Why does the media care more about Joe Wurzelbacher's record than Barack Obama's record?

Joe the plumber was on the Mike Huckabee show last night. I was unable to watch it but the Toledo Blade has some coverage. I have been amazed at how the mainstream media can apply journalism to Joe’s past but for some reason we hear very little about Obama’s past. Understandably, the scrutiny is intimidating to Joe W.

Mr. Huckabee said that Mr. Wurzelbacher only asked a question when Mr. Obama happened to stop by his current neighborhood a week ago. Mr. Huckabee asked how Mr. Wurzelbacher felt about the scrutiny he’d received.
“It actually upsets me,” Mr. Wurzelbacher said. “I am a plumber, and just a plumber, and here Barack Obama or John McCain, I mean these guys are going to deal with some serious issues coming up shortly. The media’s worried about whether I paid my taxes, they’re worried about any number of silly things that have nothing to do with America. They really don’t. I asked a question. When you can’t ask a question to your leaders anymore, that gets scary. That bothers me.”

The moral is, if Barack Obama comes to your door, don’t answer.
Most of what I can find about Obama’s record on housing is on blogs or primary sources. Other than the Boston Globe article, where is the investigative reporting of Obama’s record in Chicago?

12 thoughts on “Why does the media care more about Joe Wurzelbacher's record than Barack Obama's record?”

  1. @FAC
    Just because a study has the trappings of science doesn’t make it a good study. It’s not a matter of belief, it’s a matter of methodology and author bias:
    The publishers of the Wall Street Journal treat the study with outright scorn
    Methodological flaws pointed out here
    Also here, along with the fact that the authors themselves have been conservative think tankers
    Various problems with the study discussed here and in various links, along with the authors’ defense against one of the critiques

  2. Reality is what it is. If you don’t want to believe a well documented scientific study about the matter is up to you. But not only that, from the link above:
    “All of our findings refer strictly to news content; that is, we
    exclude editorials, letters, and the like”
    If you think Tina Fey media coverage isn’t political, you are wrong. Remember Chevy Chase and Gerald Ford.? You have to look at the big picture and beyond not only to the news and editorials, but to BET, Comedy Central, PBS, even Discovery Channel is biased to the left. Just check their programs about polar bears, climate change, or origen of the universe point of views. I think the only channels 100% pro McCain is TNT and alike, only couple houndred watched.

  3. The intense media scrutiny happened before the Huckabee appearance. But I agree that McCain did make him a celeb via the debate. However, I maintain that the focus of the media has been to discount his questions and even allege an impossible scenario (McCain planted him) because of the dirt they found.
    When Obama is revealed as an ineffective state legislator who was not aware people were freezing in his district, was taking money from his fund raiser while that fundraiser was being sued for failure to heat his buildings and then supports his fundraiser after that, he is considered by the fawning press as a change agent.
    The reactions are not proportional to the person (Joe vs Barack) nor to the office they seek (a livelihood vs the Presidency).

  4. Zoe Brain – He was not ruthless enough to withstand it as a Chicago politician. I am posting this morning on his unwillingness to confront the evil of neglect in his own district while a state Senator. He could not even take on his own fund raisers and allies.
    Lynn David – As you may know from reading here, I get focused on a topic for a while and ride it hard (NARTH, Cohen, Mankind Project, etc). Such is the case here. I have an honest curiosity and astonishment that the mainstream press have given Obama such a pass. The number of articles about Sarah Palin’s baby (family matter) outpace the number of articles about Obama’s record on housing (absolutely essential vetting). For one who considers an Obama presidency to be worrisome, the unwillingness of the press to do their job is indeed frustrating.

  5. Here is the link in html format:
    and if you preffer it in pdf:
    The media took very seriuosly Sarah Palin affairs in Alaska. They send an army of “reporters” to dig in the frozen ice. However, the exposure of Obama-Ayers links are un-existent or very scarce. Or questions about who was the ghost writer behind his book. Go here to find information and genuine questions the media never discuss:

  6. Why does the media care more about Joe W’s record than Obama’s?
    Do a google search on:
    “A Measure of Media Bias”
    Tim Groseclose
    Department of Political Science, UCLA, and
    Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
    Jeff Milyo
    Harris School of Public Policy
    University of Chicago
    September 2003
    There is the explanation for that different media exposure and oppinions.

  7. Why does the media care more about Joe W’s record than Obama’s?
    I think that is because a big part of the media is composed of people with an elitist mindset who think they know better what’s best for your country (it happens everywhere there are free media). Obama’s record has already been debated for more than one year. Those who support him tend to consider his small record to go together well with his “transformational figure” pedestal. His opponents tend to see that as a foreboding of a shadowy figure who created his status based on talk, a very intelligent type at that.
    The truth is that if Obama got this far and managed to eliminate Clinton on his way to the final competition, then he earned most of this status.
    It’s no longer interesting for the media to focus on the hackneyed theme of Obama’s record, whether it’s about its meagerness or its special significance. Most people have made their minds on this issue, and those who are undecided have been exposed to all the arguments enough to remain still undecided.
    Joe the Plumber is interesting for the media because he’s exploitable: some say he is genuine, others that there are some inconsistencies in his story — so much to talk about especially when one candidate’s arguments, McCain’s, rely on how credible this story is.

  8. You seem to be upset, Warren, over that which you have no control.
    Or you seem to be upset over something which you would like to exist, but does not so appear to exist.
    Either way this is bordering on obsessive/compulsive behavior on your (our) part.
    Isn’t politics wonderful?!
    The real moral is John McCain should choose his debate points more carefully – 21 times, “Joe the plumber;” and then further use of “Joe the plumber” after the debate. McCain was as uncareful about choosing his “Joe the plumber” talking point/example as he was about choosing his vice-presidential running mate. Such a lack of insight by McCain is one reason why Colin Powell chose to back a more studious candidate, Barack Obama.

  9. So…Joe the plumber chose to fly to be interviewed on a national television show in order to complain about being scrutinized by the media? Interesting.
    Of course, Joe the plumber is hardly the first person marginally related to a presidential campaign to be subjected to media scrutiny.
    And I think you also conveniently ignore that Joe the plumber came under scrutiny based on John McCain making him the star of the third debate, not directly based on the fact that he asked Obama a question.
    As for lack of coverage on Obama and housing, there are lots of possible reasons, including that reporters have done some investigating and don’t find anything of interest beyond what the Globe already has said, or that it isn’t a “sexy” story. If there were more to it, why wouldn’t the Globe pursue it further, would be a good question.

  10. Chicago politics is dirty, corruption endemic and entirely bi-partisan. It’s in no-one’s interest to open up that particular can of worms.
    Except for the public.
    Seriously, depending on who you investigate, and what you find, losing advertising revenue could be the least of your worries. There’s physical danger from “business associates” with “close ties” to both major political parties. There’s also a large and oppressed permanent underclass. I’m right-wing, but even I recognise the social problems there, and give credit to those genuinely trying to solve them amidst a morass of corruption.
    What concerns me is the pressure they may be able to put on a president – but I think Obama’s ruthless enough to withstand it. He’s had to be to get where he is today.

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