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The Red Badge Of Plumbage

By Jesse Taylor
Monday, January 12, 2009 13:32 EDT
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imageAfter Joe the Plumber engaged in the world’s finest act of Pyrrhic journalism, it seemed almost indefensible.

Emphasis on almost.

Power Line’s review of the Wurzelbacher Wurlitzer is positively glowing, especially for a guy who looked out of his element because he couldn’t find his lucky 1990 New York Giants tank top:

Is there any chance Pajamas can send Joe on to Beirut, Damascus and Tehran after he completes his assignment in Israel? I think he could teach the media reporting from those locales how to do it right as well.

Patterico takes cultural pride in Joe looking like a total moron:

I know this drives liberals crazy — they think we’re rednecks. Maybe we are but I love this guy.

I know I’m supposed to be a member of the liberal elite, but I don’t think I’ve ever said anything this mean about rednecks. I don’t think I could say anything this mean about rednecks unless they ran over my dog.

Bob Owens compares Joe to Stephen Crane, dynamo war correspondent and author of The Red Badge of Courage. Because as we all know, The Red Badge of Courage was written after a highly publicized week-long publicity junket where Crane stood around and asked bizarre, pointless questions with his mouth gaping open, and then filed a dispatch declaring that he shouldn’t be allowed to do the job he was being paid to do.

But there is an obvious fear among so many members of the media so defensively and preemptively dismissive of “Joe the Plumber” trying his hand at reporting. Deep inside, they must wonder if an Ohio plumber could really be much worse than the so-called professionals we already have. There lies the fear that underlies those mocking Wurzelbacher in the media. It is a bruise to their egos when they realize that almost anyone can do what they do.

Here’s the thing: political blogging is built in no small part on the idea that many journalists do their job poorly, and therefore we need better reporters who do their job more competently. This is deeply undercut by the idea that journalism is a job babbling simpletons can do so long as they’re conservatives. How to solve this dilemma?

Apparently, more simpletons.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
 
 
 
 
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