"I came here to find the truth and report back, something our media seems to be incapable of doing," PJTV reporter Joe the Plumber told an Israel Channel 10 reporter (PJTV screenshot above) the other day.
"It's the authenticity, stupid. I am glad to have been proven correct in blogging that 'Roger L. Simon is a genius' for sending Joe the Plumber 'over there,'" we wrote in feedback to Joe Wurzelbacher's first PajamasTV "Middle East Update" report from Jerusalem and Sderot in southern Israel, where sirens signalling an incoming Hamas missile went off even as JTP was filming, giving reporter and crew and local residents "approximately 10 to 15 seconds to find shelter":
For me it was fear at first and then anger, wanting some type of retribution …
All you've got to do is show up, and you're part of it. It rips people's lives apart, and it's going to be with them the rest of their life, the children … This is the reality of the situation. Missiles are coming from the Gaza Strip and destroying their world.
Re an interview by Israel Channel 10:
They were trying to make me the story to a degree, and the biggest thing I'm trying to explain to the media is I'm not the story … I came here to find the truth and report back, something our media seems to be incapable of doing.
This little interchange says it all:
Channel 10: What kind of story are you looking for here?
JTP: I'm not looking for the story. I'm looking for the truth. You know I don't pretend to be a reporter. I didn't go to journalist school … the media has their agenda, and they're biased in how they report this war … I want to show facts and then let people make up their own opinion, as opposed to the media telling them what to think.
For the larger picture, check out Foreign Policy's "Morning Brief":
Haaretz reports that the Israeli leadership is divided over whether to continue the fighting in Gaza, with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak arguing for ending the operation and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert arguing for continuing. Hamas's leaders also say the group will continue fighting, rejecting a French-Egyptian truce proposal.
FM Livni may be arguing for ending Operation Cast Lead for debatable strategic reasons, but her words explaining why they launched the operation in the first place express the same gut reaction and common sense we heard in Joe Wulzelbacher's report:
Livni said that the current operation in Gaza has proven to Hamas that Israel will always respond to provocation. "Israel is a country that reacts vigorously when its citizens are fired up, which is a good thing," she said. "That is something that Hamas now understands and that is how we are going to react in the future."
As Joe told a Jerusalem Post reporter [via Lucianne] the other day:
"I know if I were a citizen here, I'd be damned upset." He described himself as a "peaceloving man," but added, "when someone hits me, Im going to unload on the boy. And if the rest of the world doesn't understand that, then I'm sorry."
A man after our own heart and mind.