In their reporting of Samuel J. Wurzelbacher aka ‘Joe the Plumber’, the NY Times quoted this “reporter” when he said, “To be honest with you, I don’t think journalists should be anywhere allowed war [sic]. … 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 the screen and everyone would be real excited and happy for them. Now everyone’s got an opinion and wants to down soldiers — our American soldiers, our Israeli soldiers. I think media should be abolished from reporting. You know, war’s hell, and if you’re gonna sit there and say ‘Well look at this atrocity’ — well you don’t know the full story behind it half the time. So I think the media should have no business in it.”
My reaction is unbelievable that someone who now calls himself a reporter, a journalist or whatever would in his role as such trample on the first amendment to the United States Constitution. What is he following? Ari Fleisher’s (Bush’s first press secretary) golden rule of “Watch what you say”?
Seeing that he is reporting from Israel, let me remind good old Joe the Plumber that the NY Times reported back on October 11th, 1941 the massacre of thousands of Jews in Galacia. Without the press he is trying to demonize, and if the media were kept away by Adolf Hitler, these deaths wouldn’t have come to anyone’s attention. So, kudos to the NY Times.
When governments do lie to its people, it is the duty of the free press to chronicle what is going on within the free world or not so free world. So his assertion that one does not know the full story behind it bears no fruit or truth for that matter. It is the duty of the media to report this information so that we the people have it in order to make changes within our government.
To believe in one’s government without being able to question it, I would love to remind Joe the Plumber of this historic quote by Benjamin Franklin, “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority." If we the people cannot venture to war-torn regions, then we must have a media present to report back to us so we can then question authority.
As a journalist who is anti-war, I have always supported our soldiers to clear that up. I am not happy at all to see them dying for the many lies told to us by outgoing President Bush. Seeing them fight an enemy without uniforms similar to the war in Viet Nam only lessens their survival to come home to their loved ones.
If he believes that the media has no business in it, then why in blazes is he there as part of the media? To me, that is a hypocritical statement. To be honest, he just wants to make a name for himself and damn the information. In my opinion he wants to insert himself into the story and a journalist’s part in covering any story is that the story is the story.
For the broadcast media and even the print media to be following him, much less quoting him, I can think of other more seasoned journalists to quote. Ones that will hunker down in regions where no one would wish to travel into and the one that comes to mind is CNN’s Michael Ware who has done some first rate reporting from Iraq.
Lastly, Joe aka Samuel there is one question you can ask the Israeli government and that is, how many nuclear war-heads do they have in their possession? See what answer you get and then report back to we the people. I know the answer, but do you?
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