Citizen Journalism

By Beacon Staff

Drawing on decades of expertise covering foreign conflicts, studying the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, with fluency in Arabic and Hebrew, and having authored several scholarly studies of the Koran and the Torah, Samuel Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher has been hired by conservative Web site as a foreign correspondent to cover the current Middle East violence. Wait, I’m afraid I may have overstated some of Wurzelbacher’s professional credentials there. Forgive me, as a Montana reporter who has learned how difficult it is to accurately understand and explain the Kalispell city budget, I might get a little bitter over the idea that Wurzelbacher, who isn’t even a plumber, mind you, is inexplicably taking on one of the most difficult and complex assignments a journalist can have. Watch out Christiane Amanpour. Also, I sort of hoped Wurzelbacher’s ill begotten celebrity would rightfully dissipate, and he would have no choice but to sink back into obscurity in 2009. I can’t believe I just spent 20 minutes writing about this guy.

From Haaretz:

Joe the Plumber is taking on a new job.

The Ohio man, who became famous during the U.S. presidential campaign after asking Barack Obama about his tax plan, is heading to Israel as a war correspondent for a conservative Web site called

Dubbed Joe the Plumber by McCain’s campaign, Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher was held up as an example of an American worker who would be hurt economically by Obama’s election.

Wurzelbacher says he’ll spend 10 days covering the fighting and explaining why Israeli forces are mounting attacks against Hamas.

He tells WNWO-TV in Toledo that he wants go over there and let their ‘Average Joes’ share their story.

Wurzelbacher later joined Republican John McCain on the campaign trail.

At one stop, Wurzelbacher agreed with a McCain supporter who asked if he believed a vote for Obama was a vote for the death of Israel.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.