Daily Archives: October 17, 2008

Say it ain’t so, Joe

Well, it’s all about Joe the Plumber. All day. All night. Up close and personal. Wonder what happened to Iraq, education, Social Security, Medicare, on and on? I was thinking about that while running this morning. Remind me to never ask a candidate a question.

I understand why Joe is news — at least during this 24-hour cycle. His name came up more than 20 times during the presidential debate. But I wonder if reporters are the least bit embarrassed about camping out in his driveway and fighting over each other to get his opinion on various issues. What a hoot. Better the talking heads had spent their time in journalism school studying public relations. At least they could have pursued honorable work.

And apparently news organizations have staff and resources to rush to the home of Joe the Plumber. Yet these days, according to Howard Kurtz, only five newspapers — The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune — have reporters regularly traveling with the McCain and Obama campaigns. Oh boy.

Here’s a typical broadcast, from the CBS Morning News:

Amazing that Joe the Plumber can push Britney Spears off the front page.

Then McCain shows up on David Letterman’s show last night — with apologies all around. First to Letterman for standing him up in a previous broadcast. And then to Joe the Plumber. Here’s from Politico, “McCain to Letterman: ‘I screwed up’”:

McCain also apologized to Joe the Plumber, the undecided voter the Arizona Senator mentioned in last night’s debate who’s become an overnight media sensation. “Joe, if you’re watching, I’m sorry,” said McCain, who called average Americans, like Joe, the “victims of a drive-by shooting by Washington and Wall Street.”

As those who read this blog regularly know, there is no possible way that I could ever stay up late enough to watch Letterman. So I’m not certain about the context of the “victims of a drive-by shooting by Washington and Wall Street.”

Does McCain think it’s rediculous that Joe the Plumber has received so much media scrutiny that he now has to deal with the fact that he is not a licensed plumber, not a member of the plumber’s union and owes more than a $1,000 in back taxes?

Or does McCain mean that it’s a shame that the policies and decisions of the Bush administration have made it virtually impossible for Joe the Plumber to buy a business, own a home and save enough to send his children to college and someday retire from the plumbing business?

Joe probably won’t remain in the spotlight long enough for us to find out.

Unless he tells all in a forthcoming book. Gets his own radio talk show. Or when he runs for Congress in the 2010 elections.