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Has the White House turkey pardon jumped the shark? (+video)

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Has the White House turkey pardon jumped the shark?

We ask this because this year’s traditional ceremony – in which President Obama will pardon a bird presumably otherwise bound for a Thanksgiving platter – is more, um, elaborate than ever. It involves two turkeys, and Facebook, and voting, and Carly Simon. This isn’t a lighter moment in a president’s otherwise heavy schedule, it’s an over-produced reality show. Call it “The Gravy Factor," or maybe “America’s Got Drumsticks."

OK, we’ll back up a moment and take this whole thing from the top. Since at least 1947, US presidents have participated in an annual event in which they receive a turkey from the National Turkey Federation in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving harvest feast.

At the beginning, these birds had a date with oyster stuffing. President Truman ate his, or at least said he was going to. President Eisenhower did the same thing.

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