January 8, 2009

Pajamas Media taps Joe the Plumber to serve as a war correspondent in Israel.

Many are the times when I've felt good about rejecting offers to work for Pajamas Media. This is one of them.

157 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

Gah. Israel, not Iraq. Headline here corrected.

Justin said...

Fifteen minutes never felt so long.

ricpic said...

Why? Because he isn't credentialed? Intelligence and good sense - which Joe has in abundance - are fungible. He'll make an excellent war correspondent.

Simon said...

I hope he's got lots of good stories in the pipeline now he's been tapped.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why? Because he isn't credentialed? Intelligence and good sense - which Joe has in abundance - are fungible. He'll make an excellent war correspondent."

I never liked group projects.

Zeb Quinn said...

Many are the times when I've felt good about rejecting offers to work for Pajamas Media. This is one of them.

?

What is wrong about Joe?

garage mahal said...

He's going to get the Average Joe's perspective on the "death of Israel" that he predicted if Obama were elected.

siyeh pass said...

A good PR stunt for all involved.

Ann Althouse said...

He might write/video something interesting. Has he ever successfully produced anything before?

My point here is that he's being made part of a big group project, and everyone in it has a reputational stake in it.

rhhardin said...

I'm constantly dragging groups down.

Joe M. said...

Speaking of clowns. But who knows. We'll see.

ricpic said...

That's because you're not a team player, rh.

Pogo said...

"I never liked group projects."
Sounds like you had alot of these in grade school and high school, only to discover that your grade depended on slackers who not only didn't give a shit they also knew you did and could let you do all the work, and then take equal credit for a job well done.

Not that I'd know.

vet66 said...

After tackling Iraq and/or Israel, maybe Joe could tackle the really dangerous political turf in Illinois and Minnesota.

Step up to the plate Joe and take a swing. I value your perspective.
Pajamas Media supports the search for truth. Any attempts by them or the unwashed to provide another point of view should be supported and encouraged.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Intelligence and good sense - which Joe has in abundance - are fungible.

Yeah, he did a brilliant job of leveraging a veiled slippery slope argument into instant celebrity.

Zeb Quinn said...

My point here is that he's being made part of a big group project, and everyone in it has a reputational stake in it.

I'm sure they'll define his role. Wouldn't ya think? Joe brings a name, a demonstrably fast mind, and he actually projects himself well, especially for a media newby.

Are you sure that the fact that he
single-handedly ran circles around Obama and the entire Dem apparat much to their vengeful chagrin isn't coloring your view?

Trooper York said...

I am sure he could not do the principled reporting of a Geraldo Rivera or the in depth analysis of a Matt Lauer or have the incisive interrogation skills of a Barbara Walters. But at least he won't bang every other reporter and get knocked up like that CNN news bunny.

What he should do is stay home and just make shit up. Then he would be a real journalist.

I just wish Joe that the only thing worse than a journalist is a lawyer.

It's a big step down from plumber.

Pogo said...

It's a way of instituting Bill Buckley's old lament about 'anyone in the phone book' being better than the men in Congress.

Here it's an average Joe doing what news networks won't: talk the truth about Israel, and especially about Hamas and Iran, via a non-journalist.

1jpb said...

Has anyone here read "his" book?

Scanning Amazon; it seems like it may have not shipped yet.

Or, it's sold out! Maybe it was ammunition for the saints fighting against The War on Hey Zeus Celebrations 2009.

Simon said...

John Althouse Cohen said...
"Yeah, he did a brilliant job of leveraging a veiled slippery slope argument into instant celebrity."

He used a question to successfully highlight the instincts of a leading Presidential contender on a critically important question. Seems to me that he arrives with a proven willingness and ability to do a better job as a reporter than the entirety of the mainstream media did last year.

1jpb said...

vengeful chagrin isn't coloring your view

Should this be directed at McCain or folks who don't want to scrap Social Security? Seems like they were as targeted by Joe as anyone else.

jayne_cobb said...

Meh, he could suck or he could be decent; I suppose we'll see.


I'll say this, part of me does hope that he'll be successful just so it's made painfully clear how easy a great deal of modern reporting is.

Trooper York said...

I hope he does an Ernie Pyle dog face view of what people on the street are really saying, not the stuff that fits into the anti-israel agenda driven journalism of people like the BBC and Christina Amawhore.

Lem said...

A pajamas plumber..

Would that be soft porn? ;)

1jpb said...

what people on the street are really saying

So, you have in mind particular streets. Presumably you would consider J Street anti-Israel and off limits.

Joe can be start JGaza to counter AJGaza on Twitter. Then, everybody will be happy in their chambers.

Kevin said...

Joe the Plumber articulated McCain's economic philosophy better than McCain did.

He seems like a smart guy with common sense. I look forward to seeing what his reporting is like.

Trooper York said...

Hey he should talk to the average Palestinian in the street and listen to what they have to say. You would not like to hear what they have to say and that is why the media covers it up. It doensn't fit the imposed narrative. They want all the Jews dead and gone from the middle east. He would be doing a public service if he just let them talk in their own words.

BJM said...

Althouse said: I never liked group projects.

Isn't practicing law a group project?

Ann Althouse said...

"Isn't practicing law a group project?"

I haven't practiced law since 1984.

knox said...

My point here is that he's being made part of a big group project, and everyone in it has a reputational stake in it.

I know what you mean, and I think your instincts were absolutely right to turn them down at the time. (Although I do think highly of many of their bloggers as individuals... and a lot more highly of their site now than I did when they first launched.)

However, the whole point of PJM is that they are taking people who are "amateurs" and giving them a forum. The name itself sort of says, yeah, we're not professionals, we're the guys in pajamas. For what PJM is, Joe the Plumber is the perfect choice.

I can understand your aversion to the whole thing, but hiring people like him is really their whole reason for existing.

Beth said...

This is the same guy who, when asked if a vote for Obama was a "vote for the death of Israel" nodded and said "I'll go ahead and agree with you on that."

He's the Kato Kaelin of the campaign, dragging out his fifteen minutes, with the help of gullible fanboys.

the wolf said...

I haven't practiced law since 1984.

Well, you'll never get better at it with that attitude.

knox said...

Hey he should talk to the average Palestinian in the street and listen to what they have to say.

I heard someone interviewed on this subject the other day. They said that for Hamas, it's a win-win situation. They've very cleverly learned how to play to the media over here. Set up amongst the citizens, when the citizens get blown up as collateral damage, set aside guns, pull out the cameras and start rolling. For them, a dead Palestinian is as good as a dead Israeli.

Their purpose is not to help the Palestinians, but to annihilate the Jews. They don't want Jews out of Palestine, they want Jews not to exist.

Trooper York said...

Isn’t Lèse majesté a heavy garment to don in the sticky heat of the bayou Beth.

I hope you don’t wear it in the parade.

knox said...

Beth, perfect avatar, though Althouse might be scared to read your comments now...

AJ Lynch said...

Let's see if I recall correctly.

Was it Peter Jennings, ABC network news anchor for years, who did not graduate from high school?

CNN business news go-to guy, Ali Velshi, has a degree in religion?

I assume most of the rest in the MSM have that extremely valuable degree in communications! Heh.

BTW should a college kid be considered stupid if he is majoring in journalism?

.

Tibore said...

So what's wrong with Joe the Plumber? Yes, I realize that he's untrained, so he's not a professional at gathering and reporting information. And I understand that he's not coming in with any education about the area other than what everyone else gets from the news. Believe it or not, that bugs me as well; I find a plumber discussing the ME about as logical as a dating columnist writing up a football game. If you don't know what a quarterback is, how are you going to explain basic elements of a football game, let alone the subtle issues like blizting pressure and reading one-on-one coverage?

But, in spite of that, for all the professionalism of journalists, the facts remain that:

1. News organizations themselves, in order to protect their own employees from harm, often rely on local "stringers" to gather news for them, and these local stringers can range in talent from being competent journalists themselves all the way down to local "Habib the Plumber" types. So it's not like there's zero room in the world of journalism for untrained types. They're used by news organizations themselves.

2.All that these credentialed, trained professionals have been able to do about Gaza and the Palestinian/Israeli topic in general is endlessly repeat the same old clichéd information. There's nothing reported that doesn't already fit preconceptions. None of them shed any new light or bring any new understanding to the situation. And heck, even accuracy is in question when it comes to conflict reporting in the Middle East. So what does a professional bring to the reportage table besides reinforcement of preconceived narratives? If nothing else, at least a total amateur might have a new perspective on matters.

I dislike the idea of non-professionals being touted as "The Second Coming" myself, no matter what their political preferences are. Like the late David Hackworth opined, if you're going to report on war, you'd better demonstrate your knowledge of what a tank is, what it does, and what its role on the battlefield is, etc. Different is not always better, I agree. Yet, given the sheer inertia present in modern reporting, and the complete inability to reflect events naturally and through their own merits and instead find ways to shoehorn issues into pre-existing narratives, how's Joe the Plumber going to fail any worse than news organizations currently do? At worst, he'll just fail with less polish than CNN, CBS, Sky, BBC, and the others will, and at best, he might bring a new perspective or shed new light on a before unreported aspect of the confrontation. It might be accidental, given his total inexperience, and again, that's an "at best" scenario, not an actual prediction that he'll stumble across any such novelties. But again, how much worse can he be at reporting this conflict than current journalists are?

PatCA said...

I wish him well...with people like Dan Rather or Michael Ware deemed lions of journalism, the bar is set pretty low.

Beth said...

knox,

That squirrel is a bit scary. It lives in the courtyard outside my office, along with a few pals. I initially moved was on the first floor, where, as I was unpacking my books, these little guys suddenly slammed up against the window, chattering and scratching the glass with their little claws. They trained me quickly to provide peanuts on demand.

Then I moved up a floor and I thought I was off the hood. Within a week, there they were, scurrying up a palm tree and yelling at me: We found you! That picture is of one of them sitting on the louvered window, eating the peanuts I roll down to them.

Althouse isn't the only one scared of squirrels. I feel like a shop owner, paying the squirrel mafia for "protection."

knox said...

"rats with fluffy tails"

I am scared of birds less than 10 ft. away from me. Look closely, they have dinosaur legs.

Beth said...

Michael Totten, to my knowledge, isn't a trained journalist, and he's a fine source on the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Joe the Plumber is no Michael Totten. He's a celebrity hound who's having his moment in American pop culture. One week he parlays his visibility into a commercial for how to update TVs to digital, and the next he's reporting on the death of Israel. And doesn't he have a country music recording contract in the works? It all makes so much sense. How could anyone find it laughable?

Beth said...

Trooper, I've heard of laissez les bon temps roller, but not lese majeste (jeez, what does that even mean?) It's all Greek to me.

Zeb Quinn said...

There's a certain je ne sais quoi about both Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin which triggered and continues to trigger a hysterical kill and destroy response from the left.

Meade said...

Many are the times I laugh out loud at Althouse's wry phrasing.

Tibore said...

"Lese-Majeste" - Literal: "Injured Majesty". Generic term for crime against a sovereign.

John Althouse Cohen said...

He used a question to successfully highlight the instincts of a leading Presidential contender on a critically important question. Seems to me that he arrives with a proven willingness and ability to do a better job as a reporter than the entirety of the mainstream media did last year.

Here's the brilliant thought of Joe: "so he's going to do that now for people who make $250,000 a year. When's he going to decide that $100,000 is too much, you know? I mean, you're on a slippery slope here. You vote on somebody who decides that $250,000 and you're rich? And $100,000 and you're rich? I mean, where does it end? You know, that's - people got to ask that question."

So in other words, he admits his whole argument that launched him into stardom was based on an extremely tenuous slippery slope.

He also left Shephard Smith almost speechless. ("man...some things--it just gets frightening sometimes.") Smith had to give a disclaimer after their interview because Joe's claims about Obama were so outlandish. Shephard Smith is a FOX News correspondent -- I don't know his politics, but I'm guessing he's no left-winger.

I thought conservatives were supposed to value meritocracy and hard work. If you're going to be a conservative, at least uphold the good conservative values. All the gushing over this guy is embarrassing and reverse-elitist.

Trooper York said...

I kind of agree with Zeb. The hate thrown at this guy is all out of proportion to both his importance and his role in the scheme of things.

Is he really that much worse than Barbara Walters? I mean he can ask a terrorist what kind of tree he would be.

Is he really worse than Rather and Mapes and the rest of the crew who make stuff up as they go along?

Is he really worse than a douche like Curtis Sliwa who is what I would call his exact prototype with a similar career path?

Why not give the guy a chance and lets see what he comes up with before you want to destroy him just because he mussed up your pretty boy a little?

Dr Dre's Underpants said...

If he sucks as a reporter than the only time anyone will hear from him is if his mommy links to his blog.

Burn.

mcg said...

So in other words, he admits his whole argument that launched him into stardom was based on an extremely tenuous slippery slope.

"Extremely tenuous"? How, exactly?

Salamandyr said...

Michael Moore has created a facade of the "regular Joe" who points out the emperor has no clothes, and he's made a successful career out of his charade for more than two decades.

Joe Wurzelbach is that regular joe, who yet again pointed out the comparative bare-assedness of our latest presumptive ruler. And in doing so, he did us all a service. I see no reason why he should not parlay his reality into just as much wealth and fame as Moore.

He didn't seek fame, but why should give it up now that he has it?

John Althouse Cohen said...

Read the quote.

John Althouse Cohen said...

(responding to mcg)

garage mahal said...

Trooper
It might be that Palin and JTP said some profoundly stupid shit about Democrats. Death of Israel. Pallin 'round w/ terrorists. That kind of stuff. Republicans love a snowball fight but only if only they get to throw, and not actually get hit.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Nothing like a good stunt to sex up a war. Bravo, "Pajamas" "media."

Oh yeah, hope "Joe" hired a good babysitter and someone else to handle all his plumbing jobs.

Chip Ahoy said...

As I understand it, and I could be wrong because, honestly, I was aggressively not listening, it was Obama who said 250,000 annual salary was considered "rich," then later it was Obama who changed that amount to 100,000 annual salary being considered to be "rich," not Joe the Plumber. To attribute those words to Joe who remarked on Obama's words and attribute slippery-slope argument to an actual slope is evidence of partisan myopia that causes a tendency to misperceive.

Solution: abandon all party loyalty. No political party deserve your loyalty (unless you're running for office yourself and need their support). Doing so clears the senses.

Trooper York said...

Hey not a problem. Snowballs go both ways. What is burning the libs is when some crap comes their way.

A quick example. A mere mention of Chelsea Clinton when she was campaigning was enough to set off weeks of hand wringing and demands that reporters or commenters be silenced or apologize.

When Sarah Palin was nominated people like Andrew Sullivan wanted to personally examine her twat. Every part of her family was considered fair game and was part of the negative campaign. Not a peep out of the Libs who screamed like bitches about Chelsea.

Shit flows both ways. As a plumber Joe knows this. Some of the shit is going your way. For a change. That’s what made it so newsworthy. That’s why so many people like him.

You guys have Michael Moore and Roseanne Barr. We have Joe the Plumber and Patricia Heaton. Play ball.

John Althouse Cohen said...

As I understand it, and I could be wrong because, honestly, I was aggressively not listening, it was Obama who said 250,000 annual salary was considered "rich," then later it was Obama who changed that amount to 100,000 annual salary being considered to be "rich," not Joe the Plumber. To attribute those words to Joe who remarked on Obama's words and attribute slippery-slope argument to an actual slope is evidence of partisan myopia that causes a tendency to misperceive.

I really don't think Obama said that people making $100k are rich. Anyway, the question isn't the definition of "rich" -- the question is who Obama was going to raise taxes on. Obama's proposal was to raise taxes on people making 250+, not 100+.

And notice I'm talking about Joe's own statements -- he admitted he was making a pure slippery slope argument: "When's he going to decide that $100,000 is too much, you know? I mean, you're on a slippery slope here. ... I mean, where does it end?"

He all but admitted himself that he had no serious policy argument and was just making stuff up about Obama. Cf. the Shepherd Smith interview linked above.

mcg said...

Jac, I've read it, but I'm still not clear why you consider it extremely tenuous. I'm not saying he couldn't have said it better (I'm not among those who claims he's brilliant). But I see the point. At some point, raising taxes on just those making >$250K is impractical (even revenue negative) and you've gotta start moving the bar lower.

In fact, it was slippery even when it was announced: that was the family threshold, not the single threshold; it was counted after the Bush tax cuts lapsed, which would boost taxes on just about everyone; he also proposed eliminating the payroll tax cap, which reaches down to $94.7K. (And don't go looking for the "donut" proposal which exempts incomes from $94.7K-$250K. It was never certain and was quietly dropped when it was clear it wrecked the plan altogether.)

So the slope seems pretty damn slippery.

I do think McCain actually said it better: why would you raise taxes on anyone right now. And indeed Obama seems to have reconsidered.

Trooper York said...

It was Biden that slipped on the slippery slope or did you forget that for the one day it was in the paper.

mcg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mcg said...

And I know I'm being easy on Joe the Plumber; that's really not a true slippery slope, that's just out-and-out disingenuousness on Obama's part (to claim that he wasn't going to raise taxes on people making less than $250K). I expect more from my presidential candidates than from a plumber, I guess.

Simon said...

Tibore said...
"So what's wrong with Joe the Plumber? Yes, I realize that he's ... not a professional at gathering and reporting information."

Neither are most professional journalists, on the evidence of the last election.

Beth said...
"This is the same guy who, when asked if a vote for Obama was a 'vote for the death of Israel' nodded and said 'I'll go ahead and agree with you on that.'"

Give it time. Obama has punted so far; we should ask if he agrees with Jimmy Carter's latest op/ed, for starters.

John Althouse Cohen said...

It's not just that he made a slippery slope argument (though I do have a problem with that) -- it's also the glowing attention he got for making a blatant slippery slope argument. The media just went along with the idea of making this guy an instant celebrity without stopping to look at what he was actually saying.

Simon said...

Trooper York said...
"[Liberals] have Michael Moore and Roseanne Barr. We have Joe the Plumber and Patricia Heaton. Play ball."

That's a fight neither side can win. Both sides have loonies, unfunny comedians, bald guys and insanely attractive females. A liberal might response "you guys have Michael Savage and Larry the Cable Guy. We have Michael Chiklis and Eliza Dushku. Play ball."

Simon said...

John Althouse Cohen said...
"It's not just that he made a slippery slope argument (though I do have a problem with that) -- it's also the glowing attention he got for making a blatant slippery slope argument."

You seem to be assuming that a slippery slope argument is always a fallacy, which isn't true. It's a particularly valid argument when the slope and grease are provided by the reasoning of the policy being criticized and no limiting principle is given. Slippery slope is a fallacy when it posits that a bad thing may come of this good thing; it isn't when the bad thing at the bottom of the slope is a predictable consequence of the good thing (otherwise it would be a slippery slope argument to say that dropping a glass of tea leads to a mess on the floor).

knox said...

Sure, Zach, each said some stupid things--news flash, so did Obama and Biden-- but the point is, they were attacked instantly by the pro-Obama media. And the only thing either had done to "deserve it" at that point was 1. Palin actually generated some excitement for the McCain ticket and 2. Joe the Plumber made Obama look a little silly for about 30 sec.

Ironically, because people on the left went after them so viciously from the very start, they both won a lot of sympathy they otherwise wouldn't have had.

Trooper York said...

People get to be celebrities for all kinds of reasons. Singing on a TV talent show. Starting a subway patrol. Whoring for a governor. Shooting your lover's wife in the head. You don't get to decide who is a celebrity and who people like to listen to because you don't like their world view.

Trooper York said...

Simon you are obviously not a fan of team sports. You have to hate the other team and love your guys even if they are losers or screw ups like A-Rod or Manny Rameriez.

Politics is just sports without the laundry.

Tibore said...

"Simon said...
Trooper York said...
"[Liberals] have Michael Moore and Roseanne Barr. We have Joe the Plumber and Patricia Heaton. Play ball."

That's a fight neither side can win. Both sides have loonies, unfunny comedians, bald guys and insanely attractive females. A liberal might response "you guys have Michael Savage and Larry the Cable Guy. We have Michael Chiklis and Eliza Dushku. Play ball.""


Simon, I must disagree with you on one issue:

Eliza Dushku is quite sanely attractive.

I'm done. Carry on.

:D

Henry Buck said...

Actually JAC, what made the Joe the Plumber story newsworthy was Obama's answer about "sharing the wealth". If Obama hadn't given that little glimpse into his thinking about taxes, Joe would have been quickly forgotten. Obama's slip up made it necessary to try to destroy Joe, hence the digging into confidential government records and leaks to the media.

Also, if you think that the "slippery slope" agument concerning tax creep is not well-founded, you are either ignorant of the history of taxation or being ingenuously naive.

Trooper York said...

Someone once said about Richard Nixon that he was not a true conservative but he was loved and supported by conservatives to the bitter end because of the enemies he made.

I think the same is true of Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin.

Simon said...

Troop, I don't think that's exactly right, is it? Surely if you love your team, when you have a particular player who is hurting the team by their performance, you're not going to be so fond of them, right?

(For what it's worth, I'm not big on American sports - too much faffing around. There's a terrific rugby-derived game struggling to get out of American football, but it isn't going to be watchable until one very basic rule is established: at the start of each quarter, someone blows a whistle, and the next time you stop is at the end of the quarter, when the ball goes out of play, or when someone breaks a leg. I exaggerate only slightly.)

1jpb said...

Aside:

...you guys have Michael Savage...

He was all upset on the radio yesterday because no San Fran detectives would call-in to support is "exclusive" leaked memo regarding mandatory transgender sensitivity training for some police.

Trooper York said...

Well you can grouse about the guy on your team who is screwing up. You know like we do about Bush. Like I do about A-Rod. But then someone tries to tell you that John Kerry or David Wright are so much better and then it's on.

Trooper York said...

I mean I still have Met's fans that tell me Rey Ordóñez was a much better player than Derek Jeter.

halojones-fan said...

jac is caught in the Fallacy Fallacy; the notion that if an argument is posed in a manner similar to a fallacious argument, it is prima facie fallacious.

I'd have expected better from a law teacher's son.

Simon said...

Trooper York said...
"Someone once said about Richard Nixon that he was not a true conservative but he was loved and supported by conservatives to the bitter end because of the enemies he made. I think the same is true of Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin."

I think Sarah Palin's a conservative. That said, as I've said before, I'm hoping she'll write a book à la Goldwater that illuminates a worldview that is so far glanced only through the gloom and in flashes.

Tibore said...
"Simon, I must disagree with you on one issue: Eliza Dushku is quite sanely attractive."

Sure, but I liked her in her Faith incarnation - you've got to be a little damaged to go for that. ;)

Zeb Quinn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

1jpb - he's a clod. An embarrassment. I wish we could get rid of his type the way WFB gave the cold shoulder to the John Birch people, but I guess that in a coalition, you're sometimes stuck with obnoxious, abrasive people you don't like or agree with on much.

Zeb Quinn said...

I don't know who said that about Nixon, but having lived through that era one of Nixon's problems was he was never loved nor even lovable. Nixon's calling card was competence, not lovability.

Simon said...

Speaking of Eliza, by the way, I should point out that she will be in Dollhouse, premiering on Feb. 13th. Fingers crossed for a Christina Hendricks guest spot. ;)

Beth said...

Obama on Israel's action in Gaza: “If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that,” he told reporters in Sderot, a small city on the edge of Gaza that has been hit repeatedly by rocket fire. “And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

How's that a punt, Simon?

Trooper York said...

You see Simon,you never know where Christina Hendricks will show up if you keep your eyes open. Just sayn'

Henry Buck said...

Beth,

That quote is from July 2008. It is not a comment from Obama on Israel's actions in Gaza.

Beth said...

People get to be celebrities for all kinds of reasons. Singing on a TV talent show. Starting a subway patrol. Whoring for a governor. Shooting your lover's wife in the head.

Stay tuned. Joe the sorta Plumber could do any of those. He's a country singer! He's an As Seen on TV barker! He's a war correspondent! He's Joe of All Trades; so long as the cameras are rolling, he's happy.

I don't get to decide who's a celebrity, but I sure do get to laugh at ones like Joe. He's the shadow Paris Hilton.

Beth said...

Okay, Henry. But how does it fail to make clear Obama's position on Israel's right to counter rocket attacks from Gaza?

You may not have noticed - Obama isn't president yet. Bush is still on the payroll. On vacation, sure, but on the payroll.

Trooper York said...

"I don't get to decide who's a celebrity, but I sure do get to laugh at ones like Joe. He's the shadow Paris Hilton."

That's good. That's the first step in letting go. Enjoy a laugh at the guy if he is so laughable. It shouldn't get so many peoples panties in a twist.

Unless it ruins your panties and you need to buy new ones. Help the retail ecomomy why dontcha.

Synova said...

Beth, I'd be happy to be corrected, but I was under the impression that the quote from Obama is an old one. If so, a hypothetical statement, or general statement about the situation is a good thing, but not quite the same thing as a statement or policy statement about what is going on *now*.

Simon said...

Beth, it was before he was elected, in front of a crowd that wanted to hear just that. He tells people what he thinks they want to hear, preserving room for "nuance" later on ("If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything in power to stop that, and would expect Israelis to do the same thing. I understand. But...").

Simon said...

Synova - indeed, and when someone did ask him recently, he punted, saying that America has one president at a time and he didn't think it would be appropriate. And I heard him say it, on NPR, so it wasn't misreporting and it wasn't a network that misrepresents him.

ricpic said...

All the proper people can always be counted on to gang up on Michael Savage. Why? Because he shows, with specific examples and without apology, that liberalism really is a mental disease.

Zeb Quinn said...

Yeah but Savage being a whackadoo himself undermines the cause.

Michael said...

rispic: "Intelligence and good sense - which Joe has in abundance - are fungible. He'll make an excellent war correspondent."

Joe The (not really a) Plumber??

"Intelligence and good sense"...in abundance?

Are you intentionally trying to look dumber?

Beth said...

Because he shows, with specific examples and without apology, that liberalism really is a mental disease.

So true! Like Palin, we hate him because he's beautiful.

Michael said...

ricpic said..."All the proper people can always be counted on to gang up on Michael Savage. Why? Because he shows, with specific examples and without apology, that liberalism really is a mental disease."

Anybody who actually believes this man is credible or decent is an uneducated and bigoted fool.

ricpic said...

Palin channeling Savage: unbeatable!

ricpic said...

Talking up to me won't get you in my good graces, Michael.

Cedarford said...

Trooper York said...
Someone once said about Richard Nixon that he was not a true conservative but he was loved and supported by conservatives to the bitter end because of the enemies he made.

I think the same is true of Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin.


That was a brilliant insight. Cultural zeitgeist makes culture warriors and ideologues adopt a beleagured figure as One Of Their Own.

Zeb Quinn said...
I don't know who said that about Nixon, but having lived through that era one of Nixon's problems was he was never loved nor even lovable. Nixon's calling card was competence, not lovability.


And unlike Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber, Nixon was well-qualified for the jobs he sought - despite personal faults.
Nothing helps Nixon's reputation more than having 2 genuinely BAD Presidents (Carter and Dubya) enter the memory of Americans, common and academics, who were alive when Nixon was President and who reviled him for his lack of proper breeding in a family of wealth, and his involvement in a scandal lower in illegality than the stuff we now know FDR, JFK, Truman, and LBJ cavorted in...that was covered up by the media.

William Safire had a great schtick with his "Postcards from Purgatory" after Nixon died, written by Nixon's ghost..He stopped with the "Nixon commenting from the underworld" - before the failure of Reaganomics, the idealistic foreign policy camp, the problems with globalism he critiqued and the urgent need for healthcare reform Nixon championed...Or how time vindicated Nixon's detente, volunteer military, and starting the eradication of WMD..Now, Nixon is smiling - somewhere - these days.
***************
Joe the Plumber may do well, or he might end up looking like a well-used Zionist tool. Like the ignorant Christian Zionist leaders that go there and get fed a steady diet of Right Wing Israeli Likudnik chump bait - and emerge demanding "Transfer!" and more Settlements.
Or ignorant Lefties played as tools by Hez or Saddam.
Or Joe might actually say a few things worthwhile.

Time will tell.

Joe is definitely working hard to milk every dollar's worth out of accidentally being made a conservative celebrity.
Not as tacky as the "Jena 5" blacks involved in a bad beating of a white kid flashing 100 dollar bills they got from tons of race warriors chipping in...but the same idea.

Carpe Diem Benjamins..

Simon said...

ricpic said...
"All the proper people can always be counted on to gang up on Michael Savage. Why?"

Mainly because he's a shrill, hysterical, hair-trigger knee-jerk asswipe who lacks the breeding, patience, civility, and calm demeanor of, say, Ann Coulter or the ravenous bugblatter beast of traal. The fact that he happens to be right from time to time doesn't buy him anything - Jane Hamsher could be a cat person and taste of cinnamon sugar, but I still wouldn't want to spend an hour with her.

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...

I would not do Joe the Plumber.

Simon said...

Cedarford said...
"[U]nlike Sarah Palin ..., Nixon was well-qualified for the jobs he sought - despite personal faults."

Yawn. Aren't there some passing cars you should be chasing or something?

Simon said...

Titus, I think he'd appreciate that.

I'm told he "appreciated" one of the female SNL cast, though.

Michael said...

"I think the same is true of Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin."

I'm certainly not a big fax of Dick, but to even put these two into the same class as him is just plain silly.

I've always had problems with much of what Dick did, but he was a consummate politician and carried the intellect to sustain his career.

Michael said...

Simon: "Mainly because he's a shrill, hysterical, hair-trigger knee-jerk asswipe who lacks the breeding, patience, civility, and calm demeanor of, say, Ann Coulter..."

Hard to believe, but...ditto.

Dr Dre's Underpants said...

Just admit Michael, you just like Dick.

Michael said...

Dr Dre's I-Have-Shit-In-My Pants said..."Just admit Michael, you just like Dick."

That wasn't a bad follow up.

But the only "dick" I really like or appreciate is my own.

*As an aside, and in concert with this "dick" thing: Woody Allen says that one of the only times in your life when you can be sure you're really making love to someone who truly loves you is when you're masturbating.

Meade said...

Here you go, Michael... just for you, to sing and dance along with.

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...

I bet the plumber shaves his balls.

Michael said...

Meade - Gee, thanks. I'm a big fan.

ricpic said...

Wow, you really got your rocks off beating on Savage, Simon. It never fails to amaze me that those that no full well that the homosexualist/feminist/black racist assault on tradition - which can all be subsumed under the heading, LIBERALISM - is hellbent on destroying everything precious in our heritage, are even more put off by someone who won't pull punches when confronting the demon.

I guess the desire to be perceived as respectable trumps survival itself.

chickenlittle said...

Michael said: But the only "dick" I really like or appreciate is my own.

Download this as your ringtone, you're subhuman.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So in other words, he admits his whole argument that launched him into stardom was based on an extremely tenuous slippery slope.

JAC: Read the quote

OK, I will.

Joe...."so he's going to do that now for people who make $250,000 a year. When's he going to decide that $100,000 is too much, you know? I mean, you're on a slippery slope here. You vote on somebody who decides that $250,000 and you're rich? And $100,000 and you're rich? I mean, where does it end? You know, that's - people got to ask that question."

Joe is on very firm ground here. He is saying that the goal posts or the criteron for being rich starts at $250,000 and can change at the whim of Obama or some other politican to $100,000. We the people are on a slppery slope when there is no bottom or any firm parameters.

You might want to re-read your own posting and work on your reading comprehension skills. Joe is quite correct in his analysis and he hasn't admitted that "his" reasoning is on a slippery slope..."we the people" are put on a slippery slope by politicans who continually change the rules and always against us.

Michael said...

Chicken SHit says" Download this as your ringtone, you're subhuman."

What the hell are you talking about?

I'm "subhuman" because I appreciate my own dick?

That's very strange...

Michael said...

ricpic said..."Wow, you really got your rocks off beating on Savage, Simon. It never fails to amaze me that those that no full well that the homosexualist/feminist/black racist assault on tradition - which can all be subsumed under the heading, LIBERALISM - is hellbent on destroying everything precious in our heritage..."

Insanity run wild.

And I especially love this part:

"...those that no full well..."

That in itself would identify the kind of intellect necessary to be a true blue Michael Savage sycophant.

Michael said...

Am I to believe there are many here to actually admire Joe The Plumber?

Michael said...

Dust Bunny - If you really love Joe The Plumber this much...you need to get out more.

Simon said...

ricpic, if someone is a dick, they're a dick, regardless of party. And to the extent that party is relevant, it cuts against Savage: if you're a dick who makes my party look bad, I don't want you in my party making us look bad.

Savage is sometimes right - but on those occasions, there is no shortage of people who are making better points than him about the issue, or the same points better. He's like a low-rent version of Michelle Malkin; she has a hair-trigger, too, but she is much more couth and perceptive.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Dust Bunny - If you really love Joe The Plumber this much...you need to get out more.

Troll Michael

I suggest you take the same reading comprehension course that JAC should be scheduling. I don't care one way or the other about Joe the Plumber, however, his statement that we are on a slippery slope is quit correct.

Sheesh. This is like arguing with a stunted 13 year old.

/ignore Troll Michael

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You may not have noticed - Obama isn't president yet.

Its hard to tell that he isn't President, what with all the daily press conferences and the breathless reporting on what his kids are going to pack for lunch on their first day of school. (As if anyone cares or that is news somehow)

You can't get away from his droning voice on the morning news shows. He is everywhere on every channel....worse than Vinny selling Sham Wow.

Pogo said...

"You can't get away from his droning voice on the morning news shows. "

My life has been measurably enhanced by avoiding all TV news and canceling the newspapers. I haven't heard Obama's voice once since 11/4, in fact.

tim maguire said...

Wowsers! Lots of comments! Here's mine:

Joe T. Plumber sounds like a decent no nonsense sort of guy with a finely tuned bullshit detector. All well and good, maybe he'll be a fine correspondent.

But hasn't he become just another example of the American tendency to turn to experts, even in areas outside of their expertise? To give extra emphasis to the thoughts of famous people just because they are famous?

Who cares what some actor thinks about politics? I don't! And you know what? Outside of science, Einstein was a pretty average thinker. I don't care particularly what he pithy quotes he left about god and man. And Joe T.'s big moment with Obama does not mean he can go to foreign countries and capably find and report the news.

Michael Totten may not have the degrees, but he earned his reputation through long hard work in relevant fields.

Pogo said...

Tim's right.

In the words of Groucho Marx:
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.".

blake said...

So in other words, he admits his whole argument that launched him into stardom was based on an extremely tenuous slippery slope.

Right, it's so tenuous that our tax brackets start at 1% for low-middle-income households and top out at 7% for the wealthiest.

blake said...

Actually, I'll disagree with Tim on this point: If you want to be a good journalist, you have to have integrity.

That means you have to call it like it is, even if you don't like what you're seeing. Even if you know you're going to take heat for it.

JTP showed at least that much integrity, which is more than we see out of most in the media.

Our current media is composed primarily of propagandists (not just liberals, either), which not only requires no integrity, but often calls for compromise of same.

It's not just journalists, either, which is at least one reason relying on "experts" is a shaky proposition.

Beth said...

He is everywhere on every channel....worse than Vinny selling Sham Wow.

I got a laugh from that, DBQ. A little synchronicity, too, since I came to this thread just now to post "Joe the Plumber is the Sham Wow of the campaign."

By the way, where's Bush these days? It would be nice to hear his voice drone a little about the economy, about Gaza, about anything. He checked out sometime last summer and basically has been a non-entity since then. Of course, one would have to be deranged to complain about that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And Joe T.'s big moment with Obama does not mean he can go to foreign countries and capably find and report the news.

And it doesn't mean that he can't either. Just excactly what credentials qualifies someone to be an interested observor of life and to be able to report.

The "news" that we get today from the professional talking heads is not "news". We are getting their opinions filtered through their political and cultural biases. To be frank. They do not relate to my cultural circumstances nor do they relate to my political biases. It might be a breath of fresh air to get a viewpoint that isn't from a Manhattan cocktail party for a change.

Joe might be really good, or he might really suck. I'm willing to give him a chance, unlike our so called "liberal" posters who have already pigeon-holed, sterotyped and judged the man with no real evidence of his performance. Nothing like keeping an open mind.

mydismalswamp said...

It will never work. He'll end up asking somebody important something relevant and..., well, we know what happened the last time he asked a relevant question. People are STILL talking about it.

Seneca the Younger said...

You know, Ann, the more silly stuff you write about them, the happier I am that you don't write for Pajamas Media too.

jayne_cobb said...

I do find it funny that within a day or two of ridiculing Joe, CNN got taken in by a rather blatant hoax which incidentally was uncovered by LGF.

See this.

Synova said...

By the way, where's Bush these days? It would be nice to hear his voice drone a little about the economy, about Gaza, about anything.

Blackfive.net has links to Bush "saying good-by" to the troops.

I'm sure that the media is well aware of where he is and what he's been saying. I'm sure his "good-by" included speeches.

If you don't hear where he is or what he's been saying, is that his fault?

He doesn't go *anywhere* without a plane full of reporters.

DeepThought said...

"Joe the Plumber" is the Internet version of EdTV or The Truman Show. In the real world "Joe the Plumber" would be a Mafia hitman (a much more interesting career choice.)

He also better watch out--that shaved head of his makes a pretty good target.

veni vidi vici said...

JAC: "The media just went along with the idea of making this guy an instant celebrity without stopping to look at what he was actually saying."

Yeah, I can't believe the way they never seriously looked at anything about Obama during the election campaign and waltzed him into the presidency.

Oh, wait... you're not talking about Obama?

Daryl said...

What's wrong with Joe? He's a good guy. He was unfairly trashed by Barack Obama, the Democrat machine, and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself).

If Leon Panetta can head up the CIA, and Sanjay Gupta can be surgeon general, then why can't Joe the Plumber be a correspondent?

1jpb said...

It's not like being the surgeon general is brain surgery. And, even if it was...

Does Panetta know rocket science? Seems like the CIA must have a rocket or two kicking around.

But more importantly, how many professions can one man pursue/consider in a few months?

Plumber
Victim of VLWC
Author
Congressman
Country Singer
Real American
Journalist
Not Elitist
TV personality
Paid Appearances Person
Online Watchdog/Charity Creator

With his great work ethic I wouldn't be surprised to see JTP end up as a brain surgeon or rocket scientist (but not in an elite way) in month or two.

cubanbob said...

Journalism is a trade not a profession. Joe the plumber as a trades man probably has something journalist do not have; a license backed by a competency exam. Journalist have no more in the way of professional licensing and certification the garbage men and of late no one has ever claimed that garbage collection is a learned profession. And reading what passes for news in most of the wire services, garbage men seem to have a greater work ethic than journalists. At least Joe knows shit when he sees, hears and smells it unlike most journalist.

Speaking of slippery slopes, maybe JAC never heard of the Alternative Minimum Tax passed by LBJ to make sure the rich always pay their fair share. Since it was passed in 1969 it has not been adjusted fully for inflation. Without occasional temporary adjustments anyone with an adjusted taxable income of 100 grand would be hit by it in the bluest states when all of the allowable deductions are taken. There is your slippery slope. Joe knows his shit when he called Obama out on his wealth redistribution.

reader_iam said...

You know what? This is a free country, in a world which has more info outlets (in every sense, and terms of both number and variety), and with more and broader and deeper accessibility than ever before in history. (And all of that is both ever growing and also ever increasing.) People can choose whichever information sources they want, and designate whichever individuals in whom they're going to put their trust.

We are so quickly moving beyond the point at which some particular group's choice of a source necessarily enforces the anointing of that source for everyone else, much less everyone else truly buying in (even if in only their quietest, most personal parts and moments, no matter what they proclaim publicly).

Most important, again: This is a free country, and everyone is free to choose and read up among various info sources, and to designate--on whatever basis and for whichever reasons--whatever or whomever they want to be their designated reporters, or sources, or correspondents, or proxies, or in-betweens, or go-to's, or whatever-the-hells, on whatever topic, domestic and foreign, including, in the case of the latter, for example, the Mideast.

So choose away. It's your right, by golly. Whomever you choose.

As will I. It's my right, by golly. Whomever I choose.

(Among whom, by the way, will not be Joseph Wurzelbacher, on the foreign policy or foreign affairs or war front, anywhere outside these United States, including the Middle East, and especially as a breaking-news, analyzing war correspondent. For sweet pete's crying out loud.)

reader_iam said...

On a totally different topic:

Speaking of slippery slopes, maybe JAC never heard of the Alternative Minimum Tax passed by LBJ to make sure the rich always pay their fair share.

I would bet serious amounts of money that JAC has heard of the AMT.

[And quite apart from the fact that] His mother has certainly made reference to it often enough on this blog over the past few years, which I think most close and/or long-term readers ought well know--not that I'd bet money on that.

reader_iam said...

Just curious: Anyone want to seriously argue Wurzelbacher as the next Totten, for example, since he was brought up?

I mean: Seriously?

cubanbob said...

" Blogger reader_iam said...

On a totally different topic:

Speaking of slippery slopes, maybe JAC never heard of the Alternative Minimum Tax passed by LBJ to make sure the rich always pay their fair share.

I would bet serious amounts of money that JAC has heard of the AMT."

The boy may have heard of it, but obviously doesn't understand it and how it relates to slippery slopes. O! will give him a great lesson in a few years when the next round of real inflation kicks in and 250 grand in inflated dollars and non adjusted for inflation income in the blue states will make him "rich". And just in time for the wonderful first time buyer mortgage rate of only 12%. Yes he will learn the meaning of slippery slopes.

Fen said...

[i]And notice I'm talking about Joe's own statements -- he admitted he was making a pure slippery slope argument: "When's he going to decide that $100,000 is too much, you know? I mean, you're on a slippery slope here. ... I mean, where does it end?"[/i]

You need to read it again more carefully. He admitted OBAMA was on a slippery slope, not himself.

Ann: [i]Many are the times when I've felt good about rejecting offers to work for Pajamas Media[/i]

Poor form. Perhaps it best that you don't.

Fen said...

(Among whom, by the way, will not be Joseph Wurzelbacher, on the foreign policy or foreign affairs or war front, anywhere outside these United States, including the Middle East, and especially as a breaking-news, analyzing war correspondent. For sweet pete's crying out loud.)

But you'll keep going back to misinformation brokers like the NYTs and CNN, who withheld information re Saddam's rape rooms and torture chambers "for your own good". Joe could strike out as a reporter and still have a better batting average.

cubanbob said...

" Blogger reader_iam said...

Just curious: Anyone want to seriously argue Wurzelbacher as the next Totten, for example, since he was brought up?

I mean: Seriously?"

Totten? Slim to none. On the other hand its not too likely he will be the next Jason Blair or the typical AP/Reuters/AFP/CNN/MSNBC/NBC/ABC prevaricating propagandist hack.

Dan said...

"I am scared of birds less than 10 ft. away from me. Look closely, they have dinosaur legs."

That's because they ARE dinosaurs. Did you ever take a good, hard, close-up look at a live chicken? OK, now picture it naked and about 25 feet tall.

And then run.

Triangle Man said...

Wow, this thread has some of the lamest ad hominem attacks I have seen lately, and they're directed at JAC. Next stop, "callow".

Beth said...

prevaricating propagandist hack.

Of course that's just as likely. He begins with a clear bias, as represented from his "Obama means the death of Israel" position, so why assume he won't work from that?

reader_iam said...

Fen: One does not necessarily follow from the other. Think about it.

reader_iam said...

Really, you have no clue what I do and do not read, and how.

Jana said...

Hahaha! Michelle Malkin sez:
“If a community organizer can be president and a Saturday Night Live comedian can be a U.S. senator, why can’t a plumber be a reporter?”

reader_iam said...

Of course a plumber can become a reporter. A reporter can become a plumber, or whatever. Hell, I've plenty of reporters who've switched to something else. Double hell, I spent quite a bit of time working with and developing stringers many of whom had no background in writing or reporting and a whole number of whom did not have degrees, much less j-degrees. They came from all sorts of backgrounds. (I wish Callimachus hung around here: he could verify that since we were co-workers during that period.) I am no snob; that is not the point.

The question is whether any particular person can just automatically go off and do any particular thing *justlikethat* and just as well as any other next guy, as if every person and every job and every life experience is an interchangeable part.

Please note that Wurzelbacher is being sent off to be a war correspondent in one of the world's hottest spots. It's not like he's going to cover the school board, or a zoning committee, or a cop beat, or a local event, or what have you (I could give an endless list of examples).

And it's not **personal** either. I have nothing against Wurzelbacher.

reader_iam said...

“If a community organizer can be president and a Saturday Night Live comedian can be a U.S. senator, why can’t a plumber be a reporter?”

And I say that not only is that the wrong question, but it conflates a whole bunch of things.

Ann Althouse said...

"“If a community organizer can be president and a Saturday Night Live comedian can be a U.S. senator, why can’t a plumber be a reporter?"

Well, of course, he can, but what does it say about the organization that hires him and uses him to brand themselves.

Lorelei Leigh said...

*As an aside, and in concert with this "dick" thing: Woody Allen says that one of the only times in your life when you can be sure you're really making love to someone who truly loves you is when you're masturbating

Actually, I believe the quote is "Don't knock masturbation. It's sex with someone I love."

paul a'barge said...

I never liked group projects

Ummm, you mean like a law school faculty?

paul a'barge said...

"“If a community organizer can be president and a Saturday Night Live comedian can be a U.S. senator, why can’t a plumber be a reporter?"

Well, of course, he can, but what does it say about the organization that hires him and uses him to brand themselves.


Balls.

It shows that the organization sprouts a pair.

I think the point here is that the MSM, ripe with the worst hypocrites and sycophants can not report the news fairly and honestly. That in fact the situation with the MSM is so dire that information consumers are distrustful of these mutts that the information consumers can not leave these information channels fast enough.

And in counter point, in order to get information in a fair, honest and straight up way the culture has to resort to substituting intelligent people with good common sense to get the job done that needs to be done.

Now, if you can't see that perhaps you could at least see the irony in the situation.

Look Althouse, when the MSM members writhe and whine and bear their fangs and pout and demand the respect they are not due, someone somewhere must be doing something right.

Now, go find it.

Beth said...

I'm all for ditching j-schools. The best reporters I've worked with, or whose work I've followed, learned the job on the job. This guy, for instance, was a master, and I was awed each time I got to copy edit and headline one of his stories.

But in the couple of months that have passed since Joe the Plumber appeared on the scene, all he's done is reach for one thread of fame after another, with his infomercials and recording contracts and book contracts. He's a famewhore, until he proves otherwise. My scoffing at Joe has nothing to do with any disregard for people's ability to do all sorts of things well, without the blessings of an institution or the Wizard of Oz issuing an Official Declaration. It's about Joe himself: he's just a symbol for the rightwing, and he'll morph into whatever keeps him in the public eye.

blake said...

I suppose they should've branded themselves by inviting Kevin Barrett in to do the job? How awful would it be to be associated with that guy!

Joe the Plumber said...

...so, joe the jerk has gone dark in his "foreign corespondent special dangerous assignment" gig. where are ya joe? where are those hard hitting questions and reports? didn't quite work out to well...they discovered you were a moron...that was quick. guess now that that his book only sold about 200 copies, the next move is back to the country music album deal...