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. Barack Says

    Israel could not have any worse of an ally, friggin Stone Cold Steve Austin wanna be!

    January 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Chad

    What happened to Freedom of the Press , Joe the Contractor? I am a veteran and I believe in the constitution.

    January 12, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Rene Gatling

    So sorry they can't take a picnic – why don't they send the jerk to Gaza and he can see what daily life is there –

    January 12, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Mystyph

    America loves a good train wreck. That is why people are still paying attention to Joe the Plumber.

    January 12, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. joe zurlo

    I thought the guy was a hard working and serious plumber....now I find out he's an simple idiot!

    January 12, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. To All the Clueless Wonders in the World

    Andy J, Czars were pre-socialist, imperial leaders of Russia. Get your facts straight before you make completely useless statements...

    January 12, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Graham from SC

    I thought Joe's time was only suppose to be 15 minutes. Well, if he at least is going to report from the Middle East about a war that he believes shouldn't be reported on, then....... the RNC should give the courtesy give him some of Sarah Palin's campaign clothes since she returned them so he looks like a respectable Republican reporter. Please Joe don't let your PR company exploit you any further. Go back to being a respectable , hard working plumber...much more respect for you then... and I am a die-hard Democrat.

    January 12, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Helene

    I wish Hamas would target the guy and get us rid of him ...

    January 12, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. James from Vermont

    I hate to say this, but who cares? Why should we care what Joe the Plumber has to say about the Middle East?

    January 12, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Richard

    Get over it Dems....

    January 12, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Doug K

    America is turely a land of opportunities. Especially the opportunity to be dumb and ignorant.

    Maybe Joe should spend a day or two in Gaza. I am pretty sure that not being able to plan a picnic would be a concern to people in Gaza, at this particular moment.

    January 12, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Sally

    Can Joe get an interview with John McCain?

    January 12, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. SAD SAD

    I am trying so hard to understand the perspective of this guy in this issue...
    Pro America?
    Pro Israel?
    or Anti Hamas?
    anti Palentinians?
    Joe i really like to know your views about this issue and also will want you to tell us the begining of this war

    January 12, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Joe the Boxer

    Does Joe the Plumber even know how to spell war correspondent ??? Has he even been in the military ???

    January 12, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. bibi

    Joe went to the same school of journalism as Sarah Palin.

    January 12, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. daune

    joe the plumber? cnn are you kidding me ,if you keep talking about this guy he,ll never go away ,in the mean time he is there as a reporter ,but still says it should not be cover by reporters, oh right he , is a fake, joe is nothing but a blatant apportunist,

    January 12, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. facts are facts

    Why is any reputable news program report on anything this idiot does or says. It just reduces or eliminates the news programs credability.

    January 12, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |


    January 12, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. Yalag

    Well, here's a guy who got it right the first time around. If I were CNN, NBC, ABC and all the other cynical media outlet – I would listen carefully and heed hus adivce.

    January 12, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Elena

    Who in the world cares what Joe the Plumber thinks about anything??? Suddenly his 15 minutes of fame is extending to the point where you might think he actually knows something!!

    Advocating banning the media from war coverage shows how un-American he and his right-wing cronies are. Someone needs to teach them some constitutional law before giving any credence to their ridiculous comments!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. lost in Texas FOREVER

    Isn't this the same guy that backstabbed John McCain after the election was over? Yet the far right GOP still loves him, huh? And the Republicans wonder why they have an image problem.

    January 12, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. nicw

    Ban media from war? Isn't he representing media and therefore, reporting on the conflict between Israel and Hamas as a media representative?

    January 12, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. D

    What a nut case.

    January 12, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Ali

    I believe this is disgrace to legendary reporter all over the world to see Joe as a "Reporter". Only a criminal will allow him to report.

    January 12, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. Chuck, Tennessee

    Why are you reporting on him. NO ONE CARES!

    January 12, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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