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Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin
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Who's Afraid of Joe the Journalist?

Comment

If a community organizer can be president and a Saturday Night Live comedian can be a U.S. senator, why can't a plumber be a reporter?

Joe Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. Joe the Plumber, is headed to Israel to interview ordinary citizens about life in the crosshairs of jihad. He'll be filing dispatches for conservative Internet video broadcasting site PJTV.com (to which I also contribute). Predictably, the very idea of a non-credentialed public figure attempting to "do journalism" has catty elite journalists hacking up hairballs.

CNN television anchor Kyra Phillips sneered (in her most objective and professional manner, of course): "Oh, Lord, Joe the Plumber's got a new gig. It's got nothing to do with the pipes, it's got everything to do with Gaza." After catching her breath during a commercial break, she embellished her teleprompter lines with ad-libbed contempt (something only seasoned professional journalists have experience doing, you see): "Now Joe the Plumber wants to flush out the truth as a war correspondent. I know, there are just no words."

Still not done trashing the Toledo, Ohio, citizen who had the temerity to question Barack Obama's redistributionist policies, Phillips piled on more derisive words: "Hey, Joe, what do you know? No, seriously, what do you know? … [H]e says he hopes to air Israelis' views on the Gaza offensive. Lord, help us. Just want to remind you that Joe the Plumber has no journalism experience. No war zone experience, either. But he thinks he's, quote, 'pretty well protected by God.' So, what's Joe been smoking, drinking?"

What's he smoking and drinking? Clearly not the same ideological Kool-Aid and liberal fumes that you and your snobbish colleagues imbibe and inhale, Ms. Phillips. The CNN anchor has some nerve questioning Joe the Plumber's journalistic credibility when her own cable news network once hired former "NYPD Blue" actress with zero journalism experience Andrea Thompson to sit in an anchor chair like the one Phillips occupies.

As to the media hounds now braying at the idea of hiring celebrities for the sake of publicity, which network was it that hired foul-mouthed entertainer with no anchoring experience Kathy Griffin to co-anchor its New Year's Eve coverage? Oh, yeah: CNN. Griffin teamed up with CNN star Anderson Cooper, whose resume includes stints as a child model, fill-in host for "Live with Regis and Kelly," and the reality show "The Mole."

Who's afraid of Joe the Journalist? Unlike Phillips, I do not begrudge anyone an unconventional path to journalism.

On the Internet, conservative bloggers with full-time day jobs have done incredible investigative work without a journalism school credit to their names (see www.michellemalkin.com/2009/01/04/who-says-conservative-bloggers-don't-do-reporting/). So have independent war correspondents like Michael Totten (blogger) and Michael Yon (Special Forces veteran).

Groupthink, credential fetishism and the Sorbonne mentality have turned national newsrooms into stale echo chambers. For all its self-aggrandizing paeans to "diversity," mainstream American journalism remains one of the most intellectually and ideologically monochrome sectors of the public square.

Territorial liberal journalism gurus have attempted to de-legitimize unorthodox practitioners of their trade by redefining "journalism" based on content. If a conservative writer breaks news harmful to their presidential pick or contrary to their worldview, it's a "hit piece," not investigative reporting. If a conservative website interviews newsmakers or provides original legislative analysis, it's "propaganda," not explanatory or expository journalism. Thus, the myth that conservatives don't "do journalism" persists. By their definition, we never can.

Joe the Plumber's new gig is an affront to the Fraternal Order of The Professional Journalist because it underscores hard truths: An Ivy League journalism degree does not a truth-teller make. International war broadcasting experience does not a truth-seeker make. Look at Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post fabulist Janet Cooke. Or New York Times fiction writer Jayson Blair. Or Boston Globe fabricators Patricia Smith and Mike Barnicle. Or former CBS News Captain Queeg Dan Rather.

Or closer to the action in Gaza, witness the veteran editors of Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj, who succeeded in peddling Photoshopped images of fake smoke billows and flares over Beirut in 2006 before bloggers blew the whistle.

Or consider the Hamas sympathizers at France 2. The international TV network was forced to apologize this week for its false story on Israel's military operations. Independent French bloggers showed that France 2 used an old 2005 amateur video of Palestinian casualties from an accidental Hamas truck explosion and passed it off as current footage demonstrating the violence in Gaza. France 2 was the same professional media outlet that aired a bogus September 2000 report blaming the Israeli army for the shooting death of a Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura.

Joe the Plumber-Turned-Reporter can't do any more to harm journalistic credibility than the "credible journalists" have already done.

Michelle Malkin is author of "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild." Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.



Comments

10 Comments | Post Comment
Joe the plumber, or anyone else for that matter has, not only a right, but an obligation, as do we all, to fill in the void in responsible journalism left by the once respectable journalists of America. They have nearly to the "man" corrupted their constitutional privilege and responsibility to inform voters and citizens with objective truth and fact. They have sold their souls for a political agenda identical with the political left in this nation and have done so to the level of having installed a totally unvetted and inexperienced man of questionable background, into the presidency of the United States. It is imperative , if we are to save America for self-destruction by its leftist Marxist bent, then each and every attempt to correct the foul play of the present media establishment is essential. In short -Go Joe!
Comment: #1
Posted by: Don L
Fri Jan 9, 2009 2:19 AM
The idea of "Joe the journalist" draws the elite media types into an ambush. Let's have the argument about qualifications, let's talk about bias and preconceptions. Let's talk about real diversity. Let's debate celebrity journalism with the CNN spokesmodels. I love it!
Comment: #2
Posted by: franco
Fri Jan 9, 2009 3:34 AM
So, after 66 years, I joined the ranks of the commenters and flamers, but it's alright because if I get flamed for agreeing with Michelle, I know I'm on the right side. The journalists who sneer and curl their lips at anyone without a degree in cutting and pasting from their favorite blogosphere and editorializing as fact, deserve nothing but sneers and curls in return. I dial them to off every day and night and their ratings show the respect and esteem they have earned. (Why Katy Couric, whatever are you doing in this discussion? And you Brian and Charlie, of all people?) The problem is that we, as readers and watchers, to a large extent, have been desensitized to the truth to the point that we are expected to watch this drivel that they put out as journalism and then repeat it until we believe in their agenda. Witness the Obamessiah, The One who makes chills run up our legs with the sun glinting off his chiseled pectorals. The real problem is that those of us who have lived long enough to remember some actual good government and reporting on it or those of us who didn't have to live so long to know what it should be, as it was concieved and enacted by our forefathers are left with no place to be heard except the local coffee clatch where we are either with our old "rad" buddies or snickered and sneered at by the young journalistic converts. I don't think I'll ever be a big blog contributor or commenter but I am glad I've got a place to editorialize and offer a diatribe or two. Morning to you Michelle and a tip of the hat to all you truth seekers.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Lynwood M. Butler
Fri Jan 9, 2009 5:50 AM
What seems to make the MSM slightly different from monochrome is the ghastly green glow of their envy.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Juanito Verde
Fri Jan 9, 2009 7:16 AM
Re: Lynwood M. Butler A lovely and considered missive, Mr. Butler. Welcome to the blogosphere, and do you take your coffee black, white, sweet, or white & sweet? Beware the faux sweeteners and protect the keen mind you have.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Juanito Verde
Fri Jan 9, 2009 7:32 AM
I'd like to be able to say that the CNN anchor female who trashed Mr. Wurzlbacher was defending the "creditability" of the mainstream media, but I would first have to recognize that it had any left. Any thinking person who gets his or her "news" from any part of the complex that considers itself America's news source is either self deceived, or is being mightily deceived by that same "mainstream" media. The snide petty attitude of this ancher female is the perfect defense of the media position. Mainstream media cannot compete with the honorable and dedicated seekers of truth, acomodity that they know nothing about, that can be found on the internet. And by the way, wasn't CNN the network that proudly shilled and lied for Sadaam Hussein so that it could keep its bureau in Bagdhad? Wow! Now there is a truth authority to be proud of.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Jobe
Fri Jan 9, 2009 8:08 AM
Ma'am; ... If we are not all jounalists we all still have the obligation and the right to tell Americ'a story through our own eyes... I do wish some of those who love the right would read some history... I wish everyone would be less ideological... Everyone ought to try to see the other side of it, and quit looking at our neighbors as enemies... But; who ever you are, like me or not, Iwant to hear what you have to say...To hell with living lives of quiet desparation...This would be a better place if people took the frustration that has been building for generations to the street... Those problems people do not act on are not seen as problems... Those problems people do not talk out are not resolved... It is a simple thing we should all ask, though it is something no one can expect from their employers, or their government... People should ask for the truth... No one can tell a lie without an effort, and it is a theft that steals what all need to make essential decisions... It is a simple thing I ask from right or left, from Joes and Joeettes...Tell me the truth... Is government working for you???Can you trust the cops, the teachers, your priests or ministers??? Can you trust your neighbors??? Can you trust yourself,† that you can do your duty to your fellow citizens; or do you see them through contempt??? Open your mouths and tell America's story... Just don't make it a lie...Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #7
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:50 PM
Well, Malkin, I guess Joe finally found a profession that doesn't require a license. Wouldn't be a bit surprised if you and your right wing gremlins put that little idea in his head and helped foot the bill. By the way, are we to understand that YOU are criticizing someone for "sneering"??? My my, how dare someone try to beat the master. I'd be willing to bet some serious money you paid the way for Joe just to scare up a new target for your endless supply of bile.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Masako
Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:10 PM
To the Sneer Queen, once more: How could I miss it? You are a long-time backer of folks who have no training for what they do, aren't you? Like our current president, for example, thankfully no longer to be in short time, and of course the woman who would be vice president and your true love, if only... Then, of course, there's you yourself... ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

You tried for the Obama-doesn't-have-enough-experience routine, until you found that had no traction, so time it was to swing 180 degrees the other way, and there you continue to squat. I'm sure you'll ride back the other way when you feel the time is right. ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Just the same, more power to Joe, as long as he really believes in what he's doing. I happen to agree with him on the larger political issue here. No country on the face of the earth would tolerate bombs being lobbed over its border just for fun, no matter how pathetic the losers who want to play that game, and Israel has every right to do what it has to do to stop that. The country should never have been created in the first place, like the new Iraq. But it's here and full of innocent people who have nothing to do with that mistake, and should not be punished for it. ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Comment: #9
Posted by: Masako
Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:16 PM
Re: Masako; I am all for letting Joe talk... Let him show his colors along with his intellect... If people don't speak up it is hard to tell them to blow† out their s's... You can call anyone stupid, and anyone can call you stupid; but unless they, or you provide the evidence out of their own mouths, it is hard to make the charge stick... Malkin and crew are an easy target... The problem is that they are numerous beyond belief... How can they be educated??? More than that; how can we find our common path... I think the vast majority of journalists do all they can to be fair, or right... The Malkinites think the main stream is left or far left... What are we to do with each other, since ultimately public opinion and perspective is behind our entire existence as a nation??? Maybe it is time to be two nations... I don't know; but the right lane conspiracy by the left theorists like Malkin are definitly part of the† problem... But, it is not the only problem... Some one is paying her to talk nonsense... The people listening to her are paying for the privilage... How do you cure that???Thanks, and best to ya. ....Sweeney
Comment: #10
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:15 AM
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