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. NM

    WHY is this news?? Please stop reporting everytime this guy says or does anything – he's had his 15 minutes of fame so let ig go....PLEASE!

    January 12, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. MK

    I thought war was a "picnic" and that is why so many politicians were so quick to get us into one. Now Joe the "plummer" has told me otherwise, I guess war is hell and we shouldn't be in one. So, how bout we end it!

    January 12, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. Donna

    And we care what Joe the plumber thinks because.....

    January 12, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Kelly

    your 15 minutes have long been up....

    January 12, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Jeff

    Actually Kathy, they aren't just regular people who don't like that the KKK set up camp there and are victims as well. What everyone forgets is that Hamas was ELECTED to represent these people in a FREE ELECTION. Good KKK analogy, but it would be more accurate if this KKK was freely elected to represent those people firing upon the South Side.

    January 12, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Shereen

    Honestly, I don't care what Joe the Plumber thinks. Who is he? He's just another person. If I say that the media SHOULD report on war "because we have the right to know what's going on in the world and that if we don't know enough about it they should inform us," are you going to post that as a separate blog? LOL. I mean "Shereen the Student" doesn't have the same ring as Joe the Plumber, but really. This is ridiculous.

    January 12, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Peggy

    Joe the plumber is making the U.S.A. A LAUGHING STOCK THROUGHOUT THE WORLD!!!

    THE GREAT U.S.A. will never face this one down.

    January 12, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. crypsis

    What Joe does not understand, or will not admit, is that only 3 Israeli civilians have been killed in this conflict, compared with around 300 Palestinians civilians, many of them children. Note that the Palestinian death toll is approx. 100 TIMES that of the Israeli death toll. Israel of course is entitled to defend itself – BUT ONLY IN PROPORTION TO THE THREAT THEY ARE FACING. Wurzelbacher cites supposedly difficult living conditions in Sderot while completely ignoring the fact that Gazans often lack access to drinking water, their economy has been strategically crippled by the Israelis, and that their cities have been laid completely to ruin. He says the media shoudn't comment, and then he comments. He says the media should be aware of the fulls tory, and then he completely excludes the Palestinian side of the equation. He also implicitly conflates "Palestinians" (all of them) with "Hamas." In short, the guy is a hypocrite on many counts.

    January 12, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. richard

    What a boob. What are his credentials? What, other than his "stature" as a flash-in-the-pan "celebrity" got him here? He has absolutely no business "writing" (I call it typing, certainly not writing!) about things of which he has little or no knowledge. His idea to "ban the media" from war zones is ludicrous. No media in Vietnam would have kept under cover Mai Lai and other outrageous behavior by our military goons. Reporters have been in the fields of battle long before Thucydides' epic reportage in 430 BC on the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Joe Blow should blow town and get back to work to pay of his liens and get a plumbing license. He makes a mockery of a United States citizen.

    January 12, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Not a Teacher Teacher (thank God)

    Who on earth sponsored this Israeli Republican pimp to report on
    such a serious conflict is beyond me.

    January 12, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    We heard enough from this bozo.

    January 12, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. Andy H

    Let me get this right. Joe the Plummer has recently gotten a job as a reporter for a conservative & has been dispatched to Israel to report on the war. Joe's first official act was to release a statement saying reporters should be abolished from reporting on the war. His reason is because they don't know the whole story & will say bad things about Israel. However Joe who has never taken a journalism course is his life should be exempt from his own ban because he is going to tell Israel's side of the story. It amazes me that people this dumb are employed. You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

    January 12, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |

    ONE WORD : " FOOL" !!

    January 12, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Tikki Tow May

    That picture was probably taken near a Staten Island, New York landfill with the help of Bush's "special effects" crew.

    January 12, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. bRAD

    NO PICNICS!!? What an atrocity...

    January 12, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Doogie

    How is this guy going to say the media should stay out of wars while he's there reporting on it. And how in the world did he go from plumber to journalist?

    January 12, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. Campy

    He is such a moron. Can someone please make him go away?

    January 12, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. Paul from Ohio

    Joe is just showing us his fair and balanced journlistic integrety lol.I hope they keep him so he dont come back to Ohio.At least the GOP sesspool gave him a job . Propaganda minister!

    January 12, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Big Plumber Mike

    Joe is a freaking moron!!!! How can anyone listen to him to begin with?

    January 12, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Listen...

    To Fred:

    Making money running from missiles, just to say weeee....look at meeeee!!!!!!! No thanks the economy ain't that bad yet bubba!

    January 12, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Peg

    It sort of leaves you speechless , doesn't it.

    January 12, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Bridgette-PA

    Wait....is someone going to jump out of my computer and yell "the jokes on you!"?

    January 12, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Michael


    Well said....couldn't agree more.

    January 12, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Patrick, St. Louis

    I see Joe the Plumber is a graduate of the Sarah Palin Oratory School.

    It cracks me up knowing that over 30% of this country is sitting back after reading this, thinking "Wow, Joe the Plumber has some acute insight on this matter, and his presentation is flawless."

    January 12, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. scottyboy

    Chris in, Oakbrook Terrace, IL; the 1st amendment does not apply to U.S. citizens outside of our country; try that crap in IRAN, stupid! Joe has a job, do you? Having press in a war zone is dangerous for the reporters, who are ALLOWED upon request to cover the story; it’s not a right to be in, around, or at a F.O.B. It also puts our troops in danger as they are a distraction. Revolution coming?

    January 12, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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