January 14, 2009

"By making a 15-minute-of-fame political media celebrity its point man in Israel, PJTV took a risk and they've now been bitten by it."

"Joe is now the face of PJTV. His saying that reporters should not be with front line soldiers undercuts any effort by PJTV to put reporters on the front lines of a war."

J.D. Johannes is — rightly — taking this personally.

Via Instapundit – and I appreciate seeing the Pajamas Media bloggers deviate from promoting the project.

30 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Free Speech. It can't be beat. Joe's going to step into stuff he has no preconcieved strategy to handle. This will be funny to watch. That means he will have to learn and relearn on the job [Like a certain Solicitor General]. Let's say he is the token amateur and then we can judge his performance like Simon does on American Idol. Then PJTV can send another amateur and then another amateur until some one claims the prize of an MSM audition.

AllenS said...

Since you're so caught up with this American Idol nonsense, why isn't this as enjoyable?

traditionalguy said...

I have one more idea. Joe should do emergency plumbing repairs and save an entire Israeli latrine on the front lines while under rocket attack. Then we can all give him favor and overlook his faults, at least until the Swift Plumbers for Truth reveal his not showing up on time for a stopped up Gaza Strip sewer repair call.

garage mahal said...

JTP is just like Ashleigh Banfield. Except she is incredibly hot and talented, a journalist, and he's an isn't.

Maguro said...

JtP has a simplistic worldview but no more so than Jane Arraf or Christane Amanpour. If only he had gone to a better school.

Fred4Pres said...

I think PajamaB TV could parachute in one of its other nighttime leisure wear bloggers to report on the conflict. That is Joe the Plumber's opinion. Plus, IDF don't do embedded reporters do they?

Tibore said...

Too much metanalysis of the meaning of Joe the Plumber is hitting the web. This keeps driving the news media towards the McLuhan dictum "The Media Is The Message". And I don't like that.

What matters is what's reported, how accurate it is, and how well the context is provided. I could care less if it's Ernie Pyle or JtP. I only care about the subject of the news reports, not the object (forgive the term, please) doing the reporting.

If we're talking news analyst, someone who's creating commentary and opinions based on the reporting, then at that point the head doing the talking matters. But when we're talking straight news reporting, things change. We're no longer talking about a chef creating a final dish, so to speak, we're talking about a line-cook prepping the food. In that case, do we really care who it is, as long as the stock is properly prepared and whether the veggies are well cut?

Joe may be an amateur, but frankly I don't care. His reputation should rest on what he reports. If it stinks, then he deserves censure. If it's good, then he deserves praise. Either way, this silly concentrating on "who" rather than the real subject - the news out of Gaza - amounts to nothing more than a stupid distraction, revealing nothing about what it purports to analyze - JtP himself - and instead buttressing the same old left vs. right cliches that the 'net is already too full of.

So here's the question: Is he a reporter, or an analyst now? If the former, this is all useless noise. If the latter, only then does this nattering matter.

traditionalguy said...

Let's start a college scholarship fund for Joe. Do you think the U. of Wisconsin could take him in? Or would that ruin his un-jaundiced outlook and make him into an NPR regular?

Lem said...

Haw-Haw!

Nelson Muntz

Triangle Man said...

traditionalguy said...

Let's start a college scholarship fund for Joe. Do you think the U. of Wisconsin could take him in? Or would that ruin his un-jaundiced outlook and make him into an NPR regular?


Joe would have to be admitted first. Madison is a fairly competitive campus for enrollment. Average SAT scores at Madison are about 650 Math and 600 Verbal. Maybe he should try UW Stout instead.

reader_iam said...

Just posting so I can click the e-mail follow-up box.

m00se said...

If we have issues with JtP due the fact that he's a plumber and not a respected blogger (snickering under my breath - so to speak) then thats stupid.

If you need commparisons - look at Yon and Totten - both amatuers and very good reporters. The PJM appointment was clearly for publicity purposes, but fun none the less.

I find Ann's indignation about this a bit forced...

Pundit Joe said...

Much of the criticism of "Joe the Reporter" sounds similar to what the press says about bloggers in general.

Aren't bloggers already serving as amateur reporters? Bloggers come from all class levels and most haven't been to journalism school, but yet they report on anything they find of interest, so why the big fuss over Joe the Reporter? I don't see how he could do any worse than the Big Media and their shenanigans.

I understand the press not liking the amateur reporter, they might see it as a threat - same way they often see bloggers, but I don't get a lot of the blogger opposition.

Love Joe or hate Joe – I don’t see why folks are getting all worked up about his reporting from the field.

bearbee said...

I'm confused. Did Michael Yon, Michael Totten or JD Johannes begin as trained journalists or film makers? Did they undergo a period of apprenticeship? Seems Ernie Pyle had a lot of on-the-job training in becoming a journalist.

JTP might have benefited by being paired for a period with someone of experience.

Agree with Tibore. Lets see what he reports and if he has the chops for it.

And good for PJTV for taking a risk.

Tibore said...

"m00se said...
If you need commparisons - look at Yon and Totten - both amatuers and very good reporters."


Sorry if this comes off as nitpicking, but define "amateur". In point of fact, Totten is indeed a professional reporter. He just happens to be a freelance one. And Yon has been an author - therefore a professional writer - for years now. You might be on target to call Yon an amateur "journalist", but given his experience with both writing and the military, and given the topics he concentrates on, I'd say that his "amateur" status would be a very narrowly defined one. And I'd opine that the term does not apply to Totten at all.

I get your point about giving JtP a chance - read my own post above - but I think it's a bit off target to call Totten and Yon "amateurs". Unless you strictly mean in the sense of not being salaried by a known, established news organization, and in that case, there's still no comparison to JtP, since the whole point of criticism about him being an amateur is his lack of experience in professional journalism, not his lack of employment in such.

[/nitpick]

Kirk Parker said...

moose,

I wouldn't call Totten an amateur--he worked as a tech writer before starting his independent-journalist gig, and if nothing else that means that he probably had clarity and conciseness beat into him with a large editorial stick.

Kirk Parker said...

Tibore,

Great minds, heh!

"In point of fact, Totten is indeed a professional reporter. He just happens to be a freelance one."

AND a darned good one, you should have added.

[/nitpick of my own]

Tibore said...

Heheh... twisted minds too, no doubt. ;) :D

Republican said...

This is a nonissue, like PJ Media is.

A failed gimmick, to be kind.

Jeremy said...

Agreed, Republican. This is no more of an issue than arguing about the qualification of Al-Jezeera reporters. Most of us aren't paying attention to him or his reporting anyway, so what do we care? You know who else isn't a very good reporter? The hacks at my local alt-weekly. But since no one reads it, no one cares.

al said...

Yon and Totten are excellent writers. J.D. puts together some excellent video for his Outside the Wire DVDs. They are worth buying to support his work. Same with Yon's books - worth buying.

As for JtP - maybe PJTV should have hooked him up with J.D. He would have learned from one of the best.

Sigivald said...

Am I supposed to care about PJTV/PJM for some reason?

Starting from wary neutrality, I just keep leaning more and more toward schadenfreude as the train-wreck continues.

More relevantly, why does Joe's opinion about embedding "undercut" PJTV efforts to do so with other reporters? Is he in charge of policy for them now?

Tempest, Teapot.

Stephanie said...

Shorter JD.... he's pissing on me.

He just loved the idea that JtP was going to be reporting until JtP decided to criticize journalists...

Thin skinned, yeah...

Xmas said...

I think there is a slight problem here. Joe the Plumbers rant about embedded journalists and reporters in general wasn't a news report done by him. He was responding to questions from OTHER reporters.

Should we go down this path of excoriating reporters because of their personal beliefs? I mean, I'm ready to do it, if you really, really want to open that can of worms.

Skyler said...

Joe should rightly be criticized for saying something stupid such as that reporters should not be at the front.

The problem is that so many people have been criticizing him for having the nerve to go to Israel and exercise his first amendment recognized right to free speech. Even our hostess went out of her way to disparage him before he even did anything.

I think one important thing that Joe said was when he scolded reporters for writing about him. He isn't the news, the war is the news.

Some people just don't accept the fact that journalism is populated by people with radical political agendas and by people who settled for one of the easiest majors in college.

Tibore said...

"He isn't the news, the war is the news."

Amen. That's exactly what I was trying to say. 'Cept shorter. Which says something about my writing style... :-S

traditionalguy said...

Joe - Joe -Joe- he,s are man, if he can't do it, maybe Ann Coulter will go?

m00se said...

Tibore, et al -

Agreed. Totten and Yon both have excellent experience and very good chops. As I believe I said, JtP was a publicity stunt. However...

JtP was not as much thrust into th limelight as he was dragged, by the press, lefty bloggers and silly gov't officials in Ohio. What he chooses to do with that is his business. I think he's doing fine by himself.

Now to pick some nits of my own - what precisely delineates a "freelance" journalist from an "amateur" one? The fact that he got paid for it? Whups, no - JtP is getting paid. Hmmm.

Quality, then! Uhm - well that rules out AP and Daniel Schorr. Well dangit. So, JtP isn't very good. My god - that hasn't stopped Anderson Cooper - why should it stand in the way of a plumber?

JAL said...

Please note that JD Johannes has added to his post -- outsidethewire.com/blog/media/joe-the-plumber-out-of-his-depth.html -- and updated his response to Joe W (as noted at Instapundit early this evening).

JD had a conversation with Roger Simon which put context around Joe W's statements. This is described and is followed by:
"I hope this never gets lost in the translation: Joe is wonderful when he is relating the story of regular working people in a dire situation.

As a child-less bachelor who has spent the better part of the last few years in a war zone, the things that Joe picks up on would never occur to me. Which makes him better than I or others who ply the nuts and bolts combat reporting trade." JD Johannes

Sewer Repair Baltimore MD said...

Too much metanalysis of the meaning of Joe the Plumber is hitting the web. This keeps driving the news media towards the McLuhan dictum "The Media Is The Message". And I don't like that. Sewer Repair Baltimore MD