'Joe the plumber' turns into 'Joe the war reporter'
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Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, better known as "Joe the plumber", the Republican mascot during the last presidential election, was hired by the conservative website pjtv.com to report on the conflict in Gaza.
AFP - "Joe the Plumber," the Ohio man who shot to fame last year after he challenged then presidential candidate Barack Obama over his tax proposals, is morphing into "Joe the War Correspondent" and heading to the Middle East Thursday, he told US television.
Joe, whose real name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, will travel to Israel to report for US conservative website pjtv.com, giving the perspective of ordinary Israelis on the conflict in Gaza.
"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 said late Wednesday on Ohio television station, WNWO.
More than 700 Palestinians have been killed since the Israeli military launched an offensive on December 27 to try to stop arms smuggling and rockets being fired into Israel by Gaza's rulers, Hamas.
On the Israeli side, four people have been killed, including one soldier, and dozens wounded by around 600 rockets that have been fired into Israel from Gaza since the start of the Israeli assault.
Wurzelbacher will leave on his mission Thursday according to Roger Simon, chief executive and founder of Pajamas Media, the parent company of pjtv.com.
In Israel, he will "meet up with our Richard Landes and Danny Seaman, Israel's Government Press Office director," Simon wrote on the website of Pajamas Media.
"He will have a local camera crew with him and decide for himself where he wants to go," Simon added.
Hot-spots being considered for coverage are "the West Bank, Bethlehem (to investigate conditions for Christians there), southern Israel where the missiles are falling and, of course, as close as he can get to the Gaza border," Simon wrote.
Wurzelbacher will spend 10 days in Israel, according to WNWO-TV.
"If given the opportunity to do some good, however minute it may be ... you gotta take that chance," Joe the War Correspondent told WNWO.
"Being a Christian, I'm pretty well protected by God, I believe. That's not saying he's going to stop a mortar for me, but you gotta take the chance," he added.
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