NY Times Blog 'Spotlights' Joe the Plumber with Left-Wing Attacks

Joe the Plumber, the ordinary guy who audaciously asked Obama a question about taxes, is caught in the fierce spotlight of media disapproval.The New York Times Politics Blog "The Caucus" shined a bright, interrogation light into the background of Samuel J.Wurzelbacher (Joe the Plumber) on Oct. 16.The post by Larry Rohter and Liz Robbins rushed to point out that Joe "is not a licensed plumber." Armed with the statement from Local 50 plumber's union, Rohter and Robbins attacked Joe for "playing games with the world."But the bloggers were playing games by burying one easy explanation for that fact. "Unlike some other states, Ohio does not have a formal statewide licensing system for plumbers. But the city of Toledo and other municipalities do," the blog post said 10 paragraphs later.The Times bloggers also dismissed Joe's question about Obama's tax plan saying, "The premise of his question to Mr. Obama about taxes may also be flawed, according to tax analysts."No "tax analysts" were quoted to support that statement, but the bloggers found room to mention that Joe "owes a bit in back taxes" and has been subject to two liens. They also said Joe told the AP he felt like Britney Spears because of all the attention.The Times bloggers were too busy attacking Joe to spotlight the truth about Obama's tax plan.A recent Wall Street Journal editorial called "Obama's 95% Illusion" took aim at the presidential candidate's plan to supposedly "cut taxes" for working families by using the words tax cut instead of refundable tax credits.That editorial exposed the illusion:"It's a clever pitch, because it lets him pose as a middle-class tax cutter while disguising that he's also proposing one of the largest tax increases ever on the other 5%. But how does he conjure this miracle, especially since more than a third of all Americans already pay no income taxes at all? There are several sleights of hand, but the most creative is to redefine the meaning of 'tax cut.'"So if, as the editorial pointed out, 44 percent of Americans would no longer pay any income tax under Obama's plan (thanks to Obama's tax credits) where does that leave Joe and everyone else?Brian Sullivan from Fox Business Network's "New Ideas" blog said, "I don't need to tell you that means 56% of us would be facing much higher tax bills." 

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.