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. Brenda C

    You go Joe. I don't have a problem with media reporting because we know how biased they are so we really just watch and figure it out ourselves. Keep em straight Joe. It'll be hard for them to stand there and report their vew when you stand beside them and report the truth.

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. Louis

    The fact that this idiot has any audience at all should be frightening to every rational, responsible American.

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. BaseballMicky

    Is this guy for real?????
    Plese tell me that he is a very bad dream......

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. Jer Mack

    Joe the NOT A PLUMBER belittles and humiliates himself every time he opens his mouth. He doesn't need any help from CNN.

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. MariJ-Boston

    LOLOLOLOL...can someone please inform this tragic hillbilly that nobody gives a goshdarn about his take on the war in Gaza...why is there so much ignorance in this country? how do millions of people get so brainwashed that they really lived by what this guy was saying calling him a" hero of the everyday people"??Americans we need to wake up and leave this ignorant thinking behind us...this is why other countyies think we're a joke because of people like him getting airtime and fame!

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. Steve

    Is'nt is facinating that Joe even has a following.

    I hope he keeps up the work he is doing at destroying what the conservatives have built over the last 28 year. Someday, even the most narrow mined of the conservatives are going to wake up and "get it".

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. amg

    This guy is a self marketing genius, way to milk it pal. I may not agree with a word he says but I respect his game.

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. redflagz

    Why did the author put quotes around '"Israel's being bad"?'

    That is twisted on so many levels. Like we can't see what you're doing?

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself, poser.

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Poor Levi


    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. John McCloy

    He says the media should stay out... while there as a reporter. Go away and take Sarah Palin with you, you irrelevant egotistical fool.

    January 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. Proud to be American

    I am glad his favorite word is I know versus you betcha.... when does a non educated reporter becomes the top reporter on these issues.... neo cons need to give me a break. You know.... you betcha!

    January 12, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Al Franken

    Wow... I guess Forrest Gump was right. Stupid is as stupid does.

    But I missed the part about him changing carreers. How/When did he decide to put down his pipe wrench for a microphone?

    January 12, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. pat C.

    OMG....this idiot ranks right up there with sarah palin in ignorance of our democracy!!! MCCAIN WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO AMERICA!!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Andy J, Upstate NY


    liberals/progressives are the advocates of the average american
    liberals/progressives are tolerant. conservatives are racist, intolerant bigots.

    joe= average. very, very average.

    libs hate joe= ????????

    ohh, i get it. You progressive lunatics only like people who line up with your political ideology.

    Nasty, venomous hypocrites.

    January 12, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. Sue

    If he doesn't think there should be any media coverage of the war, what's HE doing there??

    January 12, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. GOP losers!

    Joe the communist?!

    January 12, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Mike

    Quite honestly, I get tired of the reports on civilian casualties. It's not a football game where the opponents are readily identifiable, and located in one area.

    War is ugly at every level, but at the end of the day, you're fighting the country, not just the military. Hamas has made it clear they want Israel destroyed. When conditions become bad enough, for everyone, they'll pressure the government to surrender.

    I'm not advocating targeting civilians, but if the opponent is fighting out of school where children are present, then the children become an implement of war. If Hamas doesn't have the means to defend itself then they probably shouldn't be attacking other countries. If they choose to, then that country has the right to defend itself with any and all methods at its disposal. No one has the right to tell them, "They're throwing rocks, so you have to throw rocks....even though you have bombers."

    One of the reasons the Israelis don't have a problem with hijackings and other issues is they don't negotiate. They say, "Go ahead and kill them. If you do, we're coming after you and everyone you're related to."

    Besides...Who is the US to criticize anyone. It's not like we haven't dropped a few rather large bombs that took out a lot of civilians to end a conflict. eh?

    It's war. It's ugly. It's real, and people die.

    January 12, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Dude

    Being able to report on things like horrible wars, even on the atrocities, is kind of the whole point of the First Amendment. I suppose if you don't want media reporting on all the things they can, then I suppose you don't really want America to be America anymore.

    However, it would be nice if the media covered all aspects of the war, instead of just the stuff the government says it's okay too. That's just as bad.

    January 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. Al, NY NY

    He's about as articulate as his benefactor the Lipstick Fido from Alaska.

    January 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Sheryl

    Who is this person? What gives? I still say he was a plant!!!!! What a PLUMBER!!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    This man is an idiot!

    January 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Keith Olbermann

    There should be unbiased reporting like al Jazeera...

    January 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Kevin

    lets see, he is now a reporter in israel saying there should be no war reporting?

    January 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Ronnie

    Joe Wurzelbacher: the comedy gift that keeps on giving. Please, please...keep covering this guy!

    January 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. Not Surprised

    This is the kind of common sense wisdom John McCain and the Republican party touted a "real' American during the election campaign. Something we should all be proud of and someone Barrack Obama should listen to...Right!! A dimwit wannabe plumber and a dimwit governor. The really scary thing is that judging by many comments here 'some' people actually take Joe and Sarah seriously and the brains amongs the Republicans aren't brave enough to tell these dimwits to shut up!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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