January 12th, 2009
03:01 PM ET
5 years ago

Joe the Plumber: Ban media from war

ALT TEXT

Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, is in Israel. (Getty Images/Israeli GPO)

(CNN) – ‘Joe the Plumber’ Wurzelbacher told a group of journalists covering the conflict in Israel and Gaza that he didn’t think the media should be allowed to report on war.

“I think media should be abolished from, you know, reporting,” Wurzelbacher said. “You know, war is hell. And if you’re gonna sit there and say, ‘well, look at this atrocity,’ well you don’t know the whole story behind it half the time, so I think the media should have no business in it.”

Wurzelbacher arrived in Israel on Sunday to start a 10-day assignment for pjtv.com, a Web site run by the conservative media outlet Pajamas Media. The plumber-turned-foreign correspondent said he wanted to cover Israel’s side of the conflict, because he thought the media was slanting the story to make it look like “Israel’s being bad.”

In his first day as a reporter, Wurzelbacher described the hardships of daily life in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.

“I’m sure they’re taking quick showers, I know I would,” Wurzelbacher said. “So you can’t plan your day, you can’t take a picnic.“

Wurzelbacher said he thought Israel should have attacked Gaza sooner. He told a group of reporters that he was a “peace-loving man,” but that "when someone hits me, I'm going to unload on the boy.”

He got a first-hand taste of reality in Sderot, when his group heard sirens warning of a rocket attack. With cameras rolling, Wurzelbacher and his group ran into a shelter.

“I’m in the bunker, I’m sitting there angry, outright furious, that I’m letting this terrorist dictate what I’m going to do because they’re firing missiles,” Wurzelbacher said. “It was fear at first, then outright anger, and then me wanting some kind of retribution. I’m not a person that runs from things, but when it’s a missile, you run.”


Filed under: Joe the plumber
soundoff (1,513 Responses)
  1. NARD

    When did joe become the evening news anchor guy? i thought his thing was plumbing... if the media should not cover a war , ' in his opinion ' why is his mouth open ? WHAT IS UP WTIH THIS GUY???? He proclaims that he's only trying to bring about the truth..... Well truth is , Joe is trying to get paid!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. MK

    Hey "andy j, upstate new york" we already knew yiou went "elsewhere" for your news. You go to the faux news site and drink koolaide all day, don't you? Admit it, tell the truth you are the one viewer they have!

    January 12, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. If the media should be barred from wars...

    Then stop this nonsense and get the hell out of there you moron!!

    January 12, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Dave

    ..."ban the media" says Joe. . . .so he's there because....?

    January 12, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. erik

    This chump represents absolutely the worst side of America.

    He is not a journalist, yet he is doing "journalism", saying there should be no journalism when it is inconvenient.

    He doesn't think the Government does a good job with things like taxes and subsidies, yet he would trust them with whatever they say about our (or Israel's) actions during war.

    “I think media should be abolished from, you know, reporting,” Wurzelbacher said. “You know, war is hell. And if you’re gonna sit there and say, ‘well, look at this atrocity,’ well you don’t know the whole story behind it half the time, so I think the media should have no business in it.”

    Abolished? Then the cliche "war is hell"?? So we don't know the whole story, so we shouldn't even try to find out?!?...

    What an idiot...

    January 12, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Tudwilliger

    I have to say, I think this guy is a liar and an idiot, as well as a low level GOP tool. He has no ptretense to impartiality and it is a painfully inadequate understatement to say he has no business acting as a reporter.

    That said, on some basic I can't beleive I am saying this level, I have to admit I somewhat agree that there can be too much war reporting. I know, I know, we the public can never have too much information, but if you beleive that, then it is hypocritical to say he should not be there reporting his "side" (however slanted) of the story.

    January 12, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. laurie

    I don't know what "Joe visiting Israel" is about, really, but I have lived near Sderot and you can believe him when he comments that people had better "take quick showers." Bomb shelters are as common as dirt along the Israeli side of the Gaza strip because of the constant and spontaneous lobbing of missiles from the Gaza strip into Israel...into homes, into schools, into shopping areas, into streets. The Israelis have been extraordinarily patient: Imagine the state next to the one in which you live wantonly lobbing rockets into your home, your child's school, the store in which you shop...how many missiles would it take before your state took retaliatory action?

    January 12, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. velda garcia

    is this a joke? I though I was on cnn.com, but there must be some sort of mix up with The Onion...

    January 12, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Howard

    If you think there are atrocities where the media doesn't know the back story, just imagine what could happen if soldiers knew there wouldn't any reporters around to report their illegal acts.

    Another truly dumb comment from the Republicans' #1 dud-head.

    January 12, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. carol

    Wow, just another leftover idiot from the campaign! Would I care what he says?? Nobody with a brain the size of a pinhead should care!

    January 12, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Taryn

    Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin must be the new plagues!!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Shut up, Joe!

    We're not amused and you're not funny.

    Seriously, can't Republicans come up with better comedy? This is just pathetic.

    January 12, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. jon

    Is this guy for real. This is a slap in the face to all of the hard working journalist around the world to see him in Israel reporting on the Gaza conflict. Like it wasn't enough to hear him over here, now we have to listen to him from Israel. Thanks to John McCain & Sarah Palin we now have Joe The Reporter. Would someone actually take him seriously? I hope not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Les Shulman from Churintzio, Mexico

    What the press should not be covering is Joe the Whatever The Heck and Who Cares What He Is.

    January 12, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. bill from pa

    So I guess he gave up his plumbing business to be a war correspondent. Oh wait, he never owned a plumbing business. What a bafoon.

    January 12, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. J. Dean

    FIRST OF ALL, WHO IS THIS JERK TO MAKE SUCH A STATEMENT ? HEY.

    January 12, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. Tim Lovell

    CNN, you are my favorite news broadcast, but please,please, get off the Joe the Plumber thing. It was alright at first for one huge laugh but enough is enough. He is getting exactly what he wants now, to get noticed by the big news networks. To acknowledge him is such a discredit to the reporters that are deserving of the title and who put themselves in harms way. All major networks need to turn this man off. Give the credit where it has been earned and deserved. Burned out in Michigan. Michigan Tim

    January 12, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. matt

    this man is the very symbol of why most repubs in 2009 are morons. sycophants desperately seeking a leader. all style and no substance. we should ban all media from covering war zones huh? why don't we start by banning this clown. he clearly has no idea what he is talking about.

    January 12, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. Jans

    Being in Sderot, I hope Joe takes cover, he going to need to. At least Israel will be able to put him into a bomb shelter.

    January 12, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. Irritated in Fl

    Finally. An unbiased perspective. Go Joe.

    January 12, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Palestinean from Gaza

    I am a palestinean from Gaza living in America. This "Plumber" uncovered his real face. I think he is one of those who creates the lies about middle east and Israel such as his bosses Pat Robertson and Micheal Hagee. He looks happy with the deaths of all Gazans thinking this will bring the Christ faster. He is one of the real extremist. All of what he did in election was a propaganda for those extreme right. Hope America will really goes little bit toward center and get rid all of this extrmisim in this country.

    January 12, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. legal in nc

    This guy makes a lot more sense compared to these liberals on this blog!!

    Tell 'em like it is Joe!!

    January 12, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. sandee in Portland

    I'm certainly not a fan of "dumb Joe", but he does have some points, such as information being given over the airways by journalists that could sometimes be detrimental to the cause. That being said, only the republicans would try to make a star out out of a non-thinking neocon.

    January 12, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. Craig H, Mpls, MN

    Joe says he was fearful and then wanted retribution. Yes that's what we need more of in this world is people who can't control their emotions and then lust after retribution. That'll smooth things right out in this world.

    January 12, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. Anna, Missouri

    I wonder if Joe has ever read the Constitution. There are good reasons for having a free press, and covering any war, including the loss of life, should always be considered a high priority of the press. The press decided to go along with the Bush administration and not show the pictures of our soldiers coming home in flagged coffins. If they had done it, the pressure would have been on the administration to do something differently long before it actually did. If Joe thinks that the media shouldn't be there, then he should set an example and leave.

    January 12, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.