May 29, 1993: The Onion’s story about Roy the Forklift driver becoming a media darling of the conservative movement becomes, apparently, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or has talk radio dumbed us down so much what once was so unlikely as to be satirical now surprises no one? In the article, the uneducated forklift operator from Ohio addresses a spellbound nation on The Rush Limbaugh Show to “offer profound insight on current events.” Unlike the forklift driver, Joe the Plumber now has a book deal by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s ultra-right media empire. This reflects just as badly on Murdoch as it does on those who look up to Joe the Plumber.
The text of the 1993 article is as follows:
LIMA, OH– Roy Shybinski, an uneducated 33-year-old forklift operator from Lima, is making final preparations for his national radio address tomorrow on The Rush Limbaugh Show.
Shybinski, who has been “waiting a long time to speak my mind about this draft-dodging, pot-smoking Clinton bozo,” will speak to an expected audience of 32 million when he calls Limbaugh’s radio program shortly after 1 p.m. EST.
“I wouldn’t trust this sneaky draft-dodger any farther than I could throw him,” Shybinski said from his living room, where he will deliver his much-anticipated message via telephone. “And believe me, with all the Big Macs he eats, I couldn’t throw him very far.”
Added Shybinski: “Hail to the Chief? More like Inhale to the Chief “
Political observers are eagerly anticipating the three-minute radio address.
“I am very much looking for-ward to hearing Mr. Shybinski’s sophisticated insights and trenchant social and political commentary.” Sam Donaldson of ABC News said. “This is a man who has much to contribute to our national dialogue. If ever there were a man who deserved a national forum in which to express his views, it is Roy Shybinski of Lima, Ohio.”
Shybinski scheduled his address so as not to interfere with his 3 p.m. viewing of Wheel Of Fortune and his subsequent use of the bathroom.
The creepy parallels are astounding…
Both Roy the Forklift Operator and Joe the Plumber (JTP) are uneducated and dumb as bricks.
Both become tools of the far right and become media sensations
Both are pimped by Rush Limbaugh
Roy the Forklift Operator, however, cannot match Joe the Plumber in popularity. Joe is real and the babbling Daddy Warbucks embodiment somehow managed to put even a fictional parody to shame. He is mentioned numerous times in a presidential election, and in a televised debate seen by 29 million. JTP also appears on national television, particularly FOX News, has a PR agent, is considering a congressional run, and has a country music album in the works.
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