Monday, December 15, 2008

The Munie and Joe Show

Folk heroes, Dear Gentle Reader(s), arise in the most unexpected places, but, in afterthought, in the most predictable times.

Take, for instance, Joe the Plumber and Muntader al-Zaidi.

In retrospect, Good Ol’ Joe’s rise to folk hero (albeit amongst a minority of American voters) was predictable.  All that was needed was a candidate answering  a serious question seriously and at some length.  Then the video of the exchange is “managed” in such a way that what was said is edited to seem to say something actually not said (following me?).  Pass this on to a national audience via a Presidential Debate, and Voila!, a hero is born.

Munie’s rise is quite similar:  television crews, question and answers unscripted (it is hoped), a person of some controversy, a person with some distaste for the questionee and with some gumption, and Viola!, the Arab world has its own version of Joe.

There, perhaps, end the similarities.  Joe has pretty much faded from the news cycles, his 15 minutes well used up.  Munie might last a bit longer.  His constituency is larger than Joe’s; Joe only had the base of the Republican Party, but Munie seems to have the population of the Arab speaking world behind him.

Messers. Bush an Maliki should have taken that wise advice from The Gipper regarding their audience at that news conference:

Trust, W, but verify.

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