PIX11’s Turkey Dude

Edwin Lyngar in a role that will surprise you…

Meet PIX11’s Turkey Dude:

He bears a striking resemblance to a shady character who’s previously graced these pages: blogger Edwin Lyngar, known to cavort about as faux poultry in connection with his sideline as an atheist wedding officiant. Indeed, Lyngar is atheism’s “man of a thousand faces,” many of them thoroughly sh-tfaced:


Blowhard blogger Edwin Lyngar

You would recall that when Lyngar’s not planting false stories on Salon.com at the behest of his well-seasoned (or salty) literary agent Elizabeth Kracht, he’s doling out instructions on boating safety for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. (And believe me, the saf-e-ty of the public is always the uppermost thing in their minds.)

Though I lack proof positive, I’m personally convinced that Turkey Dude is in fact Edwin Lyngar. The build and IQ are both about right. Then too, boating safety doesn’t pay a packet, and neither does his monthly rant for Salon. As for his manuscript “Guy Parts” (tentatively renamed “Chicken Parts”), it’s been looking for a home longer than Little Orphan Annie.

Even though Lyngar did the dirty deed and planted a false story in Salon to please his agent, she so far hasn’t upheld her part of the bakshish by bringing those lonely chicken parts in from the cold and fobbing them off on some misguided publisher looking for a tax write-off. So I’m guessing Lyngar’s appetites have reduced him to dressing in a turkey suit and debasing himself on behalf of the Power Presssure Cooker XL, which can reduce solid cholesterol to liquid cholesterol in under ten minutes. But can it core a apple?

This whole debacle ties in with my series on WPIX-TV and native advertising. According to PIX11 News, Turkey Dude just happened to drop by and offer to demonstrate this amazing discovery. Maybe Turkey Dude was accompanied by Stuffing Dude (the enforcer of the operation). Maybe Stuffing Dude threatened to treat PIX11 newscaster Scott Stanford like a sock puppet, and that’s why Stanford was willing to play the fool.

I’m a great believer in serendipity, coincidence, synchronicity, and Auspicious Good Fortune always. But I must confess the thought crossed my mind that maybe this human interest story about a down-and-out writer who dresses in a turkey suit and does embarrassing things with cream cheese is not exactly what it seems. Have I been scammed again? Is this another of PIX11 News’s fiendish plots to get me to buy crap merchandise? Your opinion counts!

POLL QUESTION: What do you think of the Power Pressure Cooker XL?

1. Power Pressure Cooker XL — gimme gimme gimme!
2. Power Pressure Cooker XL — it sucks donkey farts.
3. Edwin Lyngar should be euthanized. (Maybe someone should just put a bird on him?)

Putting a bird on Edwin Lyngar. There, now he’s pretty. (Pic to follow.)

Typical of PIX11 News, they don’t disclose that this is a paid ad and not a story about the mentally deranged or nutritionally challenged — or about Foghorn Leghorn cosplay. Maybe viewers are supposed to just know it’s the usual plugola. Still, that’s not what the FTC says. You have to disclose.

I’ve mentioned before that PIX11 News starts hitting viewers with liquor ads (disguised as news) around 7 a.m., and we must assume that some viewers take those ads to heart and make morning drinking a part of their regular routine. So in pondering whether viewers automatically know that Turkey Dude’s serendipitous visit to PIX11 studios is a crock of sh-t, we must consider their blood alcohol level.

Little Johnny may be high as a kite on a diabolical mixture of Riunite Lambrusco and black cherry soda poured down his gullet by lifestyle expert and Sipteaze.com founder Nicole Young as part of another PIX11 “news” segment — this one themed on the Fourth of July:

Regarding the Coconut Vanilla Cooler made with 2 cups Punzoné Vodka, news anchor Kori Chambers exclaims: “This stuff’ll knock you down!” — so we must assume that little Johnny is already in a supine position. When he wanly raises his head toward the TV and sees an orange bejumpsuited man forced to pretend he’s a turkey, he may think he’s watching a prisoner interrogation conducted by legendary C.I.A. psychologist James Mitchell.

(A little known rider to the Defense Authorization Bill passed by Congress permits the transfer of prisoners from Guantánamo Bay to U.S. soil provided they’re willing to appear in infomercials for miracle cookware.)

Anyway, if the FTC or FCC are considering whether to fine WPIX-TV for failing to disclose sponsored content, I think they should assume maximal ignorance on the part of viewers. This is hardly a leap, given the viewership which PIX11 seems to cultivate:

pix11-viewersAnother consideration is that PIX11 News sometimes runs hoax stories like this one produced by Mary Murphy which was the subject of considerable blowback. Between hoax stories and paid ads disguised as news, viewers don’t know whether they’re coming or going. They need all the help they can get, and this would ideally include clear labeling and disclosure of all sponsored segments.

So FTC and FCC, please have pity on poor, befuddled (possibly inebriated) PIX viewers, and start enforcing the laws which mandate clear disclosure of sponsored content, and hefty fines for repeat violators of rules against payola.

As for Edwin Lyngar, if that truly is him in the turkey suit, then like WPIX President and General Manager Richard Graziano, he has risen to his level of incompetence. 😉

Michael Howard

The views expressed are my own, and do not represent any other person or organization.

Sidebar: Foghorn Leghorn in “Weasel While You Work”

In case the Foghorn Leghorn reference threw you, here’s that very personage in a 1958 Warner Brothers cartoon:

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LENIE and PENIE Awards for 2015

Brother and sister clinch coveted LENIE and PENIE awards!

Each year at this time,* the Ethics & Spirituality Blog presents one award for Legal Ethics Not In Evidence (the “LENIE“), and a second award for Publishing Ethics Not In Evidence (the “PENIE“) to two qualified candidates.

Candidates must demonstrate exceptional ability in at least one of the following areas: social climbing, backstabbing, insensitivity, demagoguery, hypocrisy, abuse of power, or avarice.

In a rare occurrence, this year a brother and sister have scampered away with both awards!

For exploits recounted in “The ACLU and Religious Freedom, Part 3,” Joe Kracht — sometimes known as the Lawton law firm’s “Burning Man” — wins this year’s LENIE. Joe will receive an autographed picture of Roy Cohn and a one-way ticket to Palookaville.

For exploits likewise recounted in “How far would you go to get a book deal?” Elizabeth Kracht — sometimes known as Kimberley Cameron & Associates’ “Godmother of Corruption” — wins this year’s PENIE. Liz will receive an all-expense-paid cruise to Yorkeys Knob with Rupert Murdoch, and a year’s supply of kitty-litter. As an additional bonus, her red hair helmet will be steam-cleaned and revivified.

Note: The phrase “all-expense-paid cruise” should not be inappropriately applied to Ms. Kracht’s teenage years.

Remember, there are 365 days in a year. If you act badly enough on any one of them (particularly on the Internet), you just might snag yourself a LENIE or PENIE.

DISCLAIMER: Taxes and gratuities not included. Not available in Nebraska, Idaho, or Yucatan. Some parts may be made of oleomargarine. Valid ID must be presented at time of award. Candidates may be required to sing the Tippy Tippy Tiptoe song while balancing on one leg and gargling Drano. Some ingredients may cause drowsiness or increased risk of moist armpits. Do not use if you are pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant, or have ever used the word “pregnant” in a sentence, even humorously. Less than 2% of candidates saw little green men. Do not speak to these men or give them matches. If you see something, say something.

*Of course, there’s no tradition like a new tradition. 😉