Joe the Plumber is here, and he ain't happy

Joe is making news in Israel, from the Jerusalem Post:
Samuel Wurzelbacher of Ohio, aka Joe the Plumber, arrived in Sderot at noon Sunday to show local and foreign reporters how to do it right.

Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, has arrived in Israel to cover the war in Gaza.

"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.

Wurzelbacher, the man who stole the limelight from Republican presidential candidate John McCain during the American election campaign, has found a new job - as a correspondent for the Internet Web sites PJTV and Pajamas Media.
Another article:,7340,L-3654472,00.html

Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka 'Joe the Plumber' arrives in Israel to cover Gaza conflict on behalf of conservative US website. Rookie war reporter says he was embraced by Sderot people, slams mainstream US media for 'demonizing' Israel

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on portraying this affable-yet-otherwise clueless putz as some kind of hero to the regular-guy-everyman in all of us?

It's ventured beyond the world of comedy into the theater of the absurd.

I think any discussion of "Joe the Plumber" and his "qualifications" is moot. He's there and providing us with is take on what he sees. If you don't like it, don't listen to it.

As far as hiding our war dead, that is un-American. America must always be reminded of the cost of war. Hiding its cost is as un-American as it gets. I am a patriot and love this country. I still support our effort in Iraq and think it was the right thing to do.

Nonetheless, the American people have the right to know EVERYTHING about a war in which we are engaged as long as that knowledge does not endanger troops. Showing flag-draped coffins does not harm anyone as long as names are not attached to those coffins.

When we start making it easy for our government to wage war, they will wage war with reckless abandon. That is the nature of man and government. Some would argue that we've already arrived at that point. I disagree.

Those flag-draped coffins are a reminder that this is not some far-off conflict that does not affect us. Those coffins are a reminder that this conflict does affect us back home and those are real men and women in there. Those coffins remind us that war is not about glorious conquest. It is about young men and women dying. It must be avoided when not necessary and prosecuted without mercy upon the enemy when necessary.

Wurzelbacher said that he believes the media shouldn’t be allowed to do “reporting” on wars:

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think journalists should be anywhere allowed war. I mean, you guys report where our troops are at. You report what’s happening day to day. You make a big deal out of it. I think it’s asinine. You know, I liked back in World War I and World War II when you’d go to the theater and you’d see your troops on, you know, the screen and everyone would be real excited and happy for’em. Now everyone’s got an opinion and wants to downer–and down soldiers. You know, American soldiers or Israeli soldiers.

I think media should be abolished from, uh, you know, reporting. You know, war is hell. And if you’re gonna sit there and say, “Well look at this atrocity,” well you don’t know the whole story behind it half the time, so I think the media should have no business in it. (source)

Pink Slip

Joe says, "I don’t think journalists should be anywhere allowed war."

And Plumbers SHOULD?

I understand his point about revealing troop movements, etc...BUT that is just as much an intelligence problem as a reporter problem. The military seems to release a lot more information than they should.

There is a fine tradition of written war reporting--Stephen Crane, Bull-Run Russell, Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gelhorn, Ernie Pyle, Michael Herr, Lester Ziffren...even AL Gore reported from Vietnam. None of them were giving away any intelligence that put troops in harms way. They were reporting what was happening and providing human angles/faces to war.

News flash: Times have changed. Reporting has changed with them. The Literary Journalism movement invites reporters to shed their objective hats and take on a subjective role. Further, every news organ has to compete with the next one for information and audience, so they'll do what they can for the almighty buck.

'regular guy' Joe is just fine with continuing the policy of not showing flag-draped caskets of our dead soldiers coming home from Iraq.

Lord knows, we don't want the American public seeing the actual face of our foreign policy decisions gone FUBAR.

God forbid it be because the families of those soldiers having a right to privacy.

If I am killed in combat I don't want my body or casket to be used in a way that would demean my service or my family without mine or their consent. Being that I would have given the ultimate sacrifice for my country I believe that would be the least the press could do to show some last respects.


I had no idea the names of the deceased were so engraved on the caskets as to be visible via media coverage. In fact, as we both know, they are not.

Footage of caskets drapped with American flags were routinely shown in all prior wars until the first Gulf a sign of respect and honor and symbolic of sacrifices being made to defend this country.

Another Bush administration has continued that policy for purely public relations purposes, once of course the rationale for starting this war was shown to be complete bulldung.

When it suited them, the administration had no problem showing such caskets, although not of soldiers, but of NYC police/firefighters;

'In Bush-Cheney's first television ad for the 2004 campaign, the airwaves in battleground states have been flooded with--what else--the image of firefighters carrying a flag-draped body from the wreckage of Ground Zero.
The hypocrisy of preventing Americans from seeing stark reminders of the toll of war while Bush-Cheney 2004 simultaneously exploits the image of a dead body for political gain hasn't gone unnoticed.
The ads have drawn criticism from the families of 9/11 victims and other groups.'

I don't give a shit about Bush. Showing military caskets without the permission of the families is wrong.

You're advocating taking away a service member's last choice of expression of speech for political gain. That takes away all dignity for the deceased. Providing anonymity doesn't reduce that. Even the Geneva Convention has protections in it for that.

When you use someone else's death to promote an agenda they don't support you are denying them dignity.

It's sad that something that was once shown as the honoring the decease has been hijacked by a select few but that's what we've come to as a society. We have reduced ourselves to disrespecting our dead and in essence devaluing every person's life in the process.

EVERYONE in death should be afforded the last bit of privacy. Unfortunately in this world of sensationalistic journalism ratings and selling a few more papers has reduced us.


How is showing a picture of an anonymous flag-covered casket wrong? It could be anyone from any theater of war. It could in fact be from any decade. It certainly can't be "taking away a service member's last choice of expression of speech" because whose freedom of expression are we taking away? He's dead and has no freedom of expression. Maybe one of sixty thousand dead since Viet Nam? Whose exactly? It's a bogus argument, Mikey.

Using his argument, I conclude that every memorial or monument ever erected to honor America's dead during wartime is a violation of privacy.

Perhaps on the Vietnam Memorial Wall every name should be removed, same with every tombstone at Arlington National Cemetary and on and on and on.

"I conclude that every memorial or monument ever erected to honor America's dead during wartime is a violation of privacy."

Why? They don't single out an individual who has to an extent given up their freedom of speech.

"Perhaps on the Vietnam Memorial Wall every name should be removed, same with every tombstone at Arlington National Cemetary and on and on and on."

Ok, using Arlington is stupid. It's a marker of a deceased.

As for the Vietnam Memorial you would be correct. But remember the Vietnam Memorial was built during a time when the treatment of our soldier's funerals wasn't treated with as much disrespect as it has been today.


to the morons of Westboro Baptist Church? If so, that's not the argument. But, my bet is you already knew that.

No, this is about military censorship, under the utterly phoney guise of 'freedom of speech of the deceased' and 'out of respect' for the families.

Familiarize yourself with the Dover Test. As Gen. Hugh Shelton said ...'is the American public prepared for the sight of our most precious resource coming home in flag-draped caskets into Dover Air Force Base in Delaware – which is a point entry for our Armed Forces?'

In 2005, the Pentagon released hundreds of photos of flag-draped coffins in response to a lawsuit and Freedom of Information Act requests:

The Director of National Security Archives has got it right, Mikey. Maybe some day you'll come around.

Thomas Blanton, Director of the National Security Archive, which actively uses the Freedom of Information Act to force release of government documents, said, "The government now admits it was wrong to keep these images secret. Hiding the cost of war doesn't make that cost any less. Banning the photos keeps flag-draped coffins off the evening news, but it fundamentally disrespects those who have made the ultimate sacrifice."

"He's dead and has no freedom of expression. "

So a dead person has no rights?

Why do we honor wills? Aren't those expression after death?

I pray that when you or McCaskey die that no one tries to use your death to push a political agenda you may disagree with. To do so is disgusting.

"It could be anyone from any theater of war. It could in fact be from any decade."

The ban only applies to those after the ban was imposed. There are many such photos taken prior to the ban which are a part of historical archives and public domain.


Mikey, GOVERNMENT leaders use our war dead to make political statements and push agendas... every time they build a memorial to a soldier and every time a president gets up on a podium to "thank" the fallen for their supreme sacrifice. Don't think they're doing it for sentimental reasons. Don't be naive.

This isn't even close to the same thing.

I don't know of one person who hates being thank for service even during a War protest.

What the issue is is taking away someone's freedom of privacy to promote an agenda.

Now if they were thanking a specific person, without the families consent, then it would be somewhat related to the issue.


the media doesn't cover that, or that women and children are kept in the same locations as the fighters, as shields. So Joe has a point, it is biased coverage .

Political blogging is built in no small part on the idea that many journalists do their job poorly, and therefore we need better reporters who do their job more competently. This is deeply undercut by the idea that journalism is a job babbling simpletons can do so long as they’re conservatives.|11|09&series-name=Middle_East_Upate

Have to register first, though. Simple procedure.

Imagine this.

A homosexual individual dies. A Christian fundamentalist takes pictures of the coffin and then puts the picture in a newsletter under the heading "Gays die of AIDS!"

Now that scenario is not unlikely. However it is just as disgusting as using military caskets to do the same thing... invade the dead and their families right to privacy.


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