Friday, January 2, 2009

Journalistic Integrity: Joe the Plumber

In general, the MSM doesn't like Sarah Palin. Why? Because she's one of us -- and not one of them.

Recently, John Roberts of CNN interviewed Joseph Wurzelbacher ("Joe the Plumber"), who has written a book on his recent experiences. The media generally doesn't like "Joe's" book, apparently because he's critical of Sen. McCain (which confuses the media) and supportive of Gov. Palin. Of course, Joe has also been critical of the media, which may resent the fact that Joe revealed more about Obama's tax plan in five minutes than the self-proclaimed journalists did in five months.

In the interview, Joe criticized the media for coming after HIM rather than enquiring into Obama's positions. Basically, he suggested the media was a horde out to get anyone who might be critical of The Chosen One.

John Roberts was taken aback. In a major huff, he indicated that Joe, in this comments on the media, had "impugned [his] journalistic integrity."

I laughed when I heard that. John Roberts, a standard Washington/New York liberal, is to journalistic integrity as Hugh Hefner is to marital fidelity. In the campaign, he never resisted the opportunities either to fire zingers at McCain and Palin or to defend Obama and the hapless Biden. Apparently, that kind of political water-carrying is what Roberts regards as "integrity."

Joe the Plumber had penetrated the media sanctum, one reserved for human talking-points like Paul Begala, James Carville, and Donna Brazille. They all respect Robert's "journalistic integrity," although in truth they have no idea what the term means.

Joe the Plumber had seized an opportunity denied to most (of us) who would be critical of the press and their coverage of any political issue. In general, the media only wants people present who are one of them. That way they never need to answer any embarrassing questions.

When Katie Couric ("the little rodent," as Don Imus called her) asked Sarah Palin what newspapers and magazines she read, we all know the "correct" answer: "Well, Katie, I read the NY Times and the Wash Post regularly, along of course with Newsweek and Time and, from time to time, the London Economist and The Wall Street Journal."

In my case, the answer, a truthful one, I would have given Katie was: "I don't read any of them. Why should I? What would they have to tell me that I can't find out from the Internet and other sources?"

Katie Couric probably regards CBS News the way John Roberts does CNN, as an indispensable news source. However, very few people watch CBS News, they having detected that Edward R. Murrow is long gone.

But if CBS and CNN are really indispensable (like the auto industry and AIG), we might soon expect a government bailout to keep them afloat in a world that increasingly wishes they would sink to the bottom of the sea.
(Tomorrow: Should Republicans in the era of Obama really seek out Black votes?)

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