Joe the Plumber, As Qualified As Many Mideast Reporters
Pajamas TV is sending Joe Wurzelbacher, A/K/A '"Joe the Plumber," to Israel to cover the conflict in Gaza. Eric Trager sees the pitfalls:
It seems as though Joe will only contribute to the very problem that so many in the blogosphere have harped on for so long-namely, that Middle East reporters frequently arrive in the region with no frame of reference and/or obscene biases. Indeed, will Joe be any more capable than the average MSM correspondent of reading an Israeli newspaper; or interpreting a mosque sermon on Palestinian television; or assessing the strategic significance of a given Israeli operation or Hamas rocket-attack? It seems highly improbable, to say the least.
A couple of years ago, during the previous iteration of the Iran-Israel war, I was standing on the Lebanese border with a group of American reporters. Overhead, Israeli Apaches were firing rockets at Hezbollah positions. One of the reporters looked up and asked, "Is that an airplane or a helicopter?" Man, that was embarrassing.