Jimmy Carter rabbit incident

Jimmy Carter Rabbit Incident

Jimmy Carter rabbit incident

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Description:
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.

Background

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.

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...
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