Happy Thanksgiving! Here at ETP, we've much to be thankful for: An exciting, dynamic beat to cover voraciously, a delightful home amongst our friends and colleagues at the Huffington Post, American holidays that give us two days off and will provide us with other people's leftovers for weeks. But more than that, we're grateful for the stalwarts of the media community — specifically those who check their Blackberries on the day before Thanksgiving when we decide to ask them what they're thankful for. It's to those fearless men and women that we tip our pilgrim hat, because their off-the-cuff, from the hip, heartfelt responses have given us a Thanksgiving post that, may we say, is no turkey. Join them now in expressing thanks for all our gifts this season, and join them later in eating far more turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie than any human being is meant to consume in one sitting. God bless us, every one! Enjoy their holiday sentiments below:
"I am thankful for the emails I get from people I don't know and will never meet — who just want to reach out and say hello — and often pass on the nicest sentiments to me and my family."
Jon Meacham, Editor of Newsweek and author of American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation, Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship and more:
"I am mostly thankful that James Madison was around when we needed him (I know; dorky, but there we are). In my day job I get a lot of angry email, but because Madison was able to construct a republic in which contending interests fought through argument rather than with arms, even the angriest reader (or non-reader, as the case may be) is playing his or her role in the Madisonian system, as are the decent and gracious people who do not write editors or journalists or politicians but who feel just as deeply. Thanksgiving is a consummately American holiday, sacred yet secular, and a good day to remember, however briefly, the man from Montpelier."
Lee Woodruff, "Good Morning America" correspondent and wife and co-author of In An Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing with her husband Bob Woodruff, with whom she also founded the Bob Woodruff Family Fund to support injured veterans returning from the war:
"So my wishes are that every wounded service member and their family enjoy the day today and head into the holidays feeling hopeful about the next year. I wish that each of the wounded felt secure in knowing they will receive the best care in the coming year from our VA, private facilities and the communities that have welcomed them home.
Secondly, I wish that as a planet we would all wise up and stop using water as if it were a replaceable commodity. Quit building golf courses in deserts, quit creating green grassy lawns in areas where water is scarce. Look at Atlanta at this holiday season and imagine what a planet will feel like with no water table, scrounging for water to drink and cook with. Go watch the movie "Chinatown" this holiday season and re-think your ways, people!"
Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker writer, CNN Legal Correspondent and author of the New York Times bestseller The Nine: Inside The Secret World of the Supreme Court:
"I know that Michael Vick is thankful for Larry Craig, who pushed Vick off the top of the news. Vick is thankful for Bernie Kerik for the same reason. And Kerik thanks Barry Bonds. And I, always, give thanks for Judith Regan."
John Roberts, co-anchor, "CNN American Morning," Canadian former host of "The New Music" on CITY-TV in a decade that isn't this one, and not the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court:
I'm thankful for family. For my beautiful children who are growing up kind, conscientious individuals who think of others before themselves, who are never difficult, get in trouble, gossip or have a coarse word for even people who have wronged them. They truly are a blessing. I am thankful for my loving wife, who has stuck with me through trying times and remains the rock that keeps me grounded and sane. For my mother, who had the independence and tenacity to live in her home by herself until the age of 94, when she was finally forced by Alzheimer's to move to assisted living. And to my sister, who did all the heavy lifting to make that transition while her brother was flying across the country covering the news.
As I grow older, it becomes ever clearer that of all the things in life, the one thing that endures is family. With my commuting to New York from Washington these days, we don't spend as much time together as we either used to, or would like. I miss them terribly, but when I return on the weekends, they are there with an abundance of love that helps make up for the lost time.
What more could anyone be thankful for than that.
Lloyd Grove, Portfolio columnist, former "Lowdown" columnist for the New York Daily News and Reliable Source columnist for the Washington Post, and general man-about-town:
"More than a year out from ceasing to write a daily gossip column, I am thankful no longer to be trapped between the rock of Lindsay Lohan and the hard place of Britney Spears."
Howard Kurtz, Washington Post media columnist, host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" and, most recently, author of Reality Show: Inside The Last Great Television News War:
"I'm thankful for the patience of those who have to put up with me. I'm thankful that I'm not one of those reporters buttonholing travelers at the airport and asking how they feel about the delays. I'm thankful that I'm still writing, unlike the Hollywood writers, who are writing only for their picket signs. And I'm thankful for all the people who watch my show, especially if they're in the demo."
Joe Scarborough, host of "Morning Joe" on MSNBC and former Republican congressman:
"I'm thankful for the calming, sobering presence of Mika Brzezinski next to me every morning on Morning Joe. Thank God for Mika!"*
"I am thankful that Joe has come to his senses and realized exactly what he should be thankful for... Smart man...very bright! Maybe I underestimated him. I'm thankful for that. Now if I could just do something about the hours..."
*May not actually have been said by Joe Scarborough. Quote verified by Mika Brzezinski.
David Folkenflik, NPR media correspondent and owner of the funnest name in media except for maybe "Mnookin":
I give thanks for loved ones friends and colleagues, near or far...For deadlines and live shows..... for people of vision, people of conviction, and people under indictment -- all of whom make the media landscape more colorful --- and foe the invention of the off switch, which lets us all breathe in real life from time to time. Also, pitchers and catchers report to spring training in a little over 2 months. That's big too.
"Charlie said that he is thankful for Dr. Rock with whom we were having dinner and who takes care of him (and the Giants!), and who also introduced him to Joe DiMaggio."
Arianna Huffington, speaking for herself now:
"I am also thankful for Dr. Rock who Charlie introduced me to when I broke my ankle and who was amazing and helped mend it in record time! And who is now blogging for us every Friday in the Living section on the Huffington Post!" (Related: Dr. Rock would like to urge you all to avoid getting The Gout this Thanksgiving. Easy on that pumpkin pie!)
"I'm deeply thankful that I will be dining at my laptop on pumpkin seeds and artisanal yogurt while others are overeating! After surviving some very traumatic Thanksgiving dinners, I went completely monastic and vowed to spend all public holidays in ascetic solitude. It's very relaxing."(Ed. No gout for Tracy!)
Joel Stein, Los Angeles Times columnist, frequent Time contributor and — no joke — former researcher and writer for Martha Stewart Living magazine.
"I'm thankful that of all the people in the world, my uncle Sam Zell bought the L.A. Times."**
**Cannot be verified by a simple Google search. Or by Joel Stein.
Jon Friedman, MarketWatch "Media Web" columnist:
"I am thankful for good health and the opportunity to live and work in New York City, of course — as well as for all of the ever-interesting and quotable media folks that I get to write about. These patient and kindly folks are the gift that keeps on giving for my beloved readers."
Tucker Carlson, host of MSNBC's "Tucker" and brief but memorable ensemble member of "Dancing With The Stars":
"What am grateful for? Two words: Ron Paul. It'd be a boring year otherwise."
Aaron Brown, John J. Rhodes Professor in Public Policy and American Institutions at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University, and former CNN anchor:
"I am thankful [my daughter] Gabby is home for a few days. She looks and sounds wonderful in all the ways a college freshman should.
I am also thankful the puppy that is a poor subsitute for Gabby is eating less furniture by the day.
We are healthy and happy as a family.
I am thankful to have a classroom of bright and engaged college students to work with this winter.
And finally, not once last year did I have to say Paris Hilton or Anna Nicole Smith. It has been a good year."
If you're a famous and dazzling media figure and want to share your Thanksgiving sentiments with ETP, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org — we'll be updating this tomorrow, too! Even if you're not famous or dazzling, feh, we'll take you.