Thursday is Thanksgiving, a day for expressing gratitude for all that we have. And for gathering with the ones we love. And, for the more annoying among us, thinking back about all of the turkeys -- the metaphorical ones -- who have crossed our paths during the quickly concluding year.
So, we asked around. And, here, we serve up a few of the personalities who give the noble turkey we'll welcome to our Thanksgiving tables such a bad name.
DAVID AND BONNIE ASHLEY
David Ashley is former president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the fact that he's the "former" president seems due, at least in part, to his wife, Bonnie.
On the advice of their lawyers, the Board of Regents was cautious about discussing her during the July meeting in which David Ashley was demoted. Former Chancellor Jim Rogers had no such qualms in a June memo to the board, saying Bonnie Ashley had treated UNLV employees harshly.
If her critics are to be believed, Bonnie ran around UNLV as if she were a bargain basement Marie Antoinette. According to those critics, Bonnie -- who was known to refer to herself as UNLV's first lady -- had berated and threatened UNLV staffers, creating an environment in which paranoia ruled.
Granted, it seemed that David Ashley's demotion had something to do with his lack of communication skills. Still, it's probably safe to assume that Ashley's at-best cluelessness or at-worst unwillingness to deal with his unpopular wife hurt him. And, at the very least, it didn't track well when Bonnie's explanatory e-mail to the regents and Rogers stressed that she didn't want the missive to be "misconstrued as an apology for being a strong-minded woman."
So, to Bonnie Ashley we offer a dinner featuring the bossiest hen in the barnyard and, to David Ashley, a feast featuring capon.
Alicia Jacobs, KVBC-TV, Channel 3's entertainment reporter, has shown an almost preternatural ability during the past year for inserting herself smack into the middle of stories she covers.
A silly public feud with "Peepshow" star Holly Madison.
A stint as a Miss USA pageant judge that devolved into a post-pageant crusade against former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean. (Actual April 7 tweet: "yikes! just did an interview with THE TODAY SHOW ... it will air this morning. (Tues) Guess who has naked pics about 2 b released?")
Another public flap, this time with talk show host Bonnie Hunt, when Jacobs took her puppy to Danny Gans' Encore opening.
And, worst of all, Gans' death, which somehow seemed to become more about Jacobs than Gans, complete with Jacobs' on-air tears and updates about how she was holding up under the strain. (Actual May 3 tweet: "Wish I could say I was feeling better about things today, but I'm not. I am so sad. Why did we have 2 lose Danny?")
Maybe it's journalism, maybe it just looks like whatever journalism is turning into. Either way, to Jacobs, we offer a magnificent soy turkey: It looks like turkey but, underneath, is nothing at all like it.
We hate to sound like we're piling on, but college football is a numbers game. And, once the numbers were crunched, Mike Sanford found himself without a job.
On Nov. 15, Sanford was sacked as head coach of the UNLV Rebels after five losing seasons.
But even those who have supported Sanford may have felt blindsided earlier this week, when, during a news conference, he placed the blame for the Rebels' chronically anemic performance at the feet of the community, the university, and even, it seemed, the Rebels locker room.
At, in fact, everybody but himself.
We'll simply offer Sanford a turkey bone, one of many he apparently has to pick with UNLV and the community.
So, Nevada Sen. John Ensign allegedly has an affair with an employee, allegedly lines up lobbying contacts for the woman's husband to make up for it, and now finds himself dropping in the polls and under investigation for ethics violations.
Tacky, sure, but let's ladle onto this not atypical -- by political standards, anyway -- entree a heaping helping of hypocrisy: Ensign, a renowned family values guy, was one of the loudest advocates on Capitol Hill for impeaching President Bill Clinton for his sexual relationship with an intern.
To Ensign, we offer a Thanksgiving Day dinner at the nearest diner, alone, so that he can ruminate about -- to use a phrase Ensign himself has used in different circumstances -- the sanctity of marriage.
You're a performer whose success depends in large part on your pulchritude. You've performed in a reality show that required you to wear scanty clothing, you've performed in a girl group wearing scanty clothing, you've posed for Playboy and, then, you take a job at a show called "Peepshow" that requires you to be, yes, topless.
Then suppose somebody took a photo of you during that show, annotated it with a snarky remark, and posted it online. It would be rude and sophomoric, and, in such a position, you'd probably curse, cry and then get on with your life.
But would you not show up to work the next day and then post a YouTube rebuttal in which you flaunt your body, apparently to show the world that it's a more fit body than it appeared to be in the bootleg photo?
Didn't think so. And while we're all in favor of spirited debate, we do feel compelled to offer her a fine Thanksgiving turkey ... fully dressed, of course.
We know how tricky daily journalism can be and how difficult it can be to parse the ethical situations that arise.
But here's one ethical situation that doesn't require a consult with Solomon: You don't refer the subject of your news outlet's investigative report to your boyfriend for PR rehab.
Yet, that's allegedly what Radetich, KTNV-TV, Channel 13's anchor, did. And, whether it was out of a moment of weakness, a fumbled effort at empathy or deliberate misbehavior, it's wrong.
Journalists, both broadcast and print, around town have been disciplined for lesser offenses. Radetich, however, protected by KTNV general manager Jim Prather, has escaped with nothing more than public disdain (which, it should be noted, has been ruthless).
So, for Radetich and her boss, we offer a Thanksgiving dinner for two of crow, an entree they'll apparently never be forced to eat otherwise.
Contact reporter John Przybys at email@example.com or 702-383-0280.