When You Say ‘Zoo,’ Elephants Hear ‘Guantanamo Bay’

December 4th, 2008 2:19 PM
Sometimes you have to laugh at the overwrought emotion that Hollywood celebrities bring to their causes. In a story on Thursday’s Today (in the supposedly hard news 7am half hour), KNBC reporter Robert Kovasic reported on a debate in Los Angeles about whether to spend $40 million to renovate and enlarge the elephant compound at the Los Angeles Zoo, or instead create a 100-acre elephant preserve just outside the city.

MRC’s Geoff Dickens caught this soundbite of actress Lily Tomlin wailing about the plight of the elephant in the zoo: “The word, ‘zoo’ is sort of elephant-speak for Guantanamo. They’re really, they are suffering and being tortured.”

The elephant in question, named "Billy," was shown alternately munching on a leaf, walking near a pond, and sticking his truck over the fence at tourists with cameras — which is, I believe, an existence very similar to terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Here’s the relevant portion of the story from the December 4 Today:
ROBERT KOVASIC (KNBC REPORTER): The nation's second largest city has one very large problem, an Asian elephant named "Billy." Billy's become the poster pachyderm for Hollywood animal lovers, like Halle Berry, Goldie Hawn, Kim Basinger and Bob Barker, who believe Billy or any other elephant should not live in a zoo.

LILY TOMLIN: The word, "zoo," is sort of elephant-speak for Guantanamo. They're really, they are suffering and being tortured.