A Rhetorical Question: You're a Jerk

September 2006
If you've never heard of Joseph Michelli, you're not alone -- neither had I until last week -- so perhaps the Colorado Springs talk radio host is trying to change that. That's the only excuse I can think of for making a fool of himself on the radio recently, and then issuing a half-assed apology to make up for it. Last week, Michelli told both of his listeners that people who earn the minimum wage are "dumb and incompetent." I'm not sure what point he was trying to make, but the comment came during a discussion about Amendment 42, a November ballot initiative that seeks to raise the Colorado minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $6.85 per hour. Perhaps he believes that dumb and incompetent people aren't worthy of earning more money than $5.15 per hour. Nevermind that Michelli proved without a doubt that you can be dumb and incompetent and earn more than the minimum wage, but that's a different argument. Michelli's idiotic remark was bad enough, but his apology was worse. He told his audience yesterday that he was sorry, but then said that he meant the statement to be a "sort of rhetorical question." What's wrong with just saying, "I'm sorry," and leaving it at that? Saying that minimum wage earners are "dumb and incompetent" is an insult. It's not a question, or a metaphor, or a haiku. It's an insult. Here's another rhetorical question for Michelli: You're a jerk.