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. Susan

    This should not be in a news ticker but an entertainment ticker. I'm glad change won but it's a little sad to see the throws of death from this guy and Palin.

    January 12, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. nate

    How long before hes doing reality shows, then porn movies?

    January 12, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. sean

    This guy is a buffoon and should have a great career on Fox news with the rest of the government puppets

    January 12, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. Nan

    Dear Tony – Sounds like your nose is so high up in the air, your brain is oxygen-deprived! I'm curious, where did you say you saw combat action? Your armchair, on television? Oh, that explains it! Brain dead!

    January 12, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Steve M.

    Can we please stop putting a microphone in front of this man? He has nothing of value to say and is mindboggingly uninformed.

    January 12, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Julio Velez

    I think this loser should go back to unclogging toilets, what a moron!!

    January 12, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Jill American

    Hmmm ... sounds more like Joe the Communist.

    January 12, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Joe the Democrat PA

    It is unfortunate some people can not appreciate what Joe is doing
    for humanity. He is able to make time to see for himself, what is going
    on in a war torn land, and he is entitled to his opinion in saying what he feels. We are lucky enough to be able to watch 24 on television, and not have to live through it; like what Joe is seeing first hand. Amen

    January 12, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Chip

    I am ashamed that I clicked on this link. Joe the Plumber is just some doofus who gained name recognition as an accidental byproduct of McCain's failed attempt to use him to bash Obama. Now he has selected 'conservative' as his gimmick. But I guess he's entitled to the money, if somebody is shameless enough to hire him.

    January 12, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. Michael

    This man has spent his adult life getting toilets unclogged. From " Joe the unlicensed sub-contractor" to "Joe the international affairs corespondent". Have Mercy.

    January 12, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. jim - chicago, illinois

    two words: who cares!

    January 12, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Jim

    Like many other posters on this article I'm confused. He says the media shouldn't be allowed to report on war but he is over there to do exactly that. Does he know the obsurdity of that? And what if the media doesn't report, are we expected to just sit back and be ok with not getting any information whatsoever on a war that is going on?

    Maybe he should just say that the media shouldn't report their bias opinions on the war. And by bias opinions I mean anything, fact or fiction, that "Joe the Plumber" disagrees with.

    January 12, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. FrankinPhilly

    The media has no business reporting the war? Why don't we call him "Joe the Fascist" instead? No wonder the right wing loves him!

    January 12, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. skinnyjohnny

    My problem with the media is that they keep giving this yahoo a platform for his idiotic opinions. Hey CNN! Quit reporting on him and he'll go away...

    January 12, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. DC Dunne

    JTP proves that you can see any slant you choose when it comes to a story. "Oh woe is me, the main stream media is not reporting a story the way I want them to."

    The man is a moron.

    January 12, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. Barbara

    Apparently, there is a group of people out there somewhere who have no understanding of qualifications and/or credentials,. I hope I don't miss the CNN coverage when this sad and sorry guy decides try his hand a brain surgery – or maybe rocket science!

    January 12, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Roger

    Whatch out Anderson Cooper..You got a real competition now..Joe the idiot Plumber.
    Please somone hold his hand there in Israel. He is a national treasure..We really raelly need him back. He is a simple of our Republican Party..God bless you Joe the Plumber..
    Take care..

    January 12, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Brielle

    Get this guy out of the spotlight! He obviously has no clue or credibility. It's insulting that the media is even reporting on him and his ignorant remarks.

    January 12, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Shea

    Why oh why is this guy given any acknowledgment at all?! First he's a plumber...then he's a country singer...then an author....now a war correspondent....all in the last 3 months. And the news media actually reports on this guy!

    January 12, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. John H

    I hope what they are paying him is worth more than his life? Idiot!

    January 12, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Jim Hall

    Joe the village idiot needs to go back to his town where he lives and pay his back taxes that he owes. That way that tax money can go towards what ever the city or county needs ie for ie helping the elderly, disabled, homeless, children, or putting food on someones table or paying for their medical bill. Then he needs to get a real job where the company is licensed to do plumbing and old Joe also gets a license so he can work rather than work without a license where he is working illegal. Actually rather than stay pretty far away from whatever he is covering (not worth mentioning) he needs to get a little closer and start to do some running he could loose many a pound. I have heard of everything now Jim Hall Kansas City Missouri.

    January 12, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. AnotherTroll

    I think his point is, (however dumb, misinformed, whatever) is that most news outlets have their own agenda these days -other than- accurate news reporting.

    The journalists themselves don't control the actual output from the media giants, and a lot of times (Fox, Huff) will manipulate the story to back their own opinions.

    I'm not saying Joe is a god-send, but he makes a valid point in that regard. He wanted his own personal experience of what's going on over there, and didn't want to be spoon-fed whatever manipulated trash finds its way through is TV/internet.

    Don't shoot the messenger, even if it IS Joe-the-plumber.

    January 12, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. bill

    Golly. What a smart and thoughtful man.

    January 12, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. shirley in virginia

    why doesn't Disney World send Mickey Mouse to cover Joe the Plumber? it makes about as much sense as this arrogant nontaxpaying American citizen covering a war where 7,000 courageous taxpaying American men and women have given their lives for a country they loved enough to give the ultimate sacrifice - their lives. This moron does not even love America enough to pay taxes. And he thinks he can cover a war fairly? Give us a break, CNN. Enough, enough, ENOUGH about Joe, the Plumber!!!!!!! Please!!!!

    January 12, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. Audrey

    Really, is he any worse than the main street press that you already have. I don't believe them and their Israeli bias, so why would I believe his piece of trash. The MSM has hidden their heads in the sand regarding the Israeli invasion just as they did the Iraq invasion – "if we don't report it – it must not be true".

    January 12, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 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