Boy, did this get old quickly. Here's what I understand about Joe the Plumber: 1) He asked Barack Obama a question about taxes and small business. He got an answer. 2) He became a lightning rod for the McCain campaign, who believed that the question and response that ensued gave them an issue to take on the campaign trail. 3) As a newly created public figure, he became fair game for the media. His personal life was scrutinized, his desire to purchase a plumbing business was examined, and he became a poster boy whether he wanted to be or not. 4) As a result of the scrutiny we learn that he owes back taxes to the state. He may or may not also not have the net worth to purchase the business in question. He may or may not be qualified to be a plumber. 5) He was flown to New York to be a guest on a right-wing talk show and there was talk of him appearing at a McCain-Palin rally. 6) Depending on which information you read, he's happy/unhappy with the attention he's received. Depending on your perspective, there's plenty of responsibility to go around. Should the media be parked on his lawn in the kind of numbers that we saw? I don't think so. Having said that, when you become a public figure, it would be naive to expect that you would not be subject to some scrutiny. Do I think it's been overdone? Absolutely. The average citizen does not have access to a media consultant or public relations specialist. Let's take a look at the attention this issue has gotten on this board. This particular thread is up to 16-17 pages now? I, for one, value my privacy as much as the next guy, and I'd like Joe to back and deal with his plumbing issues. I suspect that this will die a natural death in the media as soon as somethign of substance comes along.