You have to hand it to Roger Simon, themanwhocreatedmoseswine. PJTV isn’t exactly the new HBO. It’s not even the new Sky Angel. But Roger has a flair for the dramatic and having found his own personal ‘Lonesome’ Rhodes in America’s Crash Test Dummy, Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, he’s hit the free publicity motherlode and he’s going to mine it until it runs out:
By now many of you have heard that Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher is leaving for Israel tomorrow to be a war correspondent for Pajamas TV. This has created quite a brouhaha in the media – cable television, newspapers, wire services, etc. Everyone from CNN to gawker.com has something to say about Joe heading for the Middle East. He will appear on Fox and Friends tomorrow morning before his departure.
To be honest, some (maybe much) of this reportage is pretty snotty. Nora O’Donnell of MSNBC – herself a MA in international relations, lahdeedah – fairly frothed at the mouth at the prospect of the unqualified Joe having the temerity to report news in a foreign land. Those hipoisie over at Gawker weren’t too charitable either.
Evidently, a lot of people are annoyed that Joe’s fifteen Warhol minutes aren’t quite over yet. Or perhaps they’re threatened that a common man can be a reporter simply by asking common sense questions – no Columbia J-school degree required. (Hemingway didn’t have one. He didn’t even go to college, as I recall.) But the larger question is the role of expertise in general. Of course, experts are valuable, but so are those who ask the seemingly too obvious questions of the supposedly uninformed – dumb questions that can end up having more value for the public than all the experts combined. Sometimes, anyway.
When you read that qualifying "Sometimes, anyway." you can almost smell Roger’s somewhat shaky confidence that Joe won’t start screaming "Aiiieeee! Oh sweet fucking Jesus, I don’t want to die!" on camera the first time someone within earshot slams a car door too loud. But, for the price of a ticket to the Middle East, a few nights at the Shlomi Ramada Inn, and a case of MGD Light, Roger gets a ten day media freakshow for the rest of the media to cover and it’s going to be all about PJTV. Sweet! And, you know, that’s not what Roger had in mind from the beginning. No. Really. Nope, Joe is there to play Man on the Arab street and and ask the questions the MSM won’t: "Sarah Palin – hot or not? I mean, for a shiksa."
Of course, should someone pop a cap in Joe’s plumber’s crack, well, you know what they say: all publicity is good publicity.