According to FoxNation, the New York Times is waging "war" on Thanksgiving, because of an article that criticizes the annual Presidential pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey, as part of the wider discussion on the ethics of the practice of pardoning death row inmates. The objectionable part to Fox Nation goes as follows:
In just a few days, we will once again endure the annual spectacle of the president of the United States pardoning a turkey that would otherwise have been fated for the Thanksgiving table. This event is typically covered in the media as a light-hearted bit of fluff — and fluff is what it might well be, if there were not actual humans on death row awaiting similar intervention. In the current American context, however, the turkey pardon is a distasteful parody of the strange power vested in politicians to decide the earthly fates of death-row prisoners. There is in it an implicit acknowledgment that the killing of these prisoners is a practice that bears real, non-jocular comparison to the ritual slaughter of birds for feasts.
I am not saying that this slaughter of birds for food is wrong ― not here anyway ― but only that the parallel the presidential ritual invites us to notice is revealing. To riff on Dostoyevsky’s famous line about prisoners: you can tell what a nation is like by the way it treats its turkeys. Obama’s pardoning of one randomly selected bird at Thanksgiving not only carries with it an implicit validation of the slaughtering of millions of other turkeys. It also involves an implicit validation of the parallel practice for human beings, in which the occasional death-row inmate is pardoned, or given a stay by the hidden reasoning of an increasingly capricious Supreme Court, even as the majority of condemned prisoners are not so lucky. In this respect, the Thanksgiving pardon is an acknowledgment of the arbitrariness of the system of capital punishment.
The New York Times' point, which was missed by those at FoxNation, was that the purpose of capital punishment was to demonstrate the power of the state over individuals.
It is thus not surprising that in most of the Western world, capital punishment died away, though usually only gradually, along with the decline of absolutism and the shift to democracy. When a person is executed, a message is sent about what the state may legitimately do to its subjects, and it is a message that has proven difficult to make fit with other basic commitments of a political culture that rejects arbitrary absolutism and favors human dignity and human rights.
Readers at FoxNation voted the NYT article as "obnoxious," with "offensive" coming in second. Posters on FoxNation were outraged, saying:
Please, you arrogant, self righteous, leftist nitwit, save your musings. We know you really could care less about turkeys and really want to control something, ANYTING. How dare anyone find pleasure in something I don't? I am thankful this Thanksgiving that I likely share NONE of your values.
FoxNation readers were far more concerned that Butterball turkeys were certified "halal" demonstrating their great tolerance for Muslim Americans:
I Love Turkey but am more upset that Butterball has confirmed that the company's turkeys are now labeled with halal standards.In other words slaughtered and blessed in the name of allah!
Apparently this is true, according to the Butterball website. Pamela Gellar of the American Thinker decided to spread some festive hate, when she accused the company of waging a secret jihad on the nation by sneaking halal turkeys on unsuspecting American tables:
Non-Muslims in America and Europe don't deserve to have halal turkey forced upon them in this way, without their knowledge or consent. So this Thanksgiving, fight for your freedom. Find a non-halal, non-Butterball turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday. And write to Butterball and request, politely but firmly, that they stop selling only halal turkeys, and make non-halal turkeys available to Americans who still value our freedoms.
Across this great country, on Thanksgiving tables nationwide, infidel Americans are unwittingly going to be serving [stealth] halal turkeys to their families this Thursday.
It's not the NYT who are waging a war on Thanksgiving–the culprit is Butterball, foisting stealth Muslim turkeys on an unsuspecting white American populace. If you eat it, apparently Ms. Gellar believes you will wake up the day after Thanksgiving, with halal turkey surging through your digestive system an indoctrinated-by-turkey Muslim zombie.
Her big complaint is that because "halal" is Islamic, it must be cruel to the turkey. Turkey cruelty is never brought up by the right, so this is a soft moment for conservatives. According to Cornell University's Joe Regenstein, professor of food science, the Halal method is one of the most humane methods of animal slaughter:
"The methods of humane slaughter have seen an improvement over the past several years," says Regenstein. "The key to all slaughter — as an acceptable practice — is to ensure the animal is not stressed. By implementing new methods for kosher or halal slaughter that incorporate newer technology, the animals are less stressed and, as a result of less stress on the animals, not only are the animals happier, but workers in the slaughterhouses are much safer," he says.
Yesterday a poll found that FoxNews readers have been found to be less informed than people who read other news sources.