January 12th, 2009
03:01 PM ET
12 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. john from sandiego

    joe...it's not right that you accuse the leftist reporters that they tell lies, you are going to hurt their feelings.

    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. raagos


    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. SHIRLEY "60"

    Like Palin, this guy is not a very bright from what I have observed.

    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. Kelly

    So this plumber that has no credentials to be a plumber is now a journalist without any journalism experience?

    Hasn't his fifteen minutes of fame expired yet?

    Bored now.

    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. Molly

    OMG! This guy is an idiot! Good thing he's on Fox, he sounds like the other idiots on there.

    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. MurphyMorseJohnson

    Joe is absolutely correct. The last substantively successful war in which the U.S. was involved was World War II. The Roosevelt and Churchill Administrations, among the most brilliant in world history, kept the press in the dark. Only when it became a selling point to use the atomic bomb did Truman inform the press.

    In an emergent situation, the dictates of the situation, especially war, can outweigh Constitutionally the precepts of the First Amendment. Thus, in the current conflict, it is properly in the hands of a Democracy as to what it would like to do.

    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. rng

    Joe the Plumber's utter lack of anything resembling knowledge in foreign policy, foreign affairs, etc., makes his presence there UNHELPFUL. CNN, your coverage of him is even MORE UNHELPFUL.

    To paraphrase Jon Stewart when he roasted the hosts of Crossfire, CNN: your circus coverage of this bozo and other totally trivial things like this is hurting America. Stop hurting America.

    Seriously, you do a disservice to those whose footsteps you followed. In the past, the press and the media has served as a courageous and useful check on power and corruption. And look at yourselves now. Your younger, more idealistic selves would be so disappointed in you.

    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    From a so called plumber to an imbedded journalist---maybe Sarah Palin has a job for this guy--this dude is capitalizing on his quasi-born political fame. Watch out Wolf!

    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Tired of W, but not much longer...

    This guy has about as much business being a reporter as Palin has being president. So far, he tells us that Israelis have to take quick showers, can't take picnics, and can't plan their days.....That's grade-A reporting, Wanna-Be-Plumber-Boy. Oh, yeah, and he wants to ban himself from reporting the war. This guy is utterly pointless.

    January 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. mike

    What does Joe the Plumber have that the world wants: talent-NO, looks-NO, unique political insight-NO. Can someone take this guy out for lunch and tell him that he is making a fool out of himself?

    January 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. Roy

    Wow Joe stands with some smoke behind him and gets national attention. Anyone remember 'Josephine the Lady Plumber'??
    1st day on the job and he wants to bad media from reporting......AH the good ol' Bush days when reporters could be stonewalled are ending soon thank GOODNESS!!
    Perhaps his next gig should have been 'Joe the Plumber Gets a Wife (or..a LIFE)'...on Fox!!

    January 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Ken in Sausalito



    But, we knew that already

    January 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. Kaseam, Philly, PA

    Joe should fix some pipes while he's there. Oh wait, he's not really a Plumber!

    January 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. Bob

    Get the media out....that is except for me, Joe the, can I say "mentally challenged" sure seems to fit better!!

    January 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Jeff

    Please Hamas, hit him with a rocket

    January 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Steve

    Go get them Joe. This country is turining into a bunch of idiots. Seems to me that all the comments so far are from our left wing media nuts!

    January 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Kenny Miller

    who financed this idiot's trip!

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. George the Moderate

    Would somebody please wake up Joe and tell him this particular conflict has been going on for over 40 years and it's a little late to not report on it? Also, I don't think too many picnics are going on in Gaza right now either.

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Sye the Pychic

    Guess whos funding this neocon plant.I guess anyone can become a reporter now.Lets all become pro Israeli reporters,you dont even need a degree,just become an idiot.

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. Lynn

    Reporters should stop reporting?
    Now I've heard everything.
    With supporters like him, I'm SOOOOO glad McCain lost. This guy's logic is downright loopy!
    Maybe he'll get himself shot or blown up, and then we can ask that no one cover it cuz that's what he would have wanted!

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. chris

    CNN, YOU should be banned from reporting on THIS guy. Get real CNN, or do you want to as much of a laughingstock as FOX?

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. stucopro

    What an idiot.

    Palin/Plumber 2012!

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Jay Dubbe

    Wow...every word of CNN's story on Joe the Plumber is carefully crafted to belittle and humiliate this guy. He may not be the most eloquent of speakers, but I think we all get the gist of what he is trying to accomplish.

    CNN...next time, don't bother quoting him...just make something up that helps you to tow the line for your Democrat party. It will save you time and effort.

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Michael M. Noonan

    This guy is more of a man than the epicene New Yorkers we're forced to ilisten to every night with their effete poliltical pronouncements. Yes, that's you Matthews, Maddow, especially the boorish Olberman, Williams, the really epicene Madow, and the eternally pert, continuous loser of viewers–Couric. This woman should be a weather person in a Mid Westernmarket.

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. Yousuf- NYC

    WOW, only america.

    THIS GUY IS A MORON. He DOES not know anything about journalism. He is self centered and talking about himself.

    Here are some info you aka moron joe plumber. I do not like hamas firing rockets, nor do i like seeing Israel killing INNOCENT CHILDREN N women. Its like Monster vs little ants. But you seem to like that. Over the last 3 years, hamas fired 8000 rockets, killed, non. Last 15 days Israel killed over 800, 50% of them are women and children.

    DO you know what happen in Jenin? Exactly whats taking place right now.

    One thing for sure is WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND....anyone remember 14th century? It will return soon or later...the cause is Israel. The cause is Hamas..

    I think if we get rid off terrorist group such has Hamas, Israel, Hezbollah, iran, korea, this would be a better place....

    January 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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