January 12th, 2009
03:01 PM ET
12 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. April fools day early?

    I think Joe is smarter than Limbaugh and should get his job, and a new home in Alabama.

    January 12, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Gloria

    Isn't it funny how somebody can say or do one little thing and become famous? He was unlicensed plummer for heaven sake, probably bouncing checks because he is not working, beating his wife and/or kids. Now cnn is paying him to fly all expense paid trip to Israel! With his own entourage!! And who to guess how much he is paid.

    January 12, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Spirit of America

    Who is this phoney character, really? Ban the free press?! And he calls himself an American? Why does the press give this fraud any coverage whatsoever?

    January 12, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. Karl in SLC

    What a moron.

    More proof that the conservative movement has failed and is on its last legs. Maybe they could send Jeff Gannon over there too.

    January 12, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. judge huck

    Banning media correspondents from war??? in this case, he should be banned too... dumbo!

    January 12, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Aaron

    He could be the dumbest man in America. Ban the media(yet he's working for the media out there!) What a piece of garbage.

    January 12, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Trish

    Joe is an idiot.

    Anyone who supports war as a legitimate way of settling disagreements needs to see the reality of his or her choice. The world needs to be reminded that war kills children, breaks hearts, and damages minds.

    January 12, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Michael

    First "Joe the Plumber" is an economics expert, then a journalist for a day and now he wants to end the freedom of speech. Is it any wonder the Republicans lost the election?
    I can't wait to see what's next?

    January 12, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Andy

    It's not the war that the media should stop covering, it's Joe the Plumber.

    January 12, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Jon

    Rob, please get some edumacation

    January 12, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    ATTENTION NEWS MEDIA: PLEASE stop reporting, following, paying attention to this idiot. Thank-you.

    January 12, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Lisa M

    Saints preserve us from the Republicans of this era

    January 12, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. Tony

    I agree with him. I've been saying that, too, for years! It hampers our military and needlessly prolongs war and death. Get it done, get out. If the media hadn't been on the ground for an extended time in the Middle East all these issues would have been resolved by now. Yes, many innocent people would had died, too, but their dying today anyway and there is no end in sight. It's war, it's tragic and politically incorrect things happen..........that's why liberals don't fight wars. They just turn the other cheek and become subservient.

    Why do you think Hamas stages so many Israeli 'attrocities' on their own people, to manipulate the press. Those innocent people wouldn't have died if the press wasn't on the ground.

    Think about it............................

    January 12, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. Seattlevote1

    Dear Joe,

    Your fame had run its course months ago and it's almost shocking that CNN would continue to keep your name and activities relevant. I can see Fox News doing it, but come on... You have made a fool of yourself, your family and your party affiliation. Of course Palin, Hannity, O'Reilly and Limbaugh had a hand in making the republicans so gosh darn successful as well. Keep up the good work, Joe... You're in good company with those folks. Intelligence is obviously not a requirement to be a right wing spokesman.

    January 12, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. Red

    I agree with Bill.

    January 12, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Kalfus

    @ Shawn

    "Why attack Joe? Isn't he allowed to have an opinion?"
    What about our oppinions to disagree with Joe the Plumber? Freedom of speech goes both ways

    January 12, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Chris, Oakbrook Terrace, IL

    Does Joe not know? The First Amendment gives the press the right to be there. So is he saying that the public should not be informed and ONLY trust the government to tell us what's going on?....and this guy wants to run for office...nice

    January 12, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Jeff

    So now Joe "nor really a plumber" Wurlzbacher is pretending to be a journalist too, eh? What a surprise. He has a point though, if we banned the media completely, I wouldn't be so depressed to hear how stupid the majority of we Americans really are. Ignorance truly is bliss...

    January 12, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Alan

    I am rolling my eyes right now. I think that Joe the Plumber is grandstanding for some political agenda he has down the road. Somebody told him that he has a shoe in in the political world with his whole "Joe the Plumber" thing. He thinks he now has the key to change the world by attacking the media. He is mad at the media because a lot of the media made a mockery out of him. I am curious to see how far he goes. I will more than likely judge this as plastic and fake and not really meaty.

    January 12, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. mike

    Joe is correct. The media overlooks that written in Hamas' chrter is the "obliteration of Israel". Now how can anyone make peace with another when they don't believe you should even be allowed to live. Israel is correct in killing the terrorists be them, little ones, big ones, male or female.

    January 12, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Wil

    Whats next.......Harry the Butcher will be testing the new NASA shielding systems, Suzzana the Hairstylist will be displaying her mathematical proof of string theory, and George the president will be made a multi-millionaire many times over for book deals on what I like to call the "8 Year Debacle". ONLY IN AMERICA!!

    January 12, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. linda in AR

    He's not a "Joe", he's not a licensed plumber, and giving someone a mike does not a journalist make. I'd say he should engage brain before using his right of freedom of speech, but that would seem to be a Mission Impossible for the Great Impostor.

    January 12, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. michael cook

    What a nut. Arrogant, idiot, nut, I'm sure he'll get a schooling

    January 12, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Roger from CA

    What an idiot!

    This is what happens when idiots overstay their 15 minutes of fame.

    January 12, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. zydeco d

    This is the future of the GOP. Joe the nut job. This is amazing how a plumber can become a journalist by just asking a question. When it takes real journilist four years college plus experience to be a journalist.

    January 12, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61