🍽 🥧 On this day to pause, think and savor, I'm grateful to you for reading and feeding Axios AM, and for encouraging Axios as we build the next great company.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Facebook has followed a pattern throughout its annus horribilis: Pay too little attention to a looming threat, engage too little with journalists who are on to it, then rush pell-mell to try to correct the record, calm the storm and look proactive.
So what should appear on Facebook's blog on Thanksgiving Eve? Elliot Schrage, outgoing Head of Communications and Policy, tries to clean up revelations about Facebook's use of the now-fired Definers Public Affairs, an aggressive Arlington, Va., firm founded by Republican operatives:
Schrage's mea culpa was followed by this "Comment from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg:"
A CNN on-screen headline captures the read-between-the-lines we heard from both coasts: "Could be interpreted as a way of saving COO Sheryl Sandberg."
Be smart: Facebook seems to be adding a new realism to its founding idealism.
"West Virginia's Carol Miller will be the only Republican woman entering the 435-member House as a newcomer in January. She'll join what may be the chamber's smallest group of female GOP lawmakers since the early 1990s — as few as 13 of at least 199 Republicans," AP's Alan Fram reports.
"Numbers like those have Republicans searching for answers to the glaring gender disparity in their ranks."
"Evidence of the GOP gender gap [is] just as clear in the 100-member Senate, where Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn will be the only Republican freshman. If Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith wins a runoff later this month there will be record-setting seven GOP women in the Republican-run Senate."
The data: "Women backed Democratic candidates over Republicans on Election Day by a telling 57 percent to 41 percent, according to AP VoteCast."
"Mass shootings, hurricanes, fires — for many people across the nation, 2018 was a year of loss unlike any other," AP's Tamara Lush writes from St. Petersburg, Fla.:
Thanks amid the ashes ... "Those who lost everything in fire find a way to give thanks," AP's Kathleen Ronayne writes from Chico, Calif.:
Some of the fire victims "didn't even realize Thanksgiving had arrived amid the chaotic and emotionally draining rush of the past two weeks."
From 2013 — never gets old:
"Ray Chavez, the nation’s oldest surviving veteran of the attack on Pearl Harbor, died Wednesday at the age of 106," The San Diego Union-Tribune reports:
"In 1938, at the age of 27, he joined the Navy and was assigned to the minesweeper USS Condor at Pearl Harbor."
"At its peak, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association had 58,000 members. Today, there are fewer than 200, according to Stu Hedley, 97, who heads the association’s now-10-member San Diego chapter."
The N.Y. Times posts a trove of photos from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades past, with great shots of floats and parade-watchers: Santa Claus riding through the first parade, in 1924 ... the Mighty Mouse float of 1951 (photo above) ... Snoopy skating through Columbus Circle in 1987.
Times Metro reporter John Leland writes:
New York Times photographers ... are the people who watch the people who watch the inflatable Snoopy or Betty Boop. ... Look, there’s Kermit the Frog or SpongeBob SquarePants, bigger even than the King Kong on Broadway. The season’s public assemblies to come — Black Friday sales, SantaCon and the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square — are largely adult affairs, but the Thanksgiving parade belongs to the children.
The Times also unearthed archival photos of another enduring Thanksgiving tradition: travel woes!
Moms fall for "How to Cook a Turkey in the Microwave" prank — BuzzFeed's Jon-Michael Poff:
People texted their moms asking how long it takes to microwave a 25-pound turkey. The beautiful part is how many moms believed the query was real:
And this is love: "Just buy a choice ... Chicken ... A cooked one ... It's about the gathering, not what you serve."
Amen! Enjoy your day, and thanks for starting it with Axios AM.