It’s called a blog

Here’s New York Times writer Timothy Egan on Joe the Plumber‘s forthcoming book. Notice how he does his part to combat the terrible and untrue stereotype of NYT elitism (sarcasm):

The unlicensed pipe fitter known as Joe the Plumber is out with a book this month, just as the last seconds on his 15 minutes are slipping away. I have a question for Joe: Do you want me to fix your leaky toilet?

I didn’t think so. And I don’t want you writing books. Not when too many good novelists remain unpublished.

—- snip —-

There was a time when I wanted to be like Sting, the singer, belting out, “Roxanne …” I guess that’s why we have karaoke, for fantasy night. If only there was such a thing for failed plumbers, politicians or celebrities who think they can write.

It’s called a blog, dude. Joe the Plumber’s got one of those too (coming soon!).

Me, I’m not worried about Joe the Writer. Nobody’s making Tom the Reader or Timothy the Elitist go out and buy the book, right? To blame bad writers for the underlying culture of flash-in-the-pan media too little too late.

Asking the (W)right questions

My dad sent me a link to this film and asked me if think it’s valid. Take a look:

In a word, no, I don’t think this is valid. My issue is with the questions that are being raised. This approach attempts to make McCain account for these crazy views espoused by one of his supporters. Basically, it’s a move to try and get McCain to answer: “Do you agree with or repudiate these views?” Seems fair in light of what happened to Obama, Wright?

Problem is, it is not legitimate to try and make McCain, Obama, or anyone else account for the views or statements made by their supporters. Instead, we need to hold them accountable to their own beliefs and actions. In McCain’s case, the questions can and should be raised: what are your views on the practice of Islam in America and elsewhere? And why is your campaign seeking out endorsements from religiously-bigoted pastors? For Obama, he shouldn’t be asked to approve of or repudiate everything Rev. Wright ever said, but I think it’s fair to ask why, in light of Rev. Wright’s controversial views, did he attend Trinity UCC for so long?

Each of these approaches to McCain’s and Obama’s pastors provides room for the nuance that has gone missing on both sides of this issue. And that’s what is needed, not simply to do unto them what was done unto us.