By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – If you think it’s easy narrowing down a list of the biggest turkeys of 2018 that made national news, think again. It took some doing, but after poring over the many gobsmacking headlines of the year gone by, we have come up with four that seem supremely worthy of turkey designation.

Trump’s Twitter

When we visited a Billerica diner in the spring of 2017, on the occasion of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, we encountered a range of opinions about the new president in one of the few Massachusetts towns he carried.

There was one issue that seemed to cut across partisan and ideological lines. As the folks themselves put it, “Some of his tweets are kinda crazy… I’d like to see him stop doing that damn Twitter.”

They already knew his tweeting habit was bad news, but it seems Mr. Trump has yet to catch on.

All year long, presidential tweets have caused problems for the White House. Notably @realDonaldTrump kept the Mueller/Russia probe in the public eye, exasperating the likes of conservative Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina), who told Fox News after an anti-Mueller tweetstorm by the president, “When you are innocent of the allegations of collusion with the Russians, and there is no evidence of that, and you’re innocent of that, act like it.”

The Amazon Headquarters “Search”

One of 2018’s saddest sights was a video posted by the mayor of Danbury, Connecticut, pleading for Amazon to come there. In the video hizzoner says to the Alexa on his desk, “Where is the best place for Amazon to locate its second world headquarters?” Amazingly, she answers, “Danbury, Connecticut.”

This was typical of cities across the country who begged Amazon for the right to host HQ2, offering fat tax breaks and other benefits and, thus, showing their cards for the world to see and factor into future negotiations. After getting them to show their hands, the company chose the most predictable sites possible: New York and the Washington D.C. area, suggesting the “nationwide search” was just a turkey trot for suckers.

Hawaiian Armageddon

Those spectacular volcano pictures we saw out of Hawaii last spring were not the only eruptions the islands suffered this year. Hawaiians understandably freaked out over a nuclear attack warning triggered when a civil defense official pressed the wrong button – twice.

Imagine flipping on your car radio to hear, “A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. This is not a drill.”

They say it was an accident. Now that’s a turkey move for the ages.

Dissing a Dying War Hero

It was no surprise to anyone that President Trump held Sen. John McCain in disdain. “He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said during his campaign for president. “I like people that weren’t captured.”

That vulgar sentiment was echoed this year by White House aide Kelly Sadler, who dismissed McCain’s opposition to a Trump nominee by quipping, “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”

Super classy. McCain was indeed dying of brain cancer, but as the outpouring of respect after his death showed, most Americans did not share the Trump team’s view of him. While the White House insisted Sadler’s remark wasn’t the cause, she was out a few weeks later.

Gone, but still a memorable turkey.

Jon Keller

  1. Theodore Oule says:

    I agree with all but McCain…

    He weaponized his dying for political purposes. That is pretty unconscionable.

    For that he, himself, deserves to be on the Turkey List.

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