What we can learn from the Joe the Plumber episode; Update: AOL Hot Seat Poll Added

posted at 11:05 pm on October 16, 2008 by Ed Morrissey


Honestly, I’m rather surprised that Joe Wurzelbacher and his rope-line dialogue with Barack Obama has managed to stay in the news for as long as it has.  I knew when I first heard the exchange that it went badly for Obama.  I didn’t expect Joe the Plumber to be the main topic of the last presidential debate.  And I certainly didn’t expect Obama supporters to keep the story alive by their rabid character assassination of a man who did nothing more than ask a question — at random.

Now, we have people crawling over his tax records, his voter registration, his professional licensing, and whatever else they can find in the public record.  Someone has linked him to the long-deceased Charles Keating, suggesting that somehow Obama managed to pick a McCain plant out of a ropeline full of people by accident.  How much longer before a certain blogger at The Atlantic demands a paternity test to see if Joe the Plumber fathered Sarah Palin’s baby — or Bristol’s, for that matter?

There is a stench of desperation surrounding this, as if they sense defeat coming from a moment of honesty from Obama about his real intentions to institute a regime of redistribution.  They want to discredit the man who only asked the question as if he’s some political operative who magically forced Obama to sound … well, a little like a Marxist.  Why?  They want to distract people from Obama’s answer by sliming the man Obama picked at random to ask a question.

And where’s the Tanning Bed Media on this topic?  Danny Glover lays it out:

Jonathan Martin of The Politico was among the first out of the gate, with blog posts noting that Wurzelbacher, affectionately known by most of America as “Joe The Plumber,” has a tax lien against him and doesn’t have a plumber’s license. Martin conveniently forgot to mention that the law doesn’t require one.) Bloomberg also has a story on the tax lien, and AP and The Washington Post did their part to make a story out of the “unlicensed” non-story.

Expect more of the same over coming days. In fact, don’t be surprised if all of those investigative reporters sent to Alaska after John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate suddenly get reassigned to the plumber beat in flyover country. Joe The Plumber must be discredited at all costs! …

But why is it that political reporters only get curious when a conservative Joe America storms onto the scene? Why aren’t they just as curious when liberals trot out, say, a 12-year-old boy to give a national radio address?

It has been almost a year to the day since journalists dropped the ball on telling America more about Graeme Frost, the boy who made the case for sinking billions of dollars more into the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. But when Michelle Malkin and other curious conservative bloggers did the legwork the press wouldn’t, they earned the scorn of their mainstream colleagues.

Indeed.  And Joe Wurzelbacher didn’t give a speech or make a commercial.  He asked a question.  He stood on a rope line, and Obama picked him to ask it.  The Tanning-Bed Media seems to feel that they have a duty to expose every last part of Wurzelbacher’s life, but that asking Obama to explain his political partnerships with Tony Rezko and William Ayers, and his long friendship and financial support of rabid demagogues Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger, are not just out of bounds but downright racist.

So what have we learned from this episode?

  1. Thou shalt not offend The One by asking him a question.  Of any kind.
  2. Anyone who questions The One will have to undergo a public pillorying of a kind unseen since the Red Scare, or perhaps the Inquisition.
  3. The Tanning-Bed Media will happily participate in any inquisition, as long as it keeps them from investigating irrelevant issues like Obama’s ties to the Chicago Machine, William Ayers, ACORN, or his record on protecting infanticide.

Don’t ask questions. Don’t check the records of people running for political office, but do check the records of those who dare violate Rule #1.  No dissent will be tolerated.  Our political and media masters have spoken.

I only ask one favor of the Left and the media: please keep this story alive for another three weeks.  I can’t wait to read Michelle’s column tomorrow.

Update & Bump: I’ve added the AOL Hot Seat Poll to this post, and bumped it to keep in near the top for today’s Top Picks.


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