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. SNJGuy

    Is the conservative movement so broken and devoid of intellect that this guy is the best they can come up with? The only other explanation is that Joe the Plumber (or whatever) is a liberal Democratic mole working to make Republicans look as ridiculous as possible. For that matter, Pajamas Media is probably run by Keith Olbermann...

    Never mind that high-pitched whirring sound - it's just William F. Buckley spinning in his grave.

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

    HIS 15 minutes are UP already! I vote we ban this so-called "plumber" from all media. Seriously, can we stop the nonsense already? Please?

    January 12, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. beachgirl

    LOOOOOOOOOOSER a plumber working as a reporter>????????
    who listens to this moron!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Shelby-Birmingham, AL

    To Rob, get a grip....

    January 12, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. D. Davis

    "Joe" is the embodiedment of hypocracy. Joe goes no to say, "I think media should be abolished from, you know, reporting...”, but forgot that he is in Isreal as a member of the media and IS reporting what he is seeing. Next, he says that he's a peaceful guy, but talking about him "wanting some kind of retribution" for being in the middle of the rocket attacks.

    Joe needs to understand that being a member of the media, he is supposed to fair and as unbiased as humanly possible. He already is operating on behalf of an agenda/a preconcived notion that one side is in the right and the other being completely in the wrong.

    Has it ever occured to him that BOTH sides are right AND wrong?

    January 12, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Humored in Texas

    What's next....Joe Hazelwood opening a school teaching inland waterway skills?!?!

    January 12, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |

    The most ironic thing about the Joe the Plumber phenom, is that Barack Obama (the guy he can't stand) made him famous....... If Barack had not spoke w/ Joe, McCain would not have had the oppurtunity to speak joe's name 10 to 20 to 100 times, during the last presidential debate...... So Joe, thank your incoming president for making you famous...... Oh yeah, isn't what he's talking about banning media,, dictatorish, communish?

    January 12, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. John

    Isn't he now part of the "elite media" he complains about?

    "we have seen the enemy and they are us"

    January 12, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. Tylenol666

    Joe !! Just in TIme to Fix the Plumbing in Gaza!

    thats what you do right? oh wait your just a token now for Conservitive Out of Touch Republican Media,, this is pethetic

    January 12, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Homer

    Send Joe the Nitwit to cover the war and Dog the Bounty Hunter to catch Bin Laden.

    January 12, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. dhondhi

    reading your thoughts leads me to believe that israel should respond equivalently to hamas. israel should launch 7,000 missles into gaza.
    now that would be balanced. launch them all at once. perhaps on a holy day.

    January 12, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Armando

    Why do you Media people keep putting this guy in the news, who the freak is he?, what does he do? He pops his head in front of the camera and his stupity comes out. Between him, Sarah Plain, Paris Hilton I don't know whose worse.

    January 12, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. chris@stl

    What bothers me more is that there are people in this country who listen to morons like this .... there are people who are willing to pay this moron ....

    January 12, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Shelby-Birmingham, AL

    Hey CNN, are you guys really covering JTP??? For real?

    January 12, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. kaydeedee

    To CNN: Stop Giving This Ignorant Jerk A Soapbox.

    You're beginning to have about as much credibility as "Joe" does.

    He's not a journalist. He's not even a plumber. He decided what to "report" on based on his extreme political views. He thinks war should be waged in secret. And yet you, CNN, continue to give him a forum.

    Your bias has become clear for all to see.

    I no longer watch your network.

    January 12, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. jb

    I would just like to know what this guys credentials are, to be able to become a "War Correspondant" overnight? I want to be a rocket scientist, but I dont know the first thing about rockets! Who paid for his trip over to Isreal? Who is employing this buffoon who is everything from a plumber to a political commentator to a war correspondant? Does this mean I can apply to NASA now?

    January 12, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Bob

    When will this idot go away? And why would anyone give him another second of fame? I repeat, "When will the idiot go away"?

    January 12, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. John

    No, we should just be reading the BBC coverage of the war instead...

    January 12, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Area Man

    Finally – some hard-hitting news from Joe The Plunger, a seasoned reporter.

    January 12, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Carl

    You media people should be ashamed of yourselves for reporting on this war! What? A free trip to Israel? All I have to do is report on the war? When can I leave?

    January 12, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. VJS

    Doesn't this JOKER ever Quit?
    I'm tired of him. – What a insult to our intelligence.

    January 12, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. Ron

    Ladies and Gentlemen; here is the future of the Republican Party! A total and complete moron who believes the "media" should shut up...even while he is "ostensibly" reporting himself. Hey Joe, take your own advice...

    This guy gives a bad name to plumbers everywhere!

    January 12, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. Paul in FL

    Anyone who listens to this moron would probably vote for Bush...twice....

    January 12, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. midwest mom

    ....and perhaps we shouldn't allow the media to criticize our government officials....

    What a wack-job...maybe Joe the Plumber could get citizenship somewhere else...

    January 12, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. Joe "The Idiot"

    With all due respect to CNN:

    Where did the serious news reporting go??? JOE THE IDIOT???
    Please pleaseeeeeee give me my 3 minutes back!!!!

    To Joe "The Idiot":

    Go to Palestine and die of hunger or get killed by an IDF! MORON!!!

    January 12, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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