While many of his fellow liberals are expending their energy urging Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to release more of his tax records, TIME columnist Joel Stein is taking a different approach.
The media’s show-me-your-papers circus–demanding Obama’s birth certificate and Romney’s tax returns–disgusted me, since all these journalists were so clearly just pandering for attention. Attention I was missing out on. I clearly needed to launch my own demand for papers. I would write about it in my column, yell about it on cable news shows and chant about it at rallies. I’d then parlay my fame into hosting my own talk show. I would choose which presidential candidate to target on the basis of whether MSNBC or Fox News had a time slot in ratings trouble.
Shockingly, there are still a lot of documents that haven’t been demanded from either campaign. Where is the paper showing that Paul Ryan is qualified to teach P90X fitness classes to his fellow Congressmen? When was the last time President Obama, who has admitted to doing cocaine as a teenager, had a urine test? And I need to see all of Mitt Romney’s skin-care and hair-care receipts so I can try to look as handsome as he is.
Unsure which of these would get me the most attention, I contacted Mark McKinnon, who was a senior media adviser to the George W. Bush and John McCain campaigns. He told me to drop the drug-test demand since it’s too offensive and would be ignored. He suggested asking a candidate for his kindergarten report card, which seemed like a good idea. Romney’s campaign is about his ability to get people working; his kindergarten grades will tell us if he really does play well with others.