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. Sean

    What an IDIOT!!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. simp

    Are you serious? This loser is telling the media to stop reporting on the war, but he's there is cover the same thing? This man is a joke why are we wasting time on him?

    January 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Leo

    Israel wants to keep out the reporters so they can cover up their crimes against humanity.

    January 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. James

    Coming from a man that is now a "reporter".....typical republican whats good for me is not good for you!

    Hello CNN, and others, time for this jerk and PALIN to go back to their drug towns and live their trailer trash lives!

    January 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Maggie

    I guess I'm not the only one going, "Huh?" at this news article?

    So... reporters shouldn't report on the war, yet he's been hired to be a reporter to report on, you know, the war?


    January 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Barb

    What I hear him saying......I don't like this job in the media.......someone please get me home, I'm scared!

    January 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Chicagoan feed up with this garbage

    One day on the job and he’s ready to quit. What a model citizen

    January 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. Yat P

    Joe, you really are a loser...Why dont u leave Israel and report from Gaza. The media especially the CNN, should cover stupid stories like this. We got much more important things to cover...Joe can expect himself to get fame on Fox News and even have himself knighted on the stupid Bill O'reilly show. We should send both Joe and Bill O'reilly to Gaza...Stupid Idiots...

    January 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Piet Martens

    Joe is definitely Vice-Presidential material. Such profound insights. However, I don't think the media should be reporting on reporters in war zones: you never know what the whole story is......

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. Jose

    Good Job Joe! Take care out there. We know what kind of reports the liberal media is making news of and where they get it from: (Hamas and pro-Hamas reporters inside Gaza). Just they care out there.

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Jim D

    If I wanted to listen to some random, unqualified, wanna-be report the news, I would listen to Pres. Bush.

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. ap

    If today was April 1st, I would think this story was a joke. I'm just speechless...

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Media

    Ban media from presidential election too.

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Dotcomaphobe

    This is Hilarious!

    And... underneath that jacket... is that a Hooter's T-shirt?!?!?!

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. mike

    I hope you get a shell in the and take the quick trip to hell...you're the ANTI CHRIST !!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. ken oke

    Hey Joe maybe some pipes in them there shelters need fixing while your down there

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Chris E

    Wiil someone please tell "Joe the Plumber’ Wurzelbacher" to go back and do what he do best and fix a kitchen sink. Who in their right mind told this guy he have skills to be a report god bless his little soul. And CNN please stop reporting on mess you guys at CNN will become a BIG JOKE if you keep this kind of mess up. Joe go home and read a book and get back to your job.YOU ARE NOT THE NEXT ANDERSON COOPER

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Casey

    Clearly Joe the Plumber is a true American who puts America first and embodies American ideals....like a free press....

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. roger

    Maybe Joe ought to abolish himself!

    January 12, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. flybyshoeing

    Hey joe, maybe you could ask one of those I s real i soldiers why they are dropping white phosphorus on the Palestians for us, k?

    January 12, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Rob Wilms

    Stop covering this paid shill of the Republican party.

    January 12, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. Sue

    Wow, Joe, who is there to report, doesn't think reporters should be there. Methinks Joe should go home then.

    January 12, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. john behan

    This man has no shame. Doesn't he know what a moron he sounds like? I'll bet his two favorite movies are "Dumb and Dumber" and "Dumb and Dumberer".

    January 12, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. JCK

    Wow. Let me get this straight. This guy who rose to fame as a plumber who wasn't really a plumber and whose "famouse" question to Obama didn't pertain to him is now reporting from Israel insisting that he and others *shouldn't* be reporting. I guess since Bush is leaving we need more unintelligent confused American's to continue to erode the little respect the world has for us. Reports of the atrocities of war are one of the main mitigating forces against secretive and unjust military action in the first place. If reporters were to turn their backs on reporting all wars, the world would plunge further into violence. If I could address Mr. Wurzelbacher directly I would say, "Sir, please stop contributing to the poor image the world has of America. You seem uneducated and confused. Please step aside for someone who has well thought out opinions and who is qualified to offer them on the world stage. We do not need unlicensed plumbers giving us facts or opinions. Thanks so much."

    January 12, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. Eric Ellison

    I never thought it could happen, but this guy make Jesse Ventura look like a foreign affairs expert. It is sad, however, that anyone would care what he has to say about anything other than clogged sinks.

    January 12, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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