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. Jeff

    Proud to be a Republican January 12th, 2009 1:42 pm ET

    who is trying to ban right-wing radio? What does that have to do with "Joe the c-sucker" reporting on war (with no journalism background)? Repubs sure like their red-herrings.

    January 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. KofTX

    Can somebody PLEASE pay him to disappear?!?

    January 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Embarresed of All You Stupid Americans

    I am reading the other comments and thinking that this country has really sunken to an all time low! People's brains must have the first to go with this regression!!! When America was attacked, all citizens demanded justice and to go after the terrorists. No one sat quietly and just waited peacefully for the next attack. WHY IS THIS SITUATION ANY DIFFERENT?

    There have been numerous rocket attacks against innocent citizens, not to mention all of the suicide and bus bombings. ISRAEL HAS FULL RIGHT TO DEFEND ITSELF!!! This is not an offensive war but rather a DEFENSIVE war!

    Remember this: if Israel lays down their weapons, the Arabs will continue their terrorism (and don't think that people in this country won't see it eventually...). If the Arabs put down their weapons, THERE WILL BE PEACE!

    January 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Heather

    You have to be kidding me.

    And we wonder why the world thinks we're arrogant, ignorant idiots?! It's because Dubya and this guy are out there representing us.

    Obama, can your first order of business be to drag this a55hat home and make him go away?!

    Eight more days, people, eight. More. Days.

    January 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. Steve

    This is perfect.

    It is in line with what Bush has done with the bringing home of the fallen soldiers. It is a CRIME to not let a free society see what WAR really is.

    There should be a constitutional amendment that forbids the hiding of fallen heros coffines from the eyes of the nation.

    January 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Karen-Phoenix

    Joes does not even have journalists degree anymore than Palin did!!!

    January 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. squidd

    i mean... i'm glad joe's over there...

    i mean... like... christin amanpour... and the like... they just don't get "it"...

    thanks joe... btw... can ya send over someone... my toilet's backed up... oh... i'm sorry... your already so full of it... you don't make house calls anymore...

    maybe i can get gig in burma... or kashmir... or... if joe can do it... we all can.. we are all joe the plumber now... wait... he's no a plumber... wait he was... well said he sort of was... no... someone else said he was... ho what the hay... who needs facts... he's a reporte now... i'm so confused...

    help me joe...

    January 12, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. Chuck

    Whoever heard of "Pajamas-Media" before this story? What a way to get attention. Joe-the-moron reporting!

    January 12, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. eddy

    You had your 2 minutes of fame thanks to a couple of idiots.You probably should stay there with this clown reporter with you.You are a disgrace to hard working americans.flushhhhhhhhhhhh along.

    January 12, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. David

    Another person that needs to move. I'm actually thinking about taking up plumbing, if you have this much time for your private life and make so much money you can afford trips like this. I wish I was a regular old joe.

    January 12, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Disney


    January 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. Maurice, NC

    Wow...this man is so irrelevant now! Why is he even doing what he's doing?!

    January 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. AS IF

    Late night comedians, you betta watch your back! Between Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin, you all will be out of a job real fast!! Don't say I didn't warn you! lol

    January 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. scott

    Shut the *&%@ up you turd. And CNN, stop wasting air time and news space with this garbage.

    January 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Louis in Los Angeles

    One can only hope his insensitivity to the hardships and suffering of the people caught up in the conflict will catch his lack of conscious in the crossfire.

    January 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Vanessa

    Not the sharpest pencil in the pack...methinks he does not recognize his own hypocrisy.

    And why do we care what Joe the Plumber thinks?

    January 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. TCM

    ...at least the guy's got a job, and not looking for a handout from the Obama administration...which is more than I can say for most of you posters.

    January 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Ricky

    Isreal not allowing independent journalist in, Joe does'nt think the war should be covered by the media. Hmmmmmmmm sounds like the communist parties bag of tricks to me............

    January 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Disney

    He's doing what it takes to survive in this crazy world.

    January 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. MWA

    Ban Joe the Plumber from the war (and other things the require some shred of intelligence to analyze). Oh, but wait, he can cover the economic meltdown being the shining example he is. And I'm not referring to his bald head.

    January 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. Bob NY

    He talks of retribution and unloading on the boy, but he is nothing but a tough guy wanna-be just like most of the war cheerleaders on the right. All talk, while others do the dirty work. I enlisted in the infantry after 9-11 to fight for my country-Where was Joe? War IS hell-10 days in Israel is a joke.

    January 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. Parker

    how is this guy still relevant?!

    January 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. texasgreenacres

    Joe needs to be placed in a big toilet and flushed.IT'S GOT TO BE A BIG ONE TO HANDLE ALL THAT S-H-I-T WOULDN'T WANT IT TO GET CLOGGED AND NOT GO DOWN

    January 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. RN in Ann Arbor

    This is not news. Joe should be allowed to do his thing as he likes. That does NOT mean that CNN or anyone else needs to report on it. This is a great example of the the dumbing down of America.
    Obama is coming into office in a few short days. Let's try to find solutions to the problems we are facing rather than waste our time pointing fingers and blaming others and acting like 4 year olds. If you want to make a difference get to work. If you want to pout – then go away.

    January 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. shucks

    It's sad that the media thinks this man has any credibility at all. I put him right up there with Palin. I'm just not sure which one is more pathetic. The only reason we keep hearing about these two morons is that is what the media wants us to hear. America will be dumbed down so much in the next 20 years at this rate that all we will be able to do is sit and drool.

    January 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
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