President Bush carried out the obligatory turkey-pardoning ceremony at the White House last week. The two spared birds hail from the Ellsworth and Hill family farms in Iowa.
This is all well and good: nothing wrong with a little turkey clemency. But there are two other Iowa birds Bush should consider pardoning: the Hawkeyes who were caught fornicating in a Metrodome bathroom.
It's impossible to come up with any rational reason why this couple's gyrations warranted any kind of punitive action on behalf of the state in the first place. Just what, exactly, was defiled by their supposed debauchery?
A public restroom, remember, is a place fraught with shit, piss, and bloodied cotton. Not the most romantic place on earth, to be sure, but hardly an environment defiled by the mere presence of drunken fornicators. Assuming the couple planned on cleaning up after themselves, we can make out no discernible harm to the public—physically or morally—and, as a result, see nothing to object to here. (Though, admittedly, they might have erred in choosing a bathroom clearly designated for handicapped folk).
The fact is, there's no reason not to issue this pardon, Mr. President. What do you stand to lose? You're out of here in less than two months anyway, and it's not as if your approval rating could go any lower. So do the right thing. For once. —Matt Snyders
Joe the Plummer voted Obama
Minneapolis's Joe Plummer says he's enjoying a post-election respite after Republican presidential candidate John McCain made his moniker a household name.
On October 15, the night that John McCain first introduced "Joe the Plumber" to the nation in the third presidential debate, Plummer, a 34-year-old engineer with the Minnesota State Energy Office, was out for the evening with his wife. He came home to the blinking light of telephone messages.
"Hey, McCain brought you up," one caller said.
"Hey, Tom Brokaw said Joe Plumber was the winner of the debate," another teased.
The ribbing continued at work, among friends and family, and any time Plummer introduced himself to someone new. "It lasted for a good week after the election," says Plummer.
In the meantime, the real Joe the Plumber—Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, of Holland, Ohio—was signing with a Nashville public relations firm to handle interview requests and a possible country music deal.
But one thing the two Joes don't agree on is politics. "A couple people were telling me I should call up The Daily Show and say I'm Joe the Plumber and I'm voting for Obama," he says, laughing. "I guess I didn't work up the moxie to do so." —Erin Carlyle
The weatherman underground
Sweeps month on TV is all about sucking in viewers who can't resist the pretend drama of a TV news story.
Well, Fox9 really did it this year. No, they didn't uncover fraud or follow a cancer-stricken child through treatment. You know what they thought would be fun?
Hanging out with Paul Douglas.
Fox9 did a lengthy piece checking in on laid-off WCCO meteorologist Paul Douglas. They just, you know, wanted to see what he was doing now that he wasn't flipping out about severe weather and interrupting our evenings in front of the tube.
So why is this non-story so great? Let's break it down.
It's total inside baseball. Media writing about media (or media writing about media writing about media, like this right now) is completely ridiculous and thus automatically great. It's even better here in the Twin Cities because we have no celebrities except people on TV news.
Douglas left WCCO in the spring. Past drama: Dig it back up and people will eat it up.
We all know Douglas is rich as hell. Fox9 lets him rub it in. There's nothing better in a bad economy than feeling bad for laid-off millionaires who are so totally over it.
Douglas wants others to be screwed like he was. His new business strategy is to get TV stations to lay off some of their meteorologists and use his new company instead. Yes, he was laid off and he wishes the same to others.
Fox9 can't let him forget that he lost his job. Jeff Passolt: "Why do you think I survived in TV?" Ouch, we were wondering the same thing.
Passolt has Douglas reenact his days on TV, for old times' sake. Playing pretend just puts salt in the wounds. —Emily Kaiser