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Fox News versus Joe the Plumber

Mediocrity reigns, new chapter

It's a busy day, so brevity is a must. Let's just check in on the latest news about Joe the Plumber, who is coming to epitomize the dearth of intellect in the McCain campaign.

This is what happens when the clueless are given free rein, with the official blessing of the McCain campaign. Indeed, this episode yesterday was so egregious that it was even condemned, in clear and unequivocal Fox News.

Fox host Shepard Smith aired the "Joe" segment, then felt compelled to inject a dose of factual reality: "I just want to make this 100 percent perfectly clear - Barack Obama has said repeatedly and demonstrated repeatedly that Israel will always be a friend of the United States, no matter what happens once he becomes President of the United States. His words. The rest of it - man, some things--it just gets frightening sometimes."

He made that statement shortly after putting Wurzelbacher on the air for a little back and forth conversation, the kind that people with actual qualifications are expected to be able to handle. Smith explained Obama's stance on sustaining the American bond with Israel, and said to his guest: "He couldn't have been clearer about it in his positions and his speeches, and I just wonder what it is that makes you think that he's lying about that?"

Smith asked, "What actions?"

Wurzelbacher said he didn't like it that Obama might decide to talk to Iran.

Smith asked how such a step, even if taken, could be interpreted as the death of Israel.

Wurzelbacher replied: "I'm not trying to be dancing around this. I honestly want people to go out and find their own reasons. I tell people not to listen to everyone else's opinion. I'm not going to have them start listening to mine. Go out and get informed."

Earlier in the conversation, he also said: "That is just my personal opinion that I've come up with by looking into different facts and what I think. That is what my message has been about. I haven't been telling people to go out and vote. Listen, you don't want my opinion on foreign policy. I know just enough about foreign policy to probably be dangerous."

Love those last two sentences. It's almost enough to make me pine for Palin.

What better evidence of how far the McCain campaign has fallen in the final days than the fact that even Fox News can't take it anymore?