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. Luke

    Wow....I'm a conservative (different than being a Republican) and I still think this guy is an idiot. Can someone tell me why some redneck plumber (uncertified as a plumber even) gets sent to Israel as a reporter? And I thought President Bush made Americans look bad. CNN, please discontinue wasting space on your website to draw attention to this moron.

    January 12, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Don Christiansen

    Joe the Plumber is on to something. The media generally gets part of the story wrong on most things it covers. I am guessing that when it comes to war reporting they are even less accurate.

    January 12, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Lisa P

    Wow. I've got to wonder how angry he would be if he had known there were precision-targeted 2000 lb. bombs falling in his direction, aimed by hearsay and dropped by the same people who have been denying him and his family a job, food, electricity, medical care and freedom of movement for weeks and weeks and weeks? Bet he would be angry enough to throw a few rocks or mortar rounds or rockets right back. Welcome to life in the Gaza Strip, Joe. You should fit right in.

    January 12, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    It is funny... Freedom of speech and opinion is great as long as it is your opinion. Posters on this board should be ashamed of themselves for their comments. Joe is just reporting a different view of the subject of the Isreal-Hamas conflict.

    But I realize now that there should be no postings except how the President Elect is doing something and having a press conference and that anyone who votes republican should be revoked of thier right to vote because they are stupid and corrupt (just like all those other republicans: The illlinois gov, the mayor of baltimore, the mayor of Atlanta, the Mayor of detriot... ohhh wait, they are dems)

    January 12, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Bernie

    OK, besides the Fox's Network crowd who will listen and pay attention to this clown? Give us break, go back to making toilets work>

    January 12, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. KE

    What a dork. If this is media and he's doing it, then no, they shouldn't be reporting on it.

    January 12, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. d-dub

    There is the future of the republicant's Palin/ Werzelbacker 2012 what a joke the two of them are

    January 12, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Doug

    For the love of God, would this man PLEASE GO AWAY !!!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Frank

    Has anyone actually gone to the website of the people who hired him?


    And that is my point. He - Joe-the-fake-plumber - is the story. He is the celebrity and the focus, not the fighting and dying. Please, CNN, get back to covering what matters, and ignore all the junk.

    January 12, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. Winton from Alaska

    Joe the Plumber wants to abolish his own, new job. Apparently
    he doesn't want to go back being a plumber. Keep looking Joe,
    I'm sure you'll find a job you like someday.

    January 12, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. FromTampa

    Who does this moron appeal to?

    January 12, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Poor Joe

    "Making Israel look bad?" I don't think they need help with that. I feel sorry for this clueless joker. What's scary is that we actually have people in this country who "think" this way. Oh boy.

    January 12, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Dianne

    I was just sitting here wondering what Letterman was going to do without the Bush being a boob segment...

    I think it just got filled!

    January 12, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Brent Scott

    What a moron!

    January 12, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. John J

    So, he's in Israel as a representative of the MEDIA, saying that the MEDIA should not be allowed to report the war because "you, know, war is hell". Well Joe, no, we wouldn't "you know", because if you had your way, we wouldn't be getting ANY coverage of war. And, furthermore, he's saying that the media is one-sided in this conflict, so he's going to report ONLY Israel's side.

    Way to waste your 15 minutes, Joe.

    January 12, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Janet

    Joe should stick to fixing toilet bowls! Oh yeah that's right he couldn't find a job. What an idiot, he had a plan all along.

    Wish I could have stood where JTP did and be noticed by John Mcain, I would be in the money!

    Joe is an fake and was from the start. He had a hidden agenda and it makes me wonder if John Mcain & Joe set it all up in advance!

    January 12, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Lee Pierce

    Take the moral high ground CNN, its not nice to make fun of people with mental disabilities like Joe. Because of this kind of reporting kids may grow up to point and stare at people like Joe or giggle and snort at exhibits in museums with rednecks in them (the species hominis redneckus may die out); much like we laughed at seeing those neanderthal exhibits when I was a kid.

    January 12, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Mike D

    Joe the Plumber supports a media ban on war because yes, he supports WAR CRIMES. just like any good republican, war crimes and torture are A-OK in his book.

    January 12, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. steve

    Joe is Plumbing the depths of stupidity.

    January 12, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. A real Joe

    Hey Joe,

    You do realize you are a national joke right? I believe most people have more respect for Paris Hilton and Britney that for you. Your 15 minutes were up months ago. Go home and take that plumbers correspondence course to you can actually get a plumbers license.

    January 12, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. Joshua

    It is important to note that the merits of the media are terribly challenged by the fact that he is now a member. I can’t help but consider the cost we have paid to the media in our struggle in Iraq. While we need war correspondents, I don’t think we need to broadcast our military’s objectives on CNN or Al-Jazera television. If we can save our soldier’s lives by regulating the amount of media, I think it would be foolish to discredit the notion of limiting the media in a war zone just because the messenger is an idiot.

    January 12, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. Michael


    is there any limit to your stupidity? The media shouldn't report on war? So you're saying that things like the Holocaust should be allowed to happen because "war is hell" and we don't want things to be reported? Only an aggressive media in a free society could have exposed an injustice like that. Come on GOP, if this is an example of your voting bloc, I think you should get used to being out of power. Man, you conservos scare me.

    January 12, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Credit Card Republicans

    He was born in Alabama,need more be said?

    January 12, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Peter

    Like the Katie Couric interview, this stuff is beyond parody.

    Just keep on talking Joe. We godless liberals need all the help we can get in further marginalizing the wingnuts of the Republican party.

    January 12, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. gael

    When will this lying tax evader just go away?

    January 12, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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