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. Paul

    So if Joe Worthlessplumber gets (God forbid) injured or killed while traipsing around a war zone, will he get a Darwin award?

    January 12, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. A Fellow American

    Are there really people still listening to what Samuel Wurzelbacher has to say? I have nothing against Mr. Wurzelbacher, but I'm certain that his expertise about economics, politics and journalism is a little "lite," to say the least. The continued sponsorship of this persona, "Joe the Plumber," says a lot about what ails this country. But I guess he's no dummy: He's milking his 15 minutes of fame for all they're worth.

    January 12, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. Adrian Bush

    Go to school Joe.

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

    Joe probably couldn't even fix a toilet let alone clean one out!
    Poor man – totally clueless.

    January 12, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. JoeSUCKS!!!

    Why give a platform to a biased devisive figure??? Unless you want to keep America didvided CNN!

    January 12, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Marcy

    If he thinks the media should be abolished from reporting on this conflict, then why is he there? Can't this guy just go away?

    January 12, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. James

    Poor dumb Joe, can't even get one sentence out w/o contradicting himself. This is what happens when you come late to the game of getting your head straightened out. And this is why he'll always vote Republican, the party where no two beliefs are compatible, and only lead to chaos.

    January 12, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Wally

    Joe the plumber is very smart: He uses the media to cover his stories while asking the same media not to cover other stories.... And my biggest issue is that in the USofA, the leading country of the free world, you still find people believing in him..... and finally guess what, Joe the plumber's stupid stories will be on the first cover of the European and foreign press showing how simple and ignorant Americans are....

    January 12, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Doc

    To paraphrase this atavistic Hemingway on war, 'you have to take a quick shower..I know I would..you can't plan a picnic.' This is it? This is the insight that PajamaMedia wants?
    As a retired navy man who just witnessed the commissioning of the GHW Bush, CVN-77 in Norfolk and also a veteran of a foreign war, this guy makes me want to PUKE. This chickens&&t chicken hawk non military serving yet self serving punk is pimping off the misery in this conflict to better promote his own celebrity.
    He needs the s%$t kicked out of him.

    January 12, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Jacob

    Hey Joe...don't forget you do have the the right to remain silent! MORON!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. HouseDiva

    what the hell is that fraud doing in Israel?

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

    Is this a joke?!

    January 12, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Graham

    How is Joe the Plumber news anymore? The guy has a rebellious high school kid attitude, and his comments are usually reactionary and obnoxious. CNN, please stop reporting on what Joe the Plumber is reporting!

    January 12, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    If the media has no business covering war, what exactly is he doing in Israel? Why is he even qualified to comment on such topics?

    January 12, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Bob

    When he was told he would be heading to the Middle East I wonder if he thought it was Scranton PA?

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

    You know, it's funny how all you guys are criticizing him, and yet, he makes good points. He's also making money while you guys are sitting there blogging. He's gotten somewhere in such a short amount of time, and that's something to applaud. You guys seem to be just jealous. If you really didn't want to hear about him, like you say, then why would you read this article?

    January 12, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. john

    My god, he´s almost as dumb as Bush!

    January 12, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Kristine Young

    Not allowing the media to report on war is completely disregarding the roles that the media holds and withholds information from the public!

    January 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. John in Iowa

    To Andy J, Upstate NY,

    "(btw, when did a 'czar' become a good thing?) being a member of a SOCIALIST group that favors one world government.

    i'd love to see this posted, then see all the venom spewed by those ever so tolerant progressive liberals.

    whatever. "

    Well Andy, for starters...the czar was the title given to the emperor of Russia. It derived from caesar and came to mean monarch in certain parts of eastern europe. Czar Nicholas II was the one that was overthrown and killed by the communists during the revolution.
    Please try to get some education before posting and then us tolerant, progressive liberals will not need to post.

    January 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Adam in KC

    Go Joe! This guy got right with isreal what the mainstrem media has been purposely botching for years!

    January 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. David of West Virginia

    Say what? Did he say he should be reporting on the war? Well, he's just another ring wing hypocrite, except this time he is posing as a war correspondent reporter, who doesn't believe he should be reporting on the war! I don't know how the rest of you guys feel, but I thought I saw it all from Joe the so-called plumber but this beats all!

    January 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  22. Jim

    Who Cares! Go back to Ohio.

    January 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. Beah


    January 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. rick

    Joe represents the best of America. Hard working, honest, dripping with integrity. It is sad that people see the need to rip into this decent man just because he is not part of the liberal elite media. For my money, he well represents many of us out here in the silent majority, and I hope he keeps at it. By the way, please save this comment for April 1, when it will be most relevant.....

    January 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. ds

    Yeah, you'd better think you shouldn't be allowed to report on the war, or you'll actually have to go there.

    January 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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