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

Joe the Plumber: Ban media from war


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. Heather from Seattle, WA

    That is probably one of the scariest ideas that "media should not be able to report on war" I for one would not choose to have the wool pulled over my eyes and just trust that everything is just dandy over there.

    Also, why would anyone want "Joe the Plumber" to go and be a correspondant. He made all sorts of comments favoring Israel and being against Palestine. Do we really think that this guy is going to be capable of giving an unbiased report of what's going on over there? Anybody can sift through information and pick out only what relates to your argument. It takes a real journalist to look at both sides and give a fair account of what is happening.

    January 12, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. Mockingbird

    Joe, you're a bald-headed fool.... and a hypocrite at that.

    You want journalists banned from reporting the war.

    Have you noticed...

    that you're REPORTING ON THE WAR?

    If you believe that, why didn't you ban yourself, refuse the money and the attention, and go the hell home?

    January 12, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. Lydia

    Read my lips: G O A W A Y.

    January 12, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. Mr E

    What is this guy actually smoking;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;, reporter with plumbling experience, I can understand if he is reporting on plumbling issues, What a country ......

    January 12, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. Pepou

    Of course let's look the other way ! Let's forget wars, torture, gulags, concentration camps, gas chambers, genocides, holocausts. Who cares if we can go our merry go along ...

    January 12, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  6. Edward

    I agree with Joe–more than 10,000 Rockets have been fired from Hamas Terrorists. Why didn't Israel act sooner? Half the reason is probably the international media supporting the "underdog" Hamas terrorists who receive hundreds of millions of Dollars from Iran every year. We would never tolerate these missiles landing here in America.

    January 12, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. Simmy

    Did I miss something Joe? Like why are you standing out there in that field? Aren't you a part of the media now? Please go back to Sis. Sarah and get some more mentoring. On second thought, I ban you!

    January 12, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. DA

    OMG...can he and Palin just go away!! I mean seriously the 15 minutes of fame is over!!! JEEZ!!!

    January 12, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  9. Rorschach

    Uh, yeah.

    Joe: if you're going to play journalist, learn something about the job, OK?

    Reporting the NEWS is the specific responsibility of journalists. News isn't always pretty. Journalists are supposed to tell us about it – period.

    Since you obviously have no clue what you're doing there, other than trying to extend your 15 minutes of fame – please get out. Now.

    January 12, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  10. Concerned Citizen

    As in England, the media is forbidden by LAW to report any substantial points about and case still open,,,,being tried in court,,,,,,,,NOTHING is allowed,, for the simple reason,, The media DOES sway general public opinion,,,,,,,,,With NO REPORTING,,, the prospective jurors are not pre-exposed to bias from the media. and can try the case UNBIASED........

    JOE, the plumber, has hit the nail on the head....... The freakin media DOES exploit the horrors of WAR,, for their own ratings...... this brings in their advertising profits, for this is their way,,,,,, ANYTHING to get their media business into MAJOR profit,,,,,,, Blood and guts,,, does nothing for the average citizen sitting down to eat their dinner,,,,, and as I did after VIETNAM,,, watched my own unit get blown up on LIVE TV,,,, this kind of horror,,,,, that two months earlier I left that unit and was now honorably seperated from active duty,,,,, SAW, that if I had stayed,,,,,, I as well, would have been killed................. Nothing will remove the horror of that reality for me,,,,,,,,, People have the constitutional RIGHT,,,, to know what is going on,,,,,,,,, BUT,,, by this example,,,,,,,, NO one has the freakin NEED,,,,,, get it,,,,, NEED TO KNOW this kind of activity that is if nothing other that COVERT, and supposed to be SECRET,,,,,,,,, from the enemy,,,,, whom ever it is....

    January 12, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |

    Yes, ban the media from this war and let it begin with me!

    January 12, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. xavier

    Ban journalist? Then what the hell is he doing there if not playing wannbe journalist? Joe should just shut his mouth and pay his child support.

    January 12, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  13. Barrett

    Usually, I would suggest Joe dip his tongue in his brain before speaking. Unfortunately, I think he did. Which is sad since this man was selected by a conservative website to conceivably represent the "average American." Which, if that's true, begs the question: Can Humans survive another 100 years on this planet?

    January 12, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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