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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Democrats Demand No-Pardon Guarantee For Thanksgiving Turkey
Flightless Bird Allegedly Woodward's, Novak's Source in CIA Leak Scandal

Washington (TFM Press) - The Democratic leadership in both the House of Representatives and the Senate today called on President Bush to not pardon the White House Thanksgiving Turkey, citing the ongoing investigation into the leaking of a CIA operative's identity to members of the media in 2003.

The turkey, named Marshmallow, is among those rumored to be the secret source of Washington Post celebrity journalist Bob Woodward, who revealed last week that he was contacted by a White House official in June 2003 who told him that the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of the decision to invade Iraq, worked for the CIA.

"Pardoning Marshmallow would send a very bad message to the American people about the administration's belief in justice being served," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters at a hastily-thrown-together press conference. "The turkey may be flightless, but we do not yet know whether he is guiltless."

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was equally adamant, albeit more glib than his colleague. "To pardon the Thanksgiving turkey in the middle of an ongoing espionage investigation would surely ruffle the feathers of the rule of law!"

Following an extended, unamused silence, Reid continued. "Um, Schumee, you wanna finish this up for me?"

Media Conflicted

While the Democratic leadership remains united in their opposition to a Presidential poultry pardon, members of the media have differing views as to the relevance of Marshmallow's potential testimony to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury.

"Marshmallow would be unique from the other major witnesses in this case because, unlike Matt Cooper or Judy Miller, you can draw him by tracing around your hand," ABC's Jeffrey Toobin said on Monday's edition of World News Tonight. "Surely his being allowed to testify would send a positive message to America's sketch artists."

"It is outrageous that a turkey would be forced to testify in a criminal investigation," CNN's Howard Kurtz said on this weekend's Reliable Sources. "Americans are tired of turkey and, frankly, they've had a little bit too much turkey for one day, and they're tired of it... tired... and sleepy..." Kurtz was then nudged awake by his producer. "We'll be right back! Coming up on Reliable Sources: Ninety percent of members of a certain profession want Al Qaeda to win! We'll tell you what profession right after this."

Woodward, Novak source?

Since the news broke of a possible Presidential pardon for him, speculation has been rampant in the media, as well as the halls of Congress, that Marshmallow was the secret White House source who talked to Bob Woodward on June 23rd, 2003.

"They must have spoken to each other," political commentator and blogger Arianna Huffington told TFM Press over the phone. "After all, Marshmallow is one of the few people at the White House who speaks in a way that Woodward really understands."

Added Huffington, "You don't believe me? Check out this passage from Maestro:
Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble Greenspan gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble Ayn Rand gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble love tryst gobble gobble gobble...
You see?"

While Huffington is confident that the turkey gobbled to Woodward, others speculate that Marshmallow was actually the as-yet unknown second source of conservative columnist and perennial People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive runner-up Robert Novak.

"It's really quite plausible, when you look at it," Howard Fineman writes in a column for this week's Newsweek. "Novak describes the source that gave him Valerie Plame's name as 'not a partisan gunslinger', and there is no less plausible gunslinger than a large, flightless bird with no hands."

When reached for comment, a representative for Novak told TFM Press that the columnist has fully cooperated with the investigation, adding, "Damn you, Matthew McCognahey!"

The turkey pardon controversy was fodder for a contentious White House Press Briefing this morning.

"Helen, I reject the premise of your question," Press Secretary Scott McClellan told the assembled press. "The President has stated repeatedly that forcing a turkey to testify would severely hamper its chances of full membership in the European Union. Helen, stop groaning, he's been clear and unequivocal about this."

A spokesman for Talon News could not be reached for comment, depriving this news organization of the chance to construct another bad bird-related pun. ***

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