A Cornucopia of New York Times Thanksgiving Bias: Remember Bush's 'Fake Turkey'?

November 27th, 2014 7:22 PM

Is there no beloved American tradition the liberal media won't try to sour? "A Warning on Nutmeg," a silly post from the New York Times' health section, failed to come close to justifying its alarmist headline, and functioned as a near parody of liberal media handwringing.

In these early days of the holiday season, as cooks begin sifting through recipes rich in spice and sugar, consider this small warning from toxicologists: Measure your nutmeg carefully.

Very carefully.

Near the end, writer Deborah Blum admitted that the dangers of nutmeg weren't all that dangerous, and that it would take at least a couple of heaping tablespoons of nutmeg --far more than anyone would want to stomach of the strong spice -- to notice any adverse affects.

Dr. Boyer said he has seen just two cases of nutmeg poisoning that required hospitalization in 15 years, and both of those were teenagers looking for a high. “They recovered more slowly than we expected, and then the nutmeg story crept out,” he said.

The comments section was withering, including this one from Laura J: "Ha, ha, you fooled us! We fell for the clickbait headline."

It's far from the first time the paper has flubbed Thanksgiving, either politically or by just being ridiculous. A recent epic story on Thanksgiving dishes from all 50 states required an epic correction:

The recipe from Connecticut, for quince with cipollini onions and bacon, omitted directions for preparing the quince. It should be peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks. An illustration with the West Virginia recipe, for pawpaw pudding, depicted a papaya — not a pawpaw, which is correctly depicted above. The introduction to the recipe from Arizona, for cranberry sauce and chiles, misstated the origin of Hatch chiles. They are grown in New Mexico, not in Arizona.

The introduction to the Delaware recipe, for du Pont turkey with truffled zucchini stuffing, referred incorrectly to several historical points about the Winterthur estate. It was an ancestral home of the du Pont family, not the sole one; it was established in 1837, not in 1810; the house was completed in 1839, not in 1837. The introduction also misstated the relationship of Pauline Foster du Pont to Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. Pauline was the wife of Mr. du Pont’s grandson, not his daughter-in-law.

And, finally, the label for the illustration for the nation’s capital misspelled the District of Columbia as Colombia.

Even the paper's Public Editor Margaret Sullivan weighed in, on the convoluted case of "grape salad" in Minnesota:

The effort was impressive, and engaging, and -- in at least one case -- bizarrely wrong.

The epic recipe fail came in the Minnesota entry: Grape Salad. A reasonable choice might have been the potato-dough flatbreads known as lefse or a wild rice dish. But instead The Times offered something that the state’s residents not only did not traditionally serve, but also – according to my mail – had never even heard of. One reader, Michelle Goedert, wrote to me as follows:

Dear New York Times,
What the hell is “grape salad”?

All of Minnesota

A pre-Thanksgiving 2009 op-ed by Bucknell professor Gary Steiner, "Animal, Vegetable, Miserable," used the holiday to shovel out double helpings of left-wing guilt-mongering.

Lately more people have begun to express an interest in where the meat they eat comes from and how it was raised. Were the animals humanely treated? Did they have a good quality of life before the death that turned them into someone’s dinner?

Some of these questions, which reach a fever pitch in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, pertain to the ways in which animals are treated. (Did your turkey get to live outdoors?) Others focus on the question of how eating the animals in question will affect the consumer’s health and well-being. (Was it given hormones and antibiotics?)

And the Times made a real turkey of an anti-Bush error when Washington editor Richard Berke forwarded a left-wing rumor as fact on Independence Day 2004: "There are also the manufactured surprises, like Mr. Bush's cloak-and-dagger Thanksgiving trip to Baghdad, which drew praise even from Democrats. (The public relations bonanza fizzled after the press reported that Mr. Bush had posed with a mouth-watering-but fake-turkey.)"

A week later the Times ate crow: "An article last Sunday about surprises in politics referred incorrectly to the turkey carried by President Bush during his unannounced visit to American troops in Baghdad over Thanksgiving. It was real, not fake."

Perhaps the silliest and most biased Thanksgiving commentary came during the heat of the 2008 campaign, when the Times and the rest of the media was finding new and inventive ways to mock GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. A post from the paper's former editorial page blog, "A Sarah Palin Thanksgiving," was almost a parody of liberal prissiness.

A clip of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a lame local turkey-pardoning photo-op got wide circulation on the liberal cable network MSNBC after she chose to give a stand-up interview as the rest of the turkeys were being slaughtered behind her. Color the Times' sheltered editorialists disturbed:

We've differed with Sarah Palin a great deal on substance. We don't agree with her hardline approach to the Iraq War, her harsh anti-government rhetoric, and her style of negative campaigning.

But we also worry a bit about, how should we put it, the persona she has brought with her to national politics. We did not care at all for the swipe she took against community organizers at the Republican National Convention.

And then there's this. You don't have to be a huge animal lover to question why Governor Palin chose to be interviewed - while issuing a traditional seasonal pardon of a turkey - while turkeys were being executed in the background.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air mocked the Times' offended sensibilities:

One man butchers a turkey for food (two, actually), and the New York Times gets the vapors. Have any of them ever eaten meat? At all? The editors of the Times should declare right now whether they plan to eat real turkey on Thanksgiving, and/or use turkey in sandwiches from now on. If so, how would they expect to have that available to them without the kind of process seen in this clip? Did they think that turkeys somehow committed suicide and left wills donating their bodies to family dining tables around the world?

Executed. Someone send the Times a vat of smelling salts.