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. Brandy

    Excuse me. It amazes me how Hollywood celebrities can "express their voice" on practically anything with politics and the media sits in awe and puts in on the front page of their news websites...spouting how so and so doesn't like so and so and they think this is wrong or what ever babble they spew and folks eat it up. I mean they are movie stars. They play make believe and have computer generated moves make them look like super heros. Please. But you let an average american "have an opinion" and depending on what ever side you are on, folks lamblast them, insult them, call them ugly names. You people don't even know this guy. You just know what the newsmedia put on their station during the campaign. You might actually like the guy. Regardless of your opinion, he has just as much right to do what he is doing ..... as you do putting your ugly little comments on this forum. I mean....really.....who cares what we think.

    January 12, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. michael cook

    Joe the Plumber is the new Jeff Gannon. If you don't remember, he's the Conservative male prostitute Karl Rove put in the Bush Press room to lob friendly questions. Google him, the pictures are gross.

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

    Why insult plumbers with what this idiot has to say? It should be Joe the Dumber.

    January 12, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. AJ from Austin TX

    I think Joe has a point. War is ugly and the last thing our soldiers need is the media 'shaping' perceptions. For example, when things weren't going so well in Iraq, CNN reported on EVERY car bombing, EVERY soldier that died, including civilians. CNN would continuously hammer us with polls about how unpopular the war is and how unpopular President Bush is. As soon as things started turning around, and the death tolls started declining, the media (and CNN) suddenly start losing interest and have a really hard time admitting that the SURGE was successful. So, you go, Joe! And let's get a different perspective to counter the Left Wing yellow journalism we have to put up with.

    January 12, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Ummmm

    Hey Joe...isn't that what you are there for, to report on the war? Just come on back to ohio...I have a clogged toilet that I need your help with....oh wait...you weren't really a plumber either were you?
    Serioulsy....what stunt is this guy going to try next to extend his 15 minutes of fame?

    January 12, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Joe the Plumber

    I now go by Joe the Idiot

    January 12, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |

    Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin......and you all thought it couldnt' get worse than Pres Bush W.

    January 12, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Jim

    I'm not sure who will get my vote for village idiot – Sarah Palin or Joe the Plumber!

    January 12, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. Med Sec

    Why is space being devoted to "Joe the Plumber" ? I thought his 15 minutes were up after he turned on John McCain. This guy is unbelievable (ROFLOL) . Anything in the name of fame!

    January 12, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Scott

    Please stop writing about things that have no news value. That fact that this guy made news during the campaign does not make every crap he takes a newsworthy event now.

    January 12, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. Charlize

    The moment CNN started covering childish "news", like Bush's cat death and Obama's "dog search" I KNEW THIS BOZO "JOE THE PLUMBER" and the queen of morons Palin WOULD NEVER GO AWAY. CNN has to be fair, so if they publish irrelevant non-news about Obama, then they have the "duty" to publish as well any non-news about the two biggest moron-celebrities of the right: Pseudo-Plumber and Hockey Mom. Sad but true.And yes, you can call me a moron for keeping the fire burning, by posting another comment about this moron brainless unlicensed "plumber". I'm just another one of the big, big majority of people who just wants him and Palin to go away!

    January 12, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. Florida

    Are you serious? Joe not the plumber is reporting on behalf of right wing media. The hypocrisy is absurd, but I guess par for course.

    January 12, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Brian Wells

    First of all, let's stop criticizing Doh for going over there in the first place. He obviously needs the work since our economy is in a shambles and he's sold all his plumbing tools. I like Doh the plumber and think we need more idiots like him on the right speaking up for the rest of the idiots on the right. You go Doh!!

    January 12, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Matt

    @ Andy J, Upstate, NY

    More meaningless GOP talking points. I hardly think you can discredit a guy who is saying "scientific evidence shows we need to reduce toxic emissions" by saying "oh yeah? well you're a dirty socialist pig!" His job has nothing to do with his personally held philosophical beliefs, just science (and yes, I fully understand it's hard for you GOPers to separate the two). Get relevent or get bent.

    January 12, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. Brian

    Joe is right. While the media should not be banned completely they should not be on the ground in the manner that they are. There have been mistakes over the years that have given out information that has endangered lives. That is not ok. Having served in the military the people need to know that there are things they do not, and should not, know. I didn't vote for the coming administration, but support it, and we will all see what happends once the new administration is privy to the information will do not and should not know.

    January 12, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. superg in new york

    is everyone on this post freakin' crazy ????? you guys are so venom filled. u all want him to stop being reported on, yet there are 130 comments on this post bashing the crap out of this guy, HELLO PEOPLE !!!!!! YOUR FEEDING THIS THING !!!! let him have his 15, oh sorry 20 min of fame and he'll be gone. although i must agree with him on the media reporting on war, don't you all think that all our enemies are watching all this MEDIA REPORTING ALSO ??? GET A CLUE !!! when media reports that the u.s has ships of the gulf of wherewver, or troop buildup here and there of our forces, that they aren't plotting against us. sometimes it makes me sick the reporting of the media, i mean why don't the media just grab all our enemies and bring them to all our war room meetings at time of war ? thay mideas well, if their going to tell the world where our forces are, what kind of artillary we have and how many and where our troops are, on the tv, internet and radio !!!!!! they may be third world countries, but theys till have access to reporting on all fronts of media. be sure that they will be watching the president-selects inaugr, PLOTTING.

    January 12, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. tttman

    And it gets worse. Joe should interview a gentleman I saw on the street yesterday who said, "gee, I sure hope they resolve this thing quick."

    January 12, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. zipideeydodah

    So now he is Joe the War Correspondent! Wow from a plumber to a bonafide War Reporter in less than 3 months!

    We can all thank our lucky stars that Palin didn't become a heartbeat away from the nuclear codes

    January 12, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. President Barack Obama

    I believe Joe the Plumber & Sarah Palin were seperated at birth....The Moron twins!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. Ajaye

    If you ever want to define "stupid", just look at his photo. In the words of Forrest Gump, "stupid is as stupid does".

    January 12, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. nom deplume

    Frank calls someone out for using the word "boy."

    Another word rendered useless by liberal PCdom.

    Frank, what should we call male children now? Persons of Diminutive Stature and Non-Feminine Attributes (PODSNFAs)?

    January 12, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. blackhat

    That worked! Lots of comments with heart felt warmth from the nation of love and prosperity. You are what you read, thats what Joe's saying. Time magazine weekend of January 10th runs a cover that says, Why Israel can"t win". Joe will probably come up with some real questions and maybe answers not spiked by some pompous editor of leftist persuasion. We might even come to a conclusion that were in a time of enlightenment in which we hear what REAL people see and believe, not what some left wingnut wants to sell us as there anti-establishment BS. Right now the media falls in line with Madoff and the numerous other robber barons of this our time. The truth will set you free.

    January 12, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Pam

    Let's ban the media from covering Joe the Plumber.

    January 12, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Dave from Georgia

    If he says that media should not be allowed to report the war, he should not have taken the journalist job. He needs to go back to Ohio and come back to his normal life.

    January 12, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. Michelle

    I get that this is considered news because this guy was used as a pawn in the presidential campaign. Doesn't mean it actually is news though.

    January 12, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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