The New York Times goes after "Joe the Plumber"

Supposedly, Joe is neither a plumber nor "Joe." From the NY Times:

Turns out that “Joe the Plumber,” as he became nationally known when Senator John McCain made him a theme at Wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate, may run a plumbing business but he is not a licensed plumber. His full name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. And he owes a bit in back taxes. . . .

Note that the NY Times can't even write out his name as "Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher." He also doesn't need a plumber's license until he gets his own shop, but that is what he does for a living, he does the work of a plumber.

Note also how Senator Joe Biden had to also say to Jay Leno that Joe was not a real plumber.

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Blogger jr said...

The NYT has this bit of journalistic dribble and it's supposedly news-worthy while Obama's campaign accused McCain of "distracting" voters by pointing to his record of associations?

Talk about double standards!

10/17/2008 2:23 PM  
Blogger The Right Guy said...

While it's unfortunate that Mr. Wurzelbacher may have stretched his resume, he did ask a valid question, and I may add that he shows some ambition in wanting to own his own business. May be what people are really seeing is that socialism destroys ambition and that is what Obama wants to do as well. I feel sorry for the guy that he's going to get a first rate, five star, MSM colonoscopy, but if he is smart, and has ambition, he can turn this into something good for himself. I have a feeling he will.

10/17/2008 2:35 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

The entire "socialist" meme being pushed by the McCain/Palin ticket is a red herring. The reality is that there won't be any broad new social programs, no matter who is elected. The difficulty lies in financing the obligations that our society has already accrued. Our government is over $10 billion in debt (when we include the money to be spent in the bailout), and the interest on that sum is astronomical. This is eroding international confidence in our currency. What "Joe the plumber" really represents is the large contingent of middle class schmucks that wouldn't recognize their enlightened self-interest if it bit them on their collective ass. People like Wurzelbacher, who still believe in realizing the "American Dream" through the "free market system" are drinking the Kool-Aid that is destroying our country.

* To really understand what transpired between Obama and Wurzelbacher, you have to see the complete video and/or read the trancript. You can do that HERE.

NOTE: If you didn't see it in the above link, you can find out how the McCain and Obama tax plans will affect you HERE.


10/17/2008 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the Times: It is absolutely unfair of the NYT to leave out the middle name.

Regarding Biden’s statement: It is rather important to make the distinction that perhaps Mr. Wurzelbacher is not, in fact, the best representative for the plumbing industry, despite his status as America’s most famous plumber:

•Mr. Wurzelbacher does not hold a license as either a contractor or a plumber, has never served an apprenticeship and does not belong to the union (UA).
•The UA (United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry) officially endorsed Obama. Mr. Wurzelbacher is a member of the Associated Builders & Contractors, a non-union trade group that has endorsed McCain.
•Mr. Wurzelbacher himself must have assumed there was a certain degree of importance to these memberships/qualifications, as he took the time to erroneously claim on his Facebook page he did, in fact, belong to Plumbers & Pipefitter Local Union 189.
•Other people in the industry believe these hold a degree of importance as well. Thomas Joseph, the business manager at Local 50 of the plumber’s union (based in Toledo), said “he’s basically playing games with the world.”
•As has been widely reported on the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the mean annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters in the United States in 2007 at $47,350. (Mr. Wurzelbacher’s questions revolved around amounts over five times that amount. Yes, it is important to note this had to do with small business ownership, but this is less relevant to my overall point)
It is fair to lay the appropriate framework for this discussion, as it has now turned into such a huge issue.

The perception is Joe is not only representative of our everyday plumber, but also the everyday American. (Here the McCain benefits from media coverage that could also be seen as unfair – far less attention has been given to the flaws in Joe’s question, the specific impact both campaign’s policies would have on Joe and how many people are in fact like Joe.)

10/17/2008 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Obama campaign has indeed accused the McCain campaign of trying to distract voters with the recent issues that have been raised.

The New York Times reported on America's newest celebrity with what appears to be a clear bias.

These two things do not add up to be a double standard given we are dealing with different entities.

Further, it is the McCain campaign who has pushed extremely hard to make Joe news-worthy (McCain again using Joe in his Friday speeches, Palin being asked to use Joe one last time despite her reluctance to do so), so one can hardly argue the NYT is unjustly bringing up the subject.

10/17/2008 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The media’s lack of scrutiny of a man who desires the Presidency versus the media’s scrutiny of a private citizen who dared to ask a question about taxes is bizarre. Many in the media appear to have a fanatical devotion to Senator Obama. The evidence is overwhelming.

Where is the media’s concern (much less journalistic duty) when it comes to investigating the Relationships, Associations, and Endorsements that directly involve Senator Obama.


Pons Asinorum

1.William Ayers: terrorist
2.Reverend Dr. Wright: hate-monger
3.Louis Farrakhan: anti-Semite
4.Hamas: terrorist organization
5.Michelle Obama: shamed of USA
6.Saul Alinsky: anti-American
7.Franklin Raines: thief (former CEO of Fannie Mae)
8. Tony Rezko: convicted of fraud and bribery
9.Acorn: anti-democracy
10.“Truth Squads”: secret state police tactics (as stated by the governor of Missouri)
11.Ohio Sec of State: elimination of democratic processes
12.missing thesis: Senator Obama will not release his thesis (why??)
13.birth certificate: possible forgery
14.Firearm ownership*: such people are “bitter” and have “antipathy” toward others
15.Belief in God*: such people are “bitter” and have “antipathy” toward others
16.Plagiarism: found in his book “Audacity of Hope”.

* Actual Senator Obama quote:
“they [the rural people of Pennsylvania] get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
A synonym for antipathy is “hatred”.

10/19/2008 2:54 AM  
Blogger The Right Guy said...

To Merge/Divide:
One, McCain/Palin cannot push a socialist meme, that would have to be done by socialists. Two, I think you discount what is possible with a democrat majority in both houses and the oval office, particularly if there is a super majority. Then Nancy Pelosi would be running the show.

10/19/2008 12:16 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

McCain/Palin and their supporters are trying to redefine socialism, and are therefore trying to construct and propagate a new meme.

10/20/2008 5:00 PM  
Blogger The Right Guy said...

In my opinion, socialism can only be changed from within. So far as I know, Palin and McCain are not socialists. If they could change it, I would ask that they perform some magic and make it disappear. :)

10/20/2008 5:07 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Come on Jim...

I'm going to go slowly.... McCain... and... Palin...are...trying...to ...redefine...socialism.

10/20/2008 6:51 PM  
Blogger The Right Guy said...

They don't have to. Obama is doing a fine job illustrating what it is. If you listen to his answer to Joe Wurzelbacher, he basically says to each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities. That is socialism.

10/21/2008 12:20 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Actually Jim, you're quite mistaken. What you just described is closer to Marx's formation of communism. And that's not at all what Obama said to "Joe". Go back and read the entire transcript.

10/21/2008 5:33 PM  

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