadow of doubt that she does not “think outside the bubble” of her own brain. The scene did not offend her, but the critical step of imagining the scene from another’s perspective was completely missing. What about the vast majority of Americans who never get closer to their meat than the supermarket? What about small children who love animals that happen to be watching the 5:00 local news? There are all sorts of distasteful or unfortunate things in the world that are just part of life, but they’re not going to score you political points by standing in front of them and broadcasting it out to the world. This is the problem. Lack of perspective, lack of empathy and lack of understanding that this just might be controversial.

Scott Jensen is the one who filmed the scene. He’s local station KTUU’s award winning chief photographer. He told CC from KUDO radio yesterday that Sarah Palin, who was standing next to her personal assistant throughout the entire interview, chose the spot on which she stood for the “turkey slaughter interview” that quickly went viral on the internet, and received wide coverage in the news media. The turkey slaughter was already underway when the governor chose the spot. The photographer pointed out what was going on and asked her if she wanted to move. She said, “No worries.”

Several of her staff were present the entire time while the journalism-major-turned-governor spoke to the people. And then there was the actual footage of her looking at the guy while he was killing the turkeys.

This was pretty much covered on the day it happened in various reports of the horrifying pr debacle. So why bring it up again? Because now, Palin is denying it, and saying she had no idea of what was going on ten feet behind her while she gave the interview, and is basically calling the photographer a liar.

“The [Alaska] governor did not know it was going on behind her,” Palin’s spokesperson tells ET of the reportedly grisly scene at Triple D Farm & Hatchery outside Wasilla. Cameras captured Palin extending the annual Thanksgiving pardon to one turkey while a farm hand slaughtered the bird’s feathered friends in the background.

Palin’s spokesperson tells ET the bird butchering wasn’t going on when the shot was set up, and a cameraman “ignored” the governor’s staff’s request to remove the graphic sight once cameras were rolling.

Of course, Palin or her staff could have stopped the interview at any time if this had been the case. Considering there were many people there who saw and heard exactly what happened during this interview, and that I know one of them personally, we can feel confident in saying this desperate attempt on Entertainment Tonight to rescue Palin’s image from the turkey pile sounds like exactly what it is – a big fat lie.

Once again the media becomes the whipping boy for Palin’s incompetence, lack of judgment, and inability to understand how she is perceived by others.

KTUU has pulled the footage from their own site, and it aired only on the 5:00 news, but it has now been viewed on YouTube more than 2 million times.