10/25/2008

Who's watching the watchers?

Michael S. Malone, for one:

The absolute nadir (though I hate to commit to that, as we still have two weeks before the election) came with Joe the Plumber. Middle America, even when they didn’t agree with Joe, looked on in horror as the press took apart the private life of an average person who had the temerity to ask a tough question of a Presidential candidate. So much for the Standing Up for the Little Man, so much for Speaking Truth to Power, so much for Comforting the Afflicted and Afflicting the Comfortable, and all of those other catchphrases we journalists used to believe we lived by.

1 comment:

John Foust said...

If you don't want to be on TV, run away from the cameras. Fast. Don't say anything. If you only want to meet Obama, just shake his hand. Put away the Curious George plushie if don't want him on camera.

If you make a claim in front of a camera, someone might fact-check it, particularly if a presidential candidate repeats it 26 times in a national debate simulcast on eleventy channels.

Even Joe/Sam the Wishes-He-Was-Licensed didn't say he was planning to be making $250K a year take-home. Why did McCain phrase it as if he was? Even Obama erred in understanding this on-the-spot question.

Joe/Sam was really only dreaming of buying into a business that he claimed was "making" $250,000 a year. Where's your business sense? Gross? Net? Value of the business? Take-home for who? What capital assets? How will the boss-man value the business, even if he wants to sell out to Joe/Sam? Is Joe/Sam capable of getting his plumbing license and making the payments for the business, or is this just the dream he has after three beers after work?

Do the facts not matter? If it feels like it might be true, is it good enough to make a major theme of a presidential debate?

But feel free to buy Joe/Sam's upcoming country album... He doesn't really want the attention.