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Joe the Plumber's Next Gig: DTV Transition Spokesman

Kim Hart

The man who gained national attention during the presidential campaign for being an average Joe is starring in a series of videos intended to educate other ordinary Americans about the transition to digital TV.

Joe Wurzelbacher, better know as Joe the Plumber, signed a deal with an online converter box retailer, VelocityStore.com, to star in a series of educational videos to inform TV watchers about what the transition is all about, how to hook up a converter box and how to get a government-sponsored coupon to help buy a box.

In his first video posted on the retailer's site, Wurzelbacher says he wanted to work with VelocityStore.com because it's the only retailer that is offering information in Spanish and Chinese -- two languages spoken by viewers who will be largely affected by the transition, which happens Feb. 17. The site plans to add other languages, such as Vietnamese, soon.

I talked with Stephen Holland, who runs the e-commerce site. His business is based in Toledo, and he realized he lives only three miles away from Wurzelbacher's home.

"I went over and knocked on his door," Holland said. Joe the Plumber agreed to help. He's getting paid, of course, but Holland declined to say how much, or how many videos Wurzelbacher had agreed to appear in.

"He had analog TV," Holland said. "He's an average American. You can't get more average American than people who have analog. One thing people have in common is that they're all confused."

As we've previously reported, the majority of Americans know the transition is coming, but far fewer know exactly what they need to do in order to keep watching over-the-air TV signals.

Will Joe the Plumber be able to clear the air? After this endorsement deal, maybe he'll be able to afford cable.

By Kim Hart  |  November 25, 2008; 10:30 AM ET  | Category:  Kim Hart
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Hope Joe is a little more forthright in his new ads than he was in the McBush campaign with his phoney story about a "250k" plumbing business which was unlicensed and off the books (no tax worries there).

Posted by: rtreff | November 25, 2008 11:20 AM

I guess a criminial such as the tax evading joe the illegally working unlicensed plumber working for a sleazy criminal organization such as the cable industry are a match made in heaven.


Posted by: DriveByPoster | November 25, 2008 1:53 PM

Joe the unlicensed plumber is seeking to take advantage of people who don't know that they DON'T NEED a converter box because they already have cable or a dish, by selling them something they don't need!

Really, how many people in Toledo or Lucas County use only "rabbit ears" to watch TV - they are the ONLY people affected by this "transition." Nearly everyone in this area has cable or a dish.

But leave it to Joe, the wannabe "small businessman" to take the money of the disadvantaged for nothing! Especially taking advantage of people for whom English is not their first language, and/or senior citizens, or people home-confined.

Posted by: PostFan2 | November 25, 2008 2:18 PM

Joe the Plumber --

We need help here in good old DC.

Verizon does NOT deliver its PREMIUM HIGH SPEED services here in the District.

No doubt that had something to do with the 'Rabbit Ears' being used at The White House to watch TV. LOL

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | November 26, 2008 1:08 AM

Joe,
you didn't have money for the plumbers license you don't have money for the business, apparently no money for cable. Now your rippin off minorities and the handicapped and disabled. Is this where the cash came from when you went on the road with McPalin and left your son home in squalor? Is Huckabee a part if this also/ You should be ashamed!

Posted by: NGrunge | November 26, 2008 10:37 AM

Thanks Joe! I wish I had had your video to watch when I set up my converter box. $70 less the govt coupon and almost no info how to set it up when I had to connect it through the switch already connected to my Dish satellite box. Some of us have satellite, but still want to watch local channels in another room when some are watching something on Dish. Called freedom of choice which the courts took away a few years ago. Dish has the technology to sell me any local channel in USA, but the courts say i have no right to buy media away from my local area. Like saying, You are not allowed to buy the Washington Post because it is not your local newspaper. Thanks Joe!

Posted by: LindaJoyAdams | November 26, 2008 12:13 PM

In these times of high unemployment, it is interesting to see thst a plumber has a job in P.R.. If that is not some form of republican affirmative action, I don't know what is! I wonder how many qualified individuals were passed over.

Posted by: 2Funny | December 2, 2008 10:00 AM

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