Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Sorry, that's all I have to say about the news that Pajamas Media is sending Joe the Plumber to Israel to be a war correspondent.


...No, wait -- I have to respond to this from Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics:

Sometimes an idea can be a "near miss," which is to say that it was close to being a cool idea but crossed the line into a farce.

Example: if you told me that someone hired Joe the Plumber to travel around the country and do a series of 2-minute vignettes with working class families discussing taxes, the economy, life in small towns, etc, I'd say that's sounds like a pretty cool idea and a decent way of generating some PR for your organization.

If, on the other hand, you told me someone was sending Joe the Plumber into a war zone in the Middle East to report on a conflict that he appears to have no particular qualifications or expertise to cover, with the intent of letting Israel's "'Average Joes' share their story," I'd say that sounds like one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard.

No, Tom, it's not a "near miss." The former idea is as staggeringly dumb as the latter.

Joe the Plumber isn't capable of doing " a series of 2-minute vignettes with working class families discussing taxes, the economy, life in small towns, etc." because doing that would require listening. Joe the Plumber doesn't listen -- not in any real sense of the word. Joe the Plumber is the blowhard at the end of the bar who has a stack of boilerplate ideas, all of them cribbed from right-wing talk radio and other like-minded sources: Liberals want America's enemies to win. Liberals hate guns and Jesus and working people. Liberals are commies. If he gets into a conversation with you, it's because he's waiting for you to say something he can use as a segue to one of his pre-packaged rants about how messed up this country is because of the damn liberals.

Joe the Plumber wouldn't discuss anything with anyone if he became Charles Kuralt 2.0. Joe the Plumber would just be looking for vignettes he could plug into Limbaughnista morality plays.

Which,of course, is exactly what he'll be doing in Israel, assuming he ever actually manages to pull together a report at all.


UPDATE: Jesse Taylor imagines the first interview:

Pajamas Media Special Correspondent Joe Wurzelbacher: So, is that a gun?
IDF Soldier: Yes, it is.
JW: Can I use it?
IDF: No.
JW: Please? I’ll only aim at Palestinians.
IDF: You should go now....

Read the whole thing.

No comments: