Dish-Gate: Paul Ryan Washes Already-Clean Dishes In Manipulative Photo Op

Youngstown, OH – Media outlets are already calling it “Dish-gate,” referring to Paul Ryan’s “career ending” photo op in which he rolls up his sleeves to seemingly hand-wash clean dishes at an Ohio soup kitchen.

The story goes like this: Countering accusations that the GOP ticket hates poor people, Paul Ryan decided to lend a hand at a local soup kitchen in Youngstown, Ohio over the weekend. There’s just one problem. The kitchen had already cleaned up for the day, and “the hall was empty of patrons” by the time the VP candidate had arrived. Not one to waste a trip, Ryan rolled up his sleeves and had photographers nab an image of him washing dishes anyway, but you can clearly see that the dishes are already clean.

Oops.

Liberal bloggers and left-wing media outlets are in a rage over the manipulative photo op, with NY Mag mocking the VP contender saying, “the truth is that Ryan simply cares so much about America’s non-income-tax-paying indigent that he thinks they deserve better than eating food from pots and pans that have only been cleaned once.”

Gawker called the affair a “sorry charade,” and liberal blog Daily Kos sort of cut Ryan a break, saying, “He’s running for office for Pete’s sake. And nothing will stop him from trying to convince voters that Mitt Romney and he have the empathy Americans expect in a president and vice president—even if that means wasting everybody’s time by washing dishes that don’t need to be washed.”

As a moderate publication (I, myself, have given numerous politicians on the left and the right breaks for even the most controversial gaffes and/or public missteps), we’re kind of on-board with Daily Kos‘s analysis. The important thing is that Ryan even showed up to the soup kitchen to lend a hand in the first place. Sure, the appearance was poorly timed, but isn’t it the thought that counts? Can’t we just say we caught him with his pants down on this one and move on?

What do you think of Paul Ryan and Dish-gate?