Who Cares If Joe the Plumber Isn’t a Plumber?

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Or if the Court of Common Pleas in Lucas County, Ohio, issued a tax lien on Joe Wurzelbacher, the now-(in)famous plumber-by-association?

I don’t; nobody should.

But while John McCain and the right are heralding Joe as a hero for asking Barack Obama head-on if the plumbing business he wants to buy would pay higher taxes under Obama’s economic plan, everyone else, it seems, is prying into his life and making a huff about the fact that he was never licensed as a plumber in Ohio, owes back taxes, and just might be related to Charles Keating.

Why can’t we—the media—leave the guy alone? As far as I’m concerned, there are only two things that matter about Wurzelbacher: He probably won’t actually pay more taxes under Obama’s plan if he buys the plumbing business, and, as Andrew Sullivan notes:

Joe the Plumber has now had more press conferences than Sarah Palin.

—Steve Aquino

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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