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. kelly thompson, staten island, ny

    okay, enough is enough. just because joe the plumber is in Israel reporting doesnt mean cnn has to pick it up. Let's leave joe and sarah palin where they belong, in obscurity. and tell me joe, you dont think reporters should report about the war? what are you doing there? what an idiot this guy is, what an idiot John McCain is for unleashing joe and sarah on the rest of us. he opened the lid to their boxes and now we cant get them back in. i blame McCain for this!

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

    How does "Joe the Plumber" have the qualifications to be a war correspondent? Additionally, why does anyone give any care what his opinions/ view points are? This is not news please stop wasting our time with this frivolous drivel.

    January 12, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. Jonathon the Sales and Marketing Man

    Why? Why????? Why is this guy that is described by his former profession given any airtime at all? He is not a journalist, novelist, road scholar or leader of any sorts. He has no pedigree to his name other then a desperate politician’s throw away tag-line during a debate. He was to live in anonymity and to used by the GOP as a concept of the average Americans feeling of disconnection. The media is wrong for not making a simply choice and forgetting his 15 minutes of fame.

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

    And just think..there are actually idiots that supported this clown and Palin

    January 12, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Marc F.

    I hope they're not paying him over $250,000 to be a circus monkey. Imagine all of the highly qualified, intellegent people from both political stripes who have dreamed of one day being an international correspondent and suddenly this idiot comes out of nowhere to offer such learned and insightful commentary. Imagine all of those brilliant "average guys" you know who truly deserve the opportunities given to this schmuck. This is a perfect example of what is wrong in this nation.

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

    And now the kicker for all the liberal minded posters, this guy writes what a lot of Americans actually think. And I know, you say that the average American is an idiot too, but that's your right to think so.

    America didn't get into WWII until the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor. Prior to that many Americans believed that the US was better off staying out of the war and out of European and Asian messes. But then the war came to us, so we struck back.

    That's what this guy is saying. Hey, the terrorists struck America, we strike back. Now he's in Israel and gets to experience his first bona fide rocket attack. Like most Americans, he won't take it and just "turn the other cheek". You strike at America, America strikes back.

    Does that perpetuate the violence - not if you end the fight conclusively. And that's been how America REALLY plays its foreign policy. When the country doesn't end the fight conclusively, it "loses the peace."

    As for the comment about the media not being allowed to cover the war, I think everyone here should show a lot more intelligence and demonstrate that they can read what the guy really means - which is that the media bias is everywhere, invasive and corrupt. The facts are no longer the focus of media reporting - the goal of media reporting today is often little more than attempting to influence policy and creating coalitions.

    Again, most Americans don't trust the media anymore - for exactly those reasons. Joe the Plumber is speaking to that view, plain and simple.

    So keep it up with your "OMG" and "idiot" statements if you like, or spend a moment, whether you agree with the guy or not, and think about what he's saying and what he means. A lot of America identifies with what he's saying, so figure it out and quit making fools of yourselves by supporting each others biased viewpoints.

    Anyone here a little open-minded or not?

    As for me, what I believe on this topic is not included in this post, so don't ban me unless you really want to sound foolish.

    January 12, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Jeff Fyke

    Why in the Hell is anyone reporting what this moron says. He has every right to say it, but there are a lot of crackpots out there that don't get this kind of ink.

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

    Okay.. this guy thinks that we there should not be any reporting of a war..

    TALK to yourself dude!

    You have to be an idiot to say stupid things like that. I can't imagine how any "JOE" public would be laughed to oblivion if they uttered such nonsense.

    Pulitzer prize for Joe?

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

    Life is a complex thing, so its always good to try and look at conflicts from differing points of view. With Joe the Not-A-Real-Plumber on the case, this way we have the MORON'S side of the story along with everything else.

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

    Hey Joe, get back to work and fix my toilet.

    January 12, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. philip


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

    Well joe should give up the plunger and the mike and take up a rifle. He should join the military for some real experience. Oh I forgot , he is a republican and they don't go to war unless he or she is an officer

    January 12, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. Jamie

    This moron doesn't even get it does he? He thinks the media should be abolished from reporting on the war and he's doing what in Israel? Is he NOT reporting on the war?

    January 12, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Mom in NC

    I saw this guy on Fox News last week and then today this...Jeez, go away already. Stop making more of a fool of yourself than previously!

    January 12, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. Cecilia

    Joe, Joe listen. This may be difficult to hear but you need to know that we are over you and Ms.Palin. It is a done deal – we won
    You really need to go away now
    don't go away mad – just go away

    January 12, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Michael (Nashville, TN)

    Samuel J Wurzelbacher is neither a plumber nor a reporter. He should find something he can actually do competently. I hear a village in Ohio is missing it's idiot. Perhaps he can apply.

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

    I used to think this guy was getting unfairly pilloried. I mean, all he did was ask a candidate a question about his tax plan. That's what we're supposed to do in a democracy. But, the more "Joe" talks, the more he makes us look like a nation of morons.

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

    Wow, nice idea Joe! And we thought Sarah was challenged! The public is knocking on the door of the building that contains all the smart [R]s, and no one is answering.

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

    i would take a shower with him wouldn't you

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

    I thought this guy already had his 15 minutes. Why is CNN even covering this non news?

    Joe should go to Alaska and cover Sara, the two of them make a great pair. Might be the next ticket for the GOP.

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

    Why won't this lying SOB go away?

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

    Jared, you seem to be misinformed, a mayor of a city and a Governor of a state carries a bit more weight than a "hockey mom".

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

    No media covering war? Wouldn't the Republicans all love that! Can you guys just let this guy fade away please?

    January 12, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Jan Welch

    What an idiot. Hope he gets what he deserves out there.

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

    This is the kind of right wing, "pro American" fool who would be all for interment camps for Muslims in the US.

    What a piece of work and a piece of something else.

    Hey Joe, here's a little helpful hint for you: when reporting on anything, a good reporter should be UNBIASED.

    Way to swallow the nice pill the Israel propaganda machine gave you.

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