The disingenuous “Joe the Plumber” (who is not “Joe,” his real name is Samuel Wurzelbacher, and who is not a plumber), has for some reason made a name for himself in the Religious Right. The Christian Web site Pajamas Media has hired him as — get this! — their Middle East beat reporter!

You read that correctly. He’s going to report the Middle Eastern news, because the mass media aren’t telling the real story of the Middle East (as reported by Christianity Today):

I get to go over there and let their “Average Joes” share their story, what they think, how they feel, especially with world opinion, maybe get a real story out there,” Wurzelbacher told [a Toledo television] station.

Normally, people don’t willingly go into war zones, but Sam isn’t worried:

“Being a Christian I’m pretty well protected by God I believe,” Wurzelbacher said. “That’s not saying he’s going to stop a mortar for me, but you gotta take the chance.”

What’s bizarre is not just that Pajamas Media hired an unemployed non-plumber who goes by a name not his own, who has no reporting experience or training, to report from a very difficult venue … but that there are people who really think this totally-unqualified novice is going to be better at reporting the news, than what they get from the mass media. The distaste for educated, trained journalists out in the world of the Religious Right, is palpable and visceral. Have a look at some of the comments on the New York Times Lede blog (start about here and scroll down for some real gems). These people are real, and unfortunately, they vote!

Normally when people are not who they claim to be (in addition to not being a plumber, Wurzelbacher told then-candidate Barack Obama that he was planning to buy a business when in fact, he was not doing so, and even if he had, that business would not have fallen into the tax bracket in question), most people consider them “dishonest.” Dishonesty is not considered a moral trait … absolute morality, of course, being an obsession of the Religious Right. But when you are dishonest, in the cause of the Religious Right, oddly enough those absolute morals go out the window, so that dishonesty actually becomes moral!


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