Samuel Wurzelbacher landed with a splash in Jerusalem, yesterday, and immediately took shots at the media reportage of the Israel/Hamas conflict:
“You should be ashamed of yourself,” he told foreign reporters.
“You should be patriotic, protect your family and children, not report like you have been doing for the past two weeks since this war has started,” he said.
Some pundits, like Jazz Shaw, are critical of Wurzelbacher’s lack of journalistic credentials:
But we should probe a bit deeper into Joe’s qualifications as a war correspondent, as this is generally not the first assignment a cub reporter pulls upon joining a network. We might expect him to have a command of, or at least a passing familiarity with the languages spoken by the locals. He should be well versed in the history of the conflict, the primary participants, and the leading power figures. Lastly, as a reporter, we would expect an engaging figure on camera, exuding competence and armed with excellent communication skills in his native tongue. Have we any signs of this?
All these are valid questions, but they miss the point. Joe isn’t your average war correspondent. He is a citizen reporter, there to cover the side of the story other reporters somehow miss. Last October, he asked the now famous question that no other “qualified reporter” had managed to ask Obama; “Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it”?
Here’s what Wurzelbacher himself says about why he decided to cover the war, (via The Jerusalem Post):
Wurzelbacher had already announced that he would arrive in the area for 10 days to cover Operation Cast Lead and to assist in getting out the Israeli side of the story.
“I want the average American Joes to understand the story here from the point of view of someone like them,” he told WNWO, a TV channel in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, before heading here.
What Shaw misses is that there is a propaganda war going on along with the actual hostilities. The Palestinians already have plenty of help from the usual suspects.
Joe the Plumber wants to help the Israeli side of the story, out. He has good instincts. I think he’ll do just fine.
Hat tip: Gateway Pundit
From AoSHQ, who calls Jazz Shaw “a tool”, and says, so what if he’s not objective, at least he states it openly. Exactly.
You can view Joe reporting for Pajamas Media, here. (Registration required).