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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

I’ve been thinking about all the crap I hear on TV, radio, on emails, blogs, comments, smoke signals, and scratched in braille on the ATM keypad.  There’s spin, spin, spin.  Everywhere.

Today my frustration peaked when some knucklehead on the radio (see the spin creeping in already?) say “You know that Joe the Plumber guy? Well it turns out, he’s not even a licensed plumber.”

*Sigh.*

(see that spin I just put in? Cool, eh?  I sighed electronically, and hopefully your opinion is swayed my way).

Now, I’m smart enough to pose the question internally… so what if he’s not licensed?  Are plumbers even licensed?  Is he supposed to be licensed?  I know that code varies from state to state, and even county to county for lots of occupations.  For example, electricians – do you happen to know if you have to be licensed to be a Journeyman in your area to touch live wires?  In some places, you don’t.

But.  Even.  More.  Imporantly.  What the heck does any attribute about the questioner have to do with the actual question?  And, therefore, the subsequent answer?   It seems to me that the whole “Joe The Plumber” story is: Joe asked a hard question, Obama let it slip that he wants to redistribute wealth, so now people are going to attack Joe and try to discredit him somehow, and by inference, make Obama’s answer inconsequential. 

One of the sound bites even claimed “Joe’s not even his name.”  The guy’s name is Samual Joseph Wurzelbacher and goes by his middle name.  Hmm, I do that.  My middle name is Wayne.  Maybe Obama is jealous since if HE went by his middle name, he’d be… oh never mind.

Here’s a test I just made up.  Take the following sentence, and examine how it makes you feel when you read it.

While [the husband] was at a meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria at 4 p.m. Wednesday, [name] called room service and ordered lobster hors d’oeuvres, two whole steamed lobsters, Iranian caviar and champagne.  For all we know, campaign funds paid for this entire elite meal.

So here’s the question: if the “name” listed was Cindy McCain, does it make your blood boil?  What if it was Laura Bush?  Are you mad?  What if it was Lynne Cheney?

My point here is that the name (aka “target”) shouldn’t color the substance of the story.  The story is the story.  If you listen to some news story and it makes you mad, swap the “target” of the story with the name of someone you like.  Does the story still seem as bad? 

How about this sentence:

[name] pushed for increasing CHIP funding (Childrens’ Health Insurance Plan) by at least five billion dollars, but partisan opponents delayed the funding, causing millions of children to risk living without insurance.

Are you thinking about what name might go in there?  Do you think it’s Clinton?  Obama?  Ted Kennedy? 

Nope, it’s George W. Bush.

What kind of bias frustrates you the most?


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