January 12th, 2009
03:01 PM ET
11 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. Jason Hager

    Palestinians can't picnic much either these days. But if the media were banned from warzones; I wouldn't know that would I? Perhaps that is what he's really asking for.

    January 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Jackson, Seattle

    Can we pay them to keep him there?

    January 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. OA

    So, According to Mr. Joe, The Israelis can kill, but the world shouldn't know about it.
    Isn't that against all the Journalisms ethics? I am wondering who is coaching this guy.
    The Media brought out what is happening in Gaza. They didn't take sides. At this moment, we have Palestinians who are dying from Israelies weapons. The Israelie are using Illegal weapons and that is why Joe "The Plumber" doesn't want the world to know about it.

    Joe, Please go get your License in Plumbing and leave the reporting to the Professionals.

    January 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Art in Chicago

    Why do we even care what perspective this guy has? What journalism school did he come from?

    Ban media from war? Hmmmm......I think that the images coming from the concentration camps helped during the Nuremberg trials.

    I think the images from Hiroshima and Nagasaki has minimized the use of nuclear weapons.

    Having never been in war, how can this knucklehead even have the perspective that war is hell? Hmmmm, maybe he got that from a journalist.

    January 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. deadhead dylan

    Think about it. He goes there ... as a journalist supposedly ... to exactly what he's accusing the mainstream media of doing: biased
    reporting. This guy's 15 minutes is up. Go back to plumbing, Joe.

    January 12, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Monica

    This guy is truly unbelievable... I personally loved the piece Jon Stewart did on him... please Joe the Idiot: GO AWAY!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. xargaw

    I would like to hear Richard Engel or Bob Simon comment on "Joe" and his skill as a War Correspondent. Everytime his guy opens his mouth he proves how little he knows.

    January 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Jared

    I can see it now...Palin/Plumber 2012. How on earth either of these two morons became part of the US political scene is beyond me. The plumber from Ohio is a foreign correspondent and the hockey mom from Alaska is a VP candidate? Somebody please inform these two hillbillies that their 15 minutes of fame is over. Please CNN, stop giving these two more exposure.

    January 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Walter

    The media originally started covering WWII as a way to motivate the American people and amp them up for war. It was not used to criticize the war effort. It was purely propaganda.

    January 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Jack Jodell

    We've had about enough of this far-right attention seeking big baby. We don't care what he says or does, so let's stop covering his every move, ok? He's boring and not relevant in the least.

    January 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. The National Nightmare is Over!

    This is news?

    January 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. bhogan

    Look at your face and be proud, America. Be proud.

    January 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Earl

    "redflagz January 12th, 2009 1:48 pm ET
    Why did the author put quotes around '"Israel's being bad"?'"

    It's a direct quotation, that's how journalism works.

    January 12, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Rogier Chapon

    Okay, this guy has no business reporting, expecially for CNN.
    Not reporting on war is ridiculous but I agree that the war is reported one-sided. A lot of civilians are getting hurt on the GAZA side because of Israeli attacks. But Hamas has been attacking innocent citizens in Israel for years. Where are those reports and pictures?

    Israel wants to live side by side, even with people regardless of who they are. As Golda Meir said, "there will not be peace until terrorists learn to love their children more than they hate "us".

    It needs to be pointed out that Hamas attacks happen from public places not from military zones, that is why Israel must attack these areas from which they are attacking Israel. Israel is not attacking citizens of Hamas it is just that the Hamas fighters choose to fight from where their citizens and families are. It was Hamas's choice.

    Israel will stop attacking for the promise of no more attacks ever and no more arming and we all live and can focus on our children, our families our well being and our economies.

    January 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Alex in Cambridge

    Hmmm.... suppress the human right of freedom of speech so the people can't see world affairs because they're too dumb to fully grasp the entire story.

    Wow, Joe... I thought you were against socialism. Well, now you're definitely going to be invited by your comrade Vladimir to go on that hunting trip to Siberia, where you can drink some Vodka, shoot some tigers, and threaten dissidents with imprisonment and torture.

    January 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. dittohead with forty names

    This is like calling Limbaugh an American.We know who pays Rushs salary, and its the republicans and big business.

    January 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. Matt

    I think we just skipped ludicrous speed and went straight to plaid...

    January 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. jon the plumber

    I guess you can't blame a middle-aged, backtax-owing, previously-anonymous, single-father for wanting to be someone else. I wish him well in his quest for identity. It would be interesting to know if his celebrity has turned him into a chick-magnet (no offense to the feminists out there but we all know how it goes a lot of times).

    January 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. C Mills

    Does anyone really care what this guy has to say? He is capitalizing on his 15 minutes of fame.

    January 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Rachel

    I wish they would not even give this moron the time of day. Who cares what he thinks?

    January 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Ricky

    I get really tired of people dumping on CNN. As far as I'm concerned CNN is the most reliable in news. During discussions they always have representives on both sides of the story, you can't be more fair than that.
    As far as the Joe the Plumber story, yeah it's not hard news and the guy's a joke. CNN is only reorting it the way it is.........

    January 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. T-Dub

    Send a plumber to do a journalist's job and this is what you get, overly simplified responses to complex political problems. This Joe-the-plumber is one "worldly" character!

    Please STOP devoting valuable internet bandwidth on this dolt!

    January 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. Billyboy

    Didn't you know there was reporting on war from at least WWII to the present? How else would you have been able to create your right wing hawkish point of view and upholding the Constitution. I guess you forgot about that piece of paper that means nothing, you know the Constitution, free speach and all that cr@p? Seems our leaving president forgot about that too. At least you're in good company.

    I dub thee, "Joe the Moron"
    Oh, wait...since that would offend even most morons, he should be called, "Joe the Insignificant"

    January 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. p andrew

    joe the plumber needs to go away...Not report the war?!?! Give me a break! Hey Joe, like everyone else says, "your 15 minutes is UP". Get back to work please.

    January 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. eddy

    Another American ignorant spipid Joke.What the hell is wrong with you people?Give him a wrench and let him fix a toilet.

    January 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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