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. Dexter

    SInce when did such blatant stupidity become newsworthy?

    January 12, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. arc, Lugano CH

    Flo the Bomber January 12th, 2009 2:34 pm ET
    Joe is absolutely right. Every single Hamas terrorist needs to be exterminated.
    Every single terrorist needs to be exterminated...

    starting with you.

    January 12, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Matt

    Let's have a legitimate discussion. Topic: Barack Obama back-peddaling on all of his campaign promises.

    January 12, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Proud Liberal

    What a joke. And Joe reporting on "how bad" Israel has it isn't biased? yeah, right..

    January 12, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. When shall you stop this deception!

    Joe people in Gaza do not have shelters and sirens to warn them about incoming missiles! Can you understand the simple difference? Remember missiles do not know who is "Joe the Plumber" and who is not, it just take whatever it can get. I would not be surprised if you become the news eventually, because of your stupidity! History has a funny way of repeating itself .... Watch and learn folks, because it is too late for him to learn!

    January 12, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. mary.florida

    The Palin-McCain ,joe plumber joke was really funny ha,ha.Ok the election is over.A not for real plumber playing a not for real reporter equals the leader of the RNC.

    January 12, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Ohio Democrat

    Joe needs to go back to unplugging toilets. What an ignorant disgrace.

    January 12, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. bibi

    Can someone send a pair of shoes to Hammas to give joe a bloody nose.

    January 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Jimmie

    stick to plumbing

    January 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. PADem

    Republican Hypocrisy 101:

    Non-taxpaying plumber reports on war, taking the stance that war should not be reported on.

    Almost as effective as Palin preaching abstinence.

    January 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. No Incumbents 2010

    I think the media has a right to report on the war, but leave the opinions for the editorial pages.

    January 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. TCM

    More power to him; he's got a job, making his own money and paying his own bills....which is tenfold more than most Obamkins can say...they're busy standing in line to get a gov't freebie....

    If Joe wants to be a reporter without experience, without any inkling of what he's doing...so what? He's only following Obama's lead!

    January 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Bo Moreland

    He thinks the media should be banned from reporting on the conflict? Isn't that exactly what he is doing? What is so sad about this, is he thinks he knows all about politics both domestic and abroad. He only knows what Rush and Glen Beck tell him.

    January 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Russ

    guess physicians shouldn't be practicing medicine either, or lawyers trying cases in court. what's the point of actually going to college and gaining years of experience to learn how to do something when you can just "decide" you're a journalist... better than one, actually, since they have no business reporting things, according to this boob. now I understand why this "plumber" never even bothered to get a license. what a complete idiot!

    January 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. RM in OH

    And why do you care how this man makes an honest living? I applaud this guy. He's got a job...not one I'd take but he went for it and he's earning his keep There are few media outlets providing balanced viewpoints and the one he's working for is as legitimate as any of the others...everyone has their own agenda when it comes to the modern media. I don't think he's stupid...I don't think Sarah Palin's stupid. I may not agree with them but I'm not gonna kick any of them when they're down. Get over yourselves and move on...the republicans lost..you won..let these poor people go on with their lives...or better yet...you should go get a life for yourself.

    January 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. Simon

    This is a travesty of journalism and a mockery of the collective intelligence of the people. That this untrained inexperienced individual not possessive of critical thinking skills or professional ethics of any kind is in this position is beyond comprehension. I find this man and his actions reprehensible, dangerously opportunistic, repugnant and criminally irresponsible.

    January 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. Steve

    Why on earth would you give any credence to anything that pops out of this moron's mouth? "The media should be abolished from, you know, reporting." Joe obviously knows nothing about the US Constitution which guarantees freedom of the press ... and as we all know, he knows even less about plumbing. Enough, already!!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Gail from Texas

    I think they should ban Joe the Plumber from just about everything. The man is a greedy, self-indulgent idiot.

    January 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. lisa

    If the media doesn't report on the war, then who will? Are we suppose to be left in the dark and not knowing what's going on in other parts of the Country? Wow, I think this guy enjoys public attention and will do anything now to get it.

    January 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. S Callahan

    lol...imagine that....then the media could write history 'they way they want"....oops....do they do that now?

    lol i just giggle with Joe P in the battelfield...this is just getting to be too much! lol lol lol

    January 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. Rob

    The media has no problem showing innocents being killed and injured. How about something about those Hamas cowards, who view women as lower than dogs, except when it comes to using them as human shields.

    Be a shame if those big, tough, Hamas manly men were to actually grow a pair and not hide amongst the innocent people.

    Maybe Joe does have point. But then hey, a dead kid gets more airplay than a dead thug.

    January 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. Joe

    I bet Joe the Plumber is Nailin Palin.

    January 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Sherree from MO

    Is this news? And for those who wonder, I read the article out of incredulity that this was really made into a whole article. Like driving past a car accident, as they say.

    January 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Doug, Va

    Rob January 12th, 2009 2:17 pm ET

    Hey Rob. I hope Obama wouldn't act as cowardly as HAMAS. I hate what HAMAS is doing but Israel is doing exactly what HAMAS is doing. The right thing for Israel to do and they are starting to do it is to start their ground game and root out HAMAS. It's not easy but it's the only way to root out the terroist. That's what we did in IRAQ and you spare a greater number of innocent men, women, and CHILDREN that way. You can't just bomb, bomb, bomb your way to a solution in this fashion because you only create more sympathy for your enemy and your struggle becomes harder. WAR isn't pretty so you can't start one and hope you don't get dirty!!

    January 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. crypsis

    fred: curious to know what "good points" you think Joe made. I'd agree that all sides of a story should be covered, but 1) that is so obvious it does not even bear mentioning, 2) Gaza, not Sderot, is being destroyed. Sderot and the 3 dead Israeli civilians should be (and have been) mentioned, but let's face it, Gaza is where the story is. 3) Joe doesn't follow his own advice; he basically sweeps the destruction of Gaza under the rug and reduces the Palestinian people to "terrorists." The guy has an amazingly unnuanced grasp of the conflict.

    January 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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