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. Sophia in Canada

    can someone please tell me why this "wanna be" is over there?

    January 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. zack

    this moron thinks the poor israelis cant take a picnic is too sad. What can gazan's do? and by the way, the israelis are taking picnics and placing their law chairs on hilltops to watch the movie going on in gaza.

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

    So to recap... He wants blind support of our dear leader, take away freedom of the press and freedom of speech, And he calls the dems socialist. LOL what he proposed is pretty much a communist attitude.
    This is exactly why the GOP got so badly beat. They want to put us back 60 yrs, throw out the constitution and promote fear and hate.

    January 12, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Arash

    I have difficulty believing how stupid "Joe the plumber-turned-foreign correspondent" actually is. He is complaining about people of south Israel taking short showers and not going out on picnic. How about he goes to Gaza and witnesses those poor people showering in blood and huddling inside a kitchen or basement for days without food and water. God, my mind is blowing!

    January 12, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Mike in Philly

    “I think media should be abolished from, you know, reporting,”

    I see. So then the reporters would be, you know, not reporters.

    “You know, war is hell"

    So I had heard, Joe, so I had heard ...

    It would be funny, if it wasn't so tragic ...

    January 12, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. jaz k

    andy kaufman worked this one up from beyond the grave– sasha cohen, please take notes.

    January 12, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Peter (Canada next to Alaska )

    Listen up folks; that circus clown, aka Joe the Plumber, has arrived n Israel. Psssssssst don't tell the media, they have no business here, okay...wink wink you betcha!

    January 12, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. Anthony

    What a moron. Send him into Gaza... Please!

    January 12, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Mario in Texas

    Is he not too now considered media since he's "reporting" on the lives of regular Joes? I guess he got tired of dealing and slinging McCain's crap for a while and now wants to sling his own crap.

    January 12, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. trtsmb

    Anyone notice a conflict here? He doesn't think media should report on war but I guess it's okay for him to get paid to report on war.

    January 12, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. bRAD

    Not the kind of person that runs from things? Except the IRS...

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

    Makes sense he should go there – says the media shouldn't cover the story, he's as far from the "media" as I am – If this is the new look of conservative republican, then God help us all! Just makes it clear the party learned absolutely nothing from the election, they'll continue to tout the same ole stuff, in the same ole way, and go down in the same ole defeat.

    January 12, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. Justin

    He thinks that the media should be banned from war, yet he's a war corespondent for a media outlet? I guess that makes sense in his little head.

    January 12, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Caligirl

    Please Joe,

    It's always slanted toward the Isreali side. But then again the God Fearing Christian Right would never side with Muslim's would they?

    One sided since the end of WWII.

    January 12, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. JMS

    I am sick of hearing from and about "Joe the Plumber". Hey Joe...take your two cents and stick it!!

    January 12, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. Matt

    Thank you, Joe, for showing the Israeli side of the conflict. I am Jewish and I have been to Israel and, after being in Israel, can appreciate it the need to fight when surrounded by enemies.

    January 12, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. T-Dub

    Send a plumber to do a journalist's job and this is what you get, overly simplified observations about complex political issues. He's more qualified to be commentator on a World Wrestling Federation broadcast.

    Please stop devoting valuable internet bandwidth to this dolt.

    January 12, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Devil_Mutt

    to Fred:

    January 12th, 2009 3:16 pm ET

    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?

    Simple Fred... It's a car wreck and everyone slows down for them. Should we slow down...no. But this morbid facination with people who are obvioulsy not well positioned to be where they are(Palin) astounds the rest of us.

    January 12, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Frank in Pittsburgh

    I don't think I will ever forgive McCain for unleashing Palin and this moron into to public conscience. What a lasting legacy of one of the worst campaigns in history. Yuck.

    January 12, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. SL

    Yeah, if I had a chance like that I be all over it TOO, like Israel on HAMAS..

    January 12, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Dexter in Houston TX

    Conservatives are such hypocrites! Their number one argument against President Elect Barack Obama is that he is inexperienced. Now they have hired this unlicensed plumber as a reporter…what the heck are they thinking. Let me add this to the "Out of Touch" Republican list:
    1. Keeping Sarah Palin in the news
    2. Barack the Magic Negro song
    3. Conservative news reporter “Joe the Plumber”
    4. What next___________?

    January 12, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Preston Fleming

    It seems like we just can't get rid of good old Joe the Plumber. This guy has been chasing a buck every since his encounter with President-Elect Obama. It's obvious to me, as it should be to most Americans that have a sliver of common sense, that everytime this guy opens his mouth he doesn't know what the heck he's talking about. I mean I'm sure he's a nice enough guy but he just doesn't have a clue.

    He's quoted as saying that he thinks the media should be abolished from reporting on the war. Well if that's the case what's his purpose for going to Israel, oh right I forgot, he's going cover Israel's side of the conflict. The fact that he's going over there to cover only Israel's side of the conflict makes it very apparent to me that he doesn't even understand the concept of a free press.

    Joe, could you please just go away, you've had your 15 minutes and then some.

    January 12, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Brian

    Since Joe the Plumber does not want the media to cover the war, the media should just pack up and leave.

    Leave him behind, please!

    Joe and Sarah - they should get married and raise their children in Alaska - yah !!

    January 12, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. sick n tired

    Obviously theres a village somewhere in the world missing its "idiot"!

    January 12, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. mike in portland

    Joe W. is not a "plumber turned war correspondent"; he is a self-described handyman with no plumber's license. In his present incarnation he is a mouthpiece for a conservative website. He has no journalism training, no understanding of the conflict in the Middle East, a limited grasp of the English language, and no credibility.

    Please do us all a favor. Cease reporting anything about Joe W. at the same time you discontinue your obsession with his buddy Sarah P. Maybe then you could competently cover the real stories of the day such as our crippled economy and battered reputation.

    January 12, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 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