Don't Call Jacko 'Dad'? Give Thanks

What are the names in the news really thankful for? In his latest Against the Grain commentary,'s Dick Meyer gives a few theories.

As Andy Rooney might say, don't you hate it when columnists write those sappy holiday pieces about things they're thankful for? I sure do.

Columnists are supposed to be misanthropes and malcontents. I'm often told that's what I am. Given that, I'm much more comfortable telling other people what they ought to be thankful for. Here's my list:

Thanksgiver: The Bush Family.
Thankful for: Jenna and Barbara turning 21, without incident. Now Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa don't have to sweat through every Saturday night. Party on, dudettes! Legally.

Thanksgiver: All parents who don't live on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Thankful for: Normal preschools.

Thanksgiver: Jack Welch.
Thankful for: Ken Lay and company.

Thanksgiver: Sean Connery.
Thankful for: Pierce Brosnan, a robot-actor who makes us ache for Bond with a brogue.

Thanksgiver: Hollywood.
Thankful for: London. Without Harry Potter and James Bond, Tinseltown would be toast this year.

Thanksgiver: Tom DeLay.
Thankful for: Nancy Pelosi. Free ammo.

Thanksgiver: Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill
Thankful for: Ex-SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt. Can you imagine the trashing that guy would be in for if Pitt weren't the designated scapegoat?

Thanksgiver: Osama bin Laden.
Thankful for: The CIA, FBI and the Department of Defense. Who'd have thunk that a 6' 5" Arab with a Hitler complex could outsmart the Western world's vast security apparatus for well over a year? Say thank you Osama.

Thanksgiver: CNN and Fox News.
Thankful for: Phil Donahue. Looks like the former maestro will help keep MSNBC in the sub-basement for another year. Say thank you Connie and Bill.

Thanksgiver: College sociology and anthropology departments.
Thankful for: The Bachelor. This post-modern mating ritual should give academics plenty of material for a few seasons.

Thanksgiver: Jack Grubman.
Thankful for: Lizzie Grubman, who ensures that Jack will never be the most infamous Grubperson.

Thanksgivers: Tom Daschle, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Dick Gephardt, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman
Thankful for: Al Gore.

Thanksgiver: Al Gore.
Thankful for: Well, he's, er, got his health, right?

Thanksgiver: The Republican Party.
Thankful for: The Democratic Party.

Thanksgiver: The Democratic Party.
Thankful for: The Catholic Church.

Thanksgiver: Saddam Hussein
Thankful for: Colin Powell.

Thanksgiver: All kids.
Thankful for: Your daddy isn't Michael Jackson

Enjoy the turkeys, there's no shortage.

Dick Meyer, a veteran political and investigative producer for CBS News, is Editorial Director of based in Washington.

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Against the Grain

By Dick Meyer
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