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. bob

    they should make sarah palin a war reporter too... team joe and sarah, send them to the front lines.

    January 12, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. Ernestine

    Get back in your lane Joe. You are just another example of what some folks will do for the almight dollar–and make the biggest fools of themselves. I am hoping that real journalism students will remember that you will NEVER be in the same category as any of journalist that have very worked hard and EARNED the respect they have achieved for their outstanding reporting.

    January 12, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. proudliberal-independent

    joe the hayseed.

    January 12, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Al

    The left wing should be proud of the group of vile, hate spewing comments. Joe may not be the sharpest pencil in the box but at least he has the ability to draaw conclusions from the facts as he sees them. Most on this website could not generate a thought on their own. Moderate that!

    January 12, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    That's why this country is so great... because opportunities exist and anyone can change over night. Leave him alone he's not hurting anyone. His hour of fame won't last let him enjoy it.


    January 12, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Tom

    He got what he wanted and that was for people like you to talk about him. He isnt the face of republicans at all hes working for a random company that happens to be conservative. That would be like saying Every news anchor on TV is the face of the democrats. You all hate this man but you are the ones who made him who he is by making fun of him for no reason you built him up for some media outlet to think hes worth putting on. I dont agree with him bein there at all but i have to say the left is some of the most evil, mean people i have ever spoken to or listened to. You people are so self endulging that as this war keeps going the right way and things keep getting done you will all give Obama your lord and savior the credit for it. your all idiots.

    "Im not gona pay for gas no more im not gona pay no more for my house or for food"-Obama supporters the night of his election. As if he is some mythical being

    January 12, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  7. AEK

    So let me get this straight....JTP thnks the media should be barred from reporting on wars, but yet he is doing what?????

    January 12, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. JP

    Of all the informed, educated people in this world that could actually do an intelligent, unbiased report of the conflict the MiddleEast... they pick this guy? He can't even form a sentence. What a waste of a great opportunity for the public to get a real story.

    January 12, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Liza Heider

    Why is Joe the Plumber still around? Anyone? Now he's this up and coming journalist? Please.

    January 12, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Listen...

    Rumor has it that he will run for Secretary of State in 2012. Well, when you really think about it he will have some experience now. Running from those missiles and everythang... otta qualify for something...
    tennis shoe commercial...something!!!!

    January 12, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. Ray

    As much as a train wreck this is (just like S. Failing), I think CNN should stop reporting about this guy.

    He can say whatever he wants as he is protected by the same amendment he is trying to abolish. But there are a thousand news that should be reported instead of anything related to him.

    Maybe a small footnote on news of the absurd would be the most apropriate place for this.

    January 12, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. (-mma

    I think the media should report on him.
    Is the man even a plumber?

    "Tthe media" is an easy target
    for those who don't understand the information.

    January 12, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. chedar

    Ann Coulter just went Bald.

    January 12, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Sam A.

    Hey Joe,

    Tell you what, I'll back your suggestion that the media should be banned from Gaza if you'll be willing to be the only one reporting from there. And you know what buddy, the Arabs LOVE republicans, so while in Gaza you should wear a shirt that says "I support George W. Bush."

    Do that and you'll have 100% of my support.

    January 12, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. Tim The Taxman

    Joe The Plumber? Never heard of him. Maybe Hanoi Jane has something to say about all this. Does anyone have her number? Hey Ted, yeah, you! You still have ol Hanoi Jane's digits? I bet she can really sort out this foreign conflict.

    But in Joe's defense, I think every American has the right to weigh in on War. I mean, that guy probably knows a lot more about War than we give him credit for. Just think about it... He's probably seen Full Metal Jacket more than a few times, and I bet he can quote Private Pile better than any of you folks out there ridiculing him for his stance on media in War times. You all should be ashamed of yourselves for doubting the capabilities of this man. He seems to be informed and is doing a heck of a lot more than you computer desk jockeys are. I mean, all you can do is blog while this man has traveled to the front lines to get the real scoop. Keep blogging, oh you mislead people of America. Joe The Plumber will save the day.

    Btw, did anyone catch the final score of the Steelers game last night? My Ambien kicked in well before the final snap.

    P.S.- I'm not really a Taxman.

    January 12, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. kathy

    rob... i do like your analogy w/ the KKK b/c it puts it in terms Americans can relate to. but the problem is that YES, we would all be decrying the needless bloodshed of all the innocent "noncombatants" who happen to live where the KKK decided to set up camp. these are just regular people trying to go to work and school who don't like "the KKK" either, but they are continually cut of from food and water supplies.

    but i really don't hear much of the media saying that isreal is in the wrong? what channel are you watching? aren't we pretty much their biggest ally? i'm not seeing the slanted media or arab support that you are seeing.

    everyone just wants the needless killing of innocent people to stop. there has been enough wrong-doing by both arab, muslims, and yes, even christians in that part of the world over the years.

    January 12, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. Frank

    "...when someone hits me, I'm going to unload on the boy.”

    The boy? Is that a racial reference?

    So typical.

    January 12, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Gonzalo

    this is guy is an ignorant, the only reason why the media focus on the palestinian saide is becasue they are the one getting screwed and as lond as the States keeps their unconditional support for Israel it will continue, I hope Obana steps back and be a little more strict to Israel specially on the UN and keep them in check, then the violence will stop for good

    January 12, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. donquiscot

    I can't believe this guy, he is not only contradicting himself by criticizing media coverage of the war but also thinks he is a reporter himself. he is hard to swallow

    January 12, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Your God Is Dead

    Joe the Plumber is an uneducated piece of white trash. With any luck he'll have his head blown off and none of us will have to listen to his ignorance spew from his mouth

    January 12, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Doug

    His 15 minutes are way over...

    January 12, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. Kevin

    If Joe the plumber thinks the media shouldn't cover the war, Maybe CNN shouldn't cover Joe the Plumber, that'll make him go away.

    I just cant believe some Americans actually thought he was credible during the campaign.

    January 12, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. John


    Small village in Ohio is missing their idiot named "Joe the Plumber’ Wurzelbacher. "

    January 12, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Why was there a group of reports anywhere near this idiot?

    January 12, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. Tanja

    This is funny in the most painful way possible! So many new doors just opened for all of us!

    January 12, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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