Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sign of the Apocalypse #62: Joe the Plumber, war correspondent and pro-Israeli propagandist

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Seriously.

This is the second time that Samuel "Joe" Wurzelbacher has made our SOTA list. First he got a book deal, now he's off to war, sort of:

TOLEDO, Ohio – Joe The Plumber is putting down his wrenches and picking up a reporter's notebook.

The Ohio man who became a household name during the presidential campaign says he is heading to Israel as a war correspondent for the conservative Web site pjtv.com.

Samuel J. Wurzelbacher (WUR'-zuhl-bah-kur) says he'll spend 10 days covering the fighting.

He tells WNWO-TV in Toledo that he wants to let Israel's "'Average Joes' share their story."

That's right, he's being sent over to cover the war for Pyjamas Media's TV arm -- that is, for a right-wing media outlet.

But just who are these Israeli "Average Joes"? Will he really be interviewing average Israelis, many of whom are far more critical of their own government's actions than Israel's defenders, like Joe himself, in the U.S.? I suspect not. More likely, he'll be interviewing his Israeli counterparts, carefully chosen, right-wing regurgitaters of official government propaganda. See, he'll tell his all-too-eager right-wing American audience, these Israelis really want war just as much as you do. Not that Joe himself is smart enough to figure this all out for himself. He's just a tool, a pawn, in the larger propaganda war that Israel and its American allies are waging. (And I say this as someone who, in the past, has been extremely supportive of Israel and her various military excursions, arguing that it has a right to, and that it must, defend itself.)

What would be far more instructive would be to send Joe off to meet some average Palestinian Joes, those who may or may not much care for Hamas but who certainly don't like the Israelis invading them. Perhaps Joe could, for example, ask one of these average Palestinian Joes how he feels about the Israeli attack on that U.N. school. Perhaps he could even talk to someone who lost a loved one in that attack.

But, no, Joe is one of Israel's more mindless supporters, and all we'll get from him -- not that I'll be watching -- is some all-too-predictable pro-Israeli spin.

The situation in Gaza is complicated. A resolution to the current conflict, not to mention to the larger problem, will be difficult to achieve, to say the least. In his own pathetic way, Joe the Plumber just makes it all worse.

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