The associated press reported today that Joe the Plumber is going Israel to become a war correspondant. He is leaving for a 10 day trip to cover the fighting for the conservative website PJTV.com.
He wants to let Israel's “Average Joes share their story.”
Kudos to Joe the Plumber for knowing when to capitalize on an opportunity, kudos for PJTV.com for cashing in a meal ticket when they see one. But shame on both PJTV and Joe for trying to make a buck from the misery in the middle-eat.
While he's there Joe the Plumber should walk into Gaza and ask regular Palestinian average Joes their story. Get it from both sides like a real journalist.
My main concern is what more can Joe the Plumber possibly bring to the already extensive coverage of the carnage in Gaza? Do Israelis know who he is? Will the average Israeli care who this guy is? Why would they even talk to him instead of another more qualified correspondent that might have a deeper understanding of the culture, their emotions and the conflict as a whole?
My other concern is that this stunt might turn this conflict into a little bit of a joke despite the rising death toll. Imagine how Americans would have felt if Joe the Plumber interviewed "average joes" after hurricane Katrina or some other US tragedy with massive loss of life. Because that's what he will be doing in Israel.
While I think it's a great idea to have an average guy ask questions of regular everyday folks... I think it should be done at home in the US where people at least know who he is and it shouldn't be in the context a potential humanitarian crisis.
Again, I can't blame Joe the Plumber for wanting to make a buck. I'm just saddened that this sideshow comes at a time like this, in a place where so much blood is shed and where tension is at an all time high.