Hypocrisy Watch

HYPOCRISY WATCH…. In general, I find the interest in Joe Wurzelbacher — also known as “Joe the Plumber” — kind of silly. For that matter, I have even less interest in criticism of the left from far-right blogger Michelle Malkin.

But this Malkin piece, about the “dirty, desperate war against Joe Wurzelbacher,” is too rich to pass up.

The left’s political plumbers are attacking the messenger, rummaging through his personal life and predictably wielding the race card once again. […]

Left-wing blogs immediately went to work, blaring headlines like “Not A Real $250k Plumber!” Next, they falsely accused Wurzelbacher of not being registered to vote — he’s registered in Lucas County, Ohio, and voted as a Republican in this year’s primary.

Next, they called him a liar for identifying himself as undecided. Only registered Democrats and fake Republican tools used in mainstream media stories and YouTube debates are allowed to use that label, you see.

Next, award-winning liberal blogger Joshua Marshall cast Wurzelbacher as some kind of rabid freak for calling Social Security a “joke” — as if no working-class Americans could believe that the federal government’s entitlement programs were a rip-off unless they were bought and paid for by the McCain campaign.

Oh, where to begin. First, Josh’s post highlighted a clip from Wurzelbacher’s own press conference, in which he presented his conservative worldview. If someone holds a press conference, and a journalist highlights a clip from the event, it’s hardly an “attack.”

Second, Wurzelbacher, who said he was anxious to get his “message” out, was telling anyone who would listen that Obama’s tax policies might adversely affect him personally. But he had his facts wrong. Given the McCain campaign’s promotion of “Joe,” and the fact that he was saying things that weren’t true, a lot of writers, including me, set the record straight. This also falls far short of an “attack.”

But perhaps most importantly, Malkin is outraged that “the left” is “rummaging through his personal life.” What an interesting complaint.

About a year ago, in the midst of the debate over the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), Democrats invited a 12-year-old boy, Graeme Frost, to deliver the party’s radio address. The point, obviously, was to humanize the policy debate — instead of just another politician reading talking points, here was a kid who was able to get the medical care he needed after a serious car accident caused severe brain trauma, paralyzed one of his vocal chords, and put him in a coma.

Michelle Malkin decided it was appropriate to “rummage” through the Frost family’s “personal life” — which included visiting their home, stopping by the boy’s father’s workplace, and publishing right-wing rumors about the family that didn’t withstand scrutiny. At the time, Malkin said she was simply “subjecting political anecdotes to scrutiny,” which she saw as fully appropriate.

Matt Corley added, “The difference between what the media is doing now with Wurzelbacher and what Malkin and the right wing did to the Frosts is clear. While the media is reporting the facts as they find them, Malkin and her allies distorted the facts with innuendo and refused to believe the Frosts were ‘struggling‘ even after family friends told them so.”

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