Jimmy Carter rabbit incident
Translations of this material:
- into Russian: Нападение кролика на Джимми Картера. 17% translated in draft.
Submitted for translation by katyacherson 15.12.2011
Jimmy Carter rabbit incident
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The rabbit swimming away from the President
The Jimmy Carter rabbit incident, dubbed the "killer rabbit" attack by the media, involved a Swamp Rabbit that caught press imagination after swimming toward then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter's fishing boat on April 20, 1979.
2 Media accounts and public perception
3 See also
Carter had gone on a solo fishing expedition in his hometown of Plains, Georgia. According to the former president, a rabbit being chased by hounds "jumped in the water and swam toward my boat. When he got almost there, I splashed some water with a paddle."
Upon returning to his office, Carter's staff did not believe his story, insisting that rabbits couldn't swim, or that they would never approach a person threateningly. The incident was captured on footage taken by a White House photographer.
Media accounts and public perception
Press Secretary Jody Powell mentioned the event to Associated Press correspondent Brooks Jackson on August 28, 1979, who filed the story with the wire service the following day. The story "President Attacked by Rabbit" was carried across the front page of The Washington Post, though the White House's refusal to release the photograph resulted in the newspaper using a cartoon parody of the Jaws poster labeled "PAWS" as its illustration. The White House still refused to release the photograph of the incident to the media until it turned up during the Reagan administration and the story saw a revival.
Carter shooing away the rabbit, at far right
In Press Secretary Powell's 1986 book The Other Side of the Story, he recounted the story as follows:
“Upon closer inspection, the animal turned out to be a rabbit. Not one of your cutesy, Easter Bunny-type rabbits, but one of those big splay-footed things that we called swamp rabbits when I was growing up."
“The animal was clearly in distress, or perhaps berserk. The President confessed to having had limited experience with enraged rabbits. He was unable to reach a definite conclusion about its state of mind. What was obvious, however, was that this large, wet animal, making strange hissing noises and gnashing its teeth, was intent upon climbing into the Presidential boat.”
The incident with the rabbit became fodder for political and ideological opponents who attempted to frame Carter's presidency as hapless and enfeebled.
The incident was also parodied by Grammy Award-winning folk singer Tom Paxton in his song "I Don't Want a Bunny Wunny" which appears on his 1980 album The Paxton Report. The lyrics can be found here.
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