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. Anonymous

    LOSER. I know my own comment is irrelevant, but good God, what a joke he is.

    January 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Tmarshall

    Please Just go away already!

    January 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Sean Murray

    William. Not to be argumentative, but hasn't Israel already blown up numerous civilian occupied buildings in Gaza? Israel's attacks in Gaza are deplorable and Joe (I don't even know what to call him) is not going after the truth. If we had it the way he wanted it, the truth of war would be hidden because no media would be allowed. This guy has no knowledge of international issues, Muslim vs. Jewish issues in Gaza, or a clue about America's involvement in the conflict. Giving him a voice in the media is disgusting.

    January 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. boered1

    @ william adams January 12th, 2009 1:30 pm ET

    Finally a reporter that goes after the unbiased truth. If a governement (i.e. Israel) can't protect it's citizens it loses it's reason to exist.

    So are you saying we should remove Isreal as a country or are you saying (and this is what I would gather from the rest of your rant) that isreal should protect itself from attack? If it is the first you are an IDIOT of Joe the plumber proportions if it is the latter I simply ask you this shouldn't a country protect itself from another country taking its residents and locking them away without charges? Preventing food from being delivered? Preventing people from going to their jobs? Building settlements (you know houses, industry, stores etc) on their land? These are a few of the things Isreal is doing to the Palestinians. You see there are two sides to this story. Isreal evicted Palestinians from their own houses, have prevented them from working, have closed the borders into and out of Palestine, have built and ARE buikding settlements on Palestina lands (as determined by treaties and the UN), arrested Palestinains under suspicion of being terrorist but have not given them trial to convict them of that crime.

    I know Joe the idiot Plumber doesn't understand these complexities but I had hoped the average American might


    January 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. Andi

    You know, I actually have a degree in Journalism and this loser gets a job with CNN? What's wrong with this picture?

    January 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Mo

    it's only a matter of time before Fox news hires him as a "pundit"

    January 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Jeff E.

    What are this man's qualifications to report on a war? Is he suggesting that a democratic society should not be informed about a war in which its sons, daughters, husbands and wives are fighting? That we should take as gospel the statements of government officials whose political fortunes depend on the war's success?

    This truly is an ignorant man, whose lack of expertise is matched only by his arrogance. While I believe in free speech, it's time for major news organizations to show some judgment and let these footnotes in history return to the obscurity they so richly deserve.

    January 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Connie from Indiana

    I believe Joe the plumber is one of the fathers in America that President-elect Obama was talking about.. He should be home raising his son. So much was made by the McCain campaign he was a single father , when is he going to act like one.My son raised his son on his own , that kid was his whole life and now is a proud father of a teacher. Joe go home, shut up , work hard and wait for your tax cut.

    January 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Tony Wilson

    Joe the plumber! Why do people pay attention to anything this guy says?he is supposedly a Christian? Yet he owes money to the IRS, does not have a college degree or a plumbers license. He has never experience spending time with minorities so how can he be the average American?. Why does CNN fell they have to follow this guy around? CNN should use their resources on real issue in America and not some uneducated guy who is not qualified to be making comments on Israel. I fell he is getting his 15 mins. of fame off of CNN's expense. Shame on you CNN !!!! I would love to debate Joe the plumber anytime of the day and make him look like a fool that he truly is.Check his bank account, I bet hes not the "average American"

    January 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Michael Shea

    When is CNN and the rest of the media going to leave"Joe The Plumber" out of the news. The Plumbers Union renounces him. there is some question as to whether he is a licensed Plumber at all

    His attitude that the media shouldn't cover wars is against the constitutional right of free speech.

    This guy is either Fascist or a Communist, whichever you prefer.He is probably a card carrying member of the NRA and attends a right wing fundementalist church.

    January 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. tom

    man is this guy a moron.. so he thinks the press should be regulated and told what they can report on....just the same old republican nazi movment, dont tell the truth dont say iarael is dead wrong on this dont say it.

    January 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Robert Turner

    Great idea. Let's ban reporters from covering our wars so that the world's great military powers can do whatever they want on the ground without fear of public outcry or hard evidence of war crimes. Let's turn our backs to the battlefield and imagine that everything is happening in a just and honorable way. After all, the ends justify the means, right? So let's start pulling reporters out, starting with this brilliant Joe the "Plumber."

    January 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. liz

    is this guy for reaL give me a break dude get a job. oh wait he does as a reporter for fox news. i guess u don't really need a degree over at fox news

    January 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Dee

    Oh my...what a cringe-worthy life this man is stumbling along in...I can hardly bare to look anymore.

    January 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. Polar Bears Against Palen


    January 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Mike

    Here's a headline I really like to see:

    Joe the Nimrod banned from CNN.

    Seriously, everytime I see anything about this bozo I just want to laugh and cry. Laugh because what joke he is. Cry because there's a portion of our country who's eating him up. The best thing he ever did was not show up for McSame. Now, if we could just convince him to keep on doing that in the other things he's asked to do.

    January 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. wes

    I am convinced that Joe the Plumber is a made up character to make George W. Bush and Sarah Palin seem smarter in comparison. There is no way this guy is for real. It's not possible.

    January 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Phil, Ashburn, VA

    Where are the Rockets when you need them.

    January 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. CORuth


    January 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. CJ

    Ban Joe the Plumber and anything on Palin. We have had enough of the moron time. We need the real news!

    January 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Rod from Allentown PA

    I agree with Jay, but how did it slip past the moderators? Most of the questions asked on the blogs and comments made are absolutely anti conservatives. If they would just report in an unbiased way, we would all be better off. I guess that and a couple of bucks will get you a coffee.

    January 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. California Gold

    Pajama TV and Joe The Plumber. Both are complete empty vessels. Think about it Joe: if your position is there should be no reporting on the war then what in the Sam Hill are you doing there?!?!?!!! Idiot Boy.

    January 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Ricky

    Joe the Plumber is nothing more than Joe "The Joke" Plumber.
    This guy is so ignorant....................................
    The CNN story was good for a laugh, but I do feel sorry for close minded, ignorant, stupid people like Joe.........

    January 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. LOL

    what a total score for whatever pajamas media is... GoldenPalace must be kicking themselves for not hiring this idiot for pennies to get a cheap spike in traffic.

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Mark

    S-H-U-T U-P!!

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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