January 12th, 2009
03:01 PM ET
6 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. Waldemar Sanabria

    I am mystified at the level of attention this guy (and Sarah Palin) continue to receive from the media they both criticize. Both are examples of the intellectual level who put Bush in the White House for 8 years, and that the country rejected in the last election. Why is it that the conservatives keep looking for a new messenger? The message itself is the problem!

    January 12, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Joe is an uneducated idiot

    This dolt should get a real job and pay his taxes on time. What a leech!

    January 12, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. David

    Wow... the ability to breakdown a complex situation to, "You know, war is hell" and, "when someone hits me, I'm going to unload on the boy” it's pretty shocking that foreign correspondent wasn't his first career.

    The media should absolutely be allowed to cover a war from as many angles as possible. We need to know how these conflict start and are conducted so that we can learn from them. I would agree that we shouldn't allow the media to make up our minds for us – there are no bias-free outlets today. But we cannot mistake Israel's actions as being purely justified and proportional anymore than we can view Hamas and the Palestine as complete victims. Individuals are victims. Not governments and states. No one government is innocent in this conflict, including the US. We cannot concern ourselves with painting these sides as good and bad. We need to do our best to understand them.

    January 12, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Proud to Be an American

    Ban freedom of the press...move to Russia you F-ng commie bastard.

    January 12, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Confused

    Wait... so he wants to ban the media from covering war.. but he's acting for a media organization AS a reporter covering A WAR????? What is wrong with this guy?

    January 12, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. AEK

    Tick tockTick tockTick tockTick tockTick tockTick tockTick tockTick tock, you know, Tick tockTick tockTick tock, you know it's hard, Tick tockTick tockTick tockTick tockTick tockTick tockTick tock, you know I'm angry, Tick tockTick tockTick tockTick tock, those terrorists, Tick tockTick tockTick tockTick tockTick tockTick tock. Is that fifteen minutes yet?

    January 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Matt

    MORON. It's absolutely essential that objective and unbiased recording and reporting of events liek this occur. In fact, the media should stop being such pu-es, stop sheltering the public from it and start showing people more of the reality of it so they understand. If people can't handle seeing what a bombed body looks like, maybe they'll up and do or say something about the atrocities taking place around them instead of just flipping to the latest 90210-style teen angst show on prime time while flipping thru a copy of the Enquirer looking for Brangelina pics.

    January 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. vahe

    who is this guy????

    January 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. a little sad

    If eh thinks that there should not be reporters there, what is he doing there?

    (Okay, I know he's not-Joe, not-a-Plumber, not-a-reporter, but initially it was said he was going there to be a reporter.)

    January 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Robin in SC

    So now anybody can be a foreign correspondent, huh? I've wanted to break into journalism for my entire life and here's Joe The Plumber reporting live from Israel...too bad no one cares what he has to say.

    January 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Marty

    would somebody pleaaaaaaaaaase give this guy a job (as a plumber) already!!!!!!!???? go away! this is like Tonya Harding, all over again!

    January 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. Ted

    this is horrific!!!!!! study journalisim and you will find out why the MEDIA is needed. Unless you want more SLAYINGS just you like them JOE? freakin retard.

    January 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. All in a day's work

    He could flush out militants.

    January 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Mike

    Hopefully Hamas gets one accurate rocket, then Joe the Plumber can become Joe the Tombstone, and we can all forget about him.

    January 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Baz

    If Joe the Plumber goes to Israel and no one reports it, does he really make a sound? Why is this guy in the news?

    January 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. John

    Is you mad!

    You think the "Terrorists" just do this stuff for fun?

    They are doing this because they used to live in this land in peace..

    then some zionists decided they will make it their country and they come and and take over the land KICK out the people living there..

    the remainder they force into small parts of land which is given no rights and expect the "terrorists" to just shut up and be quiet and live normally.

    Joe.. I know you don't like the media covering war.. they should be covering plumbers instead right.

    January 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. Thomas

    CNN,
    wouldn't Joe the no-longer plumper be better off selling deodorant ,
    or hair loss gel then reporting his limited understanding of the world ?

    Could you please give him a one way ticket too the DR of Congo ,
    without a security crew .

    Let him smell and taste death before he sanitizes it !

    Or maybe just put him on Dancing with the Stars.

    January 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Denise

    So no one should be allowed to report on the war besides this clown? Give me a break. Attention grabbing seems to be his new way of life.

    January 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. J Gaines

    Aren't his 15 minutes of fame over yet? He is a plumber and just because he talked to Obama he is not a foreign corespondent. Come on people give us a break. The guy is an idiot.

    January 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Karen

    So, he's reporting from Israel and he thinks the media should be banned? Because they don't know the whole story.... so they should just stop their information gathering? That makes sense.

    January 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. Frankie

    Look away. Just look away.
    "Pajamas Media" ..........????
    Please.

    January 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. Subh

    Good lord! Is this what news reporting has come to?
    It boggles the mind that there is an audience for this joker!

    January 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. arc, Lugano CH

    "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."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
    Israel has already banned independent media from reporting on the present Israeli – Palestinian conflict. Hence, why you are there 'Country First" Joe.

    January 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. richard

    Oh, please can't this guy go back to something he might be qualifed for, like drains and toilets, on the other hand perhaps he is getting qualifed to run with Sarah as her VP in 2012-"a dream ticket"

    January 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. people with a brains should be in charge

    “I think media should be abolished from, you know, reporting”

    other Joe thoughts...
    "doctors should not be allowed to prescribe, you know, medicine"
    "librarys should not, you know, have books"
    "science should not, you know, be taught in schools"

    this person needs to go back to fixing toilets, he sounds about just smart enough for that job, you know.....

    January 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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