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. Lisa T

    I really hope that those of you who are saying that Joe the Plumber should be able to participate in the political arena by voicing his thoughts and opinions are not the same people who criticized celebrities for doing the same during the election.

    January 12, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Brian

    This is why republicans won't be winning another election for a few decades. It has become so painfully (but also hilariously) clear that they embrace total idiots as their spokesman. Bush, Palin, this mongoloid.

    January 12, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Palestinean from West Bank

    Does this man represent the real America? If yes, do Americans really want peace in Middle east or they want to implement their Ideology of the extreme right and Evangilical in our land. Gaza and West bank is for the Palestineans including Jerusalem. We are resisting the occupation on our Land. If people in Sderot are taking showers in quick then people of Gaza are taking showers of deplete Uranium and White phosphorus bombs made in USA. America has to choose between being extreme right or America that spread freedom in the world not hatered.

    January 12, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Ken

    @Doc: I 100% agree with you. Furthermore, I note that the colorful description of this guy that you gave in your last sentence also fits G. Bush to a "tee"!

    January 12, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. eddy

    did joe the plumber really go irac

    January 12, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. monnie

    joe, sarah, et al: i'm just enjoying the hell out of you people; you have a way of brightening up the day for those of us with triple-digit iq's

    January 12, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Patrick

    Really, why is this guy still relevant? I don't understand why everyone made such a big fuss over him during the election, and I'm buffled as to why anyone cares about him now that the election is over.

    January 12, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Max Roll

    why is this guy getting media coverage?

    January 12, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Nadia

    Joe is positioning himself to run as Palin's VP in the next election

    January 12, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Laughing @ Liberal Flock

    I think a lot of your are confused...his opinion is that the media should not report in the war because of biase. But because there is reporting, he is electing to report on the Israeli point of view, because no one else is.

    But it is quite funny to see all of these posters saying it's not newsworthy, when they must have read the story to make a comment...oh wait, that's what they all did to Joe and Sarah during the campaign: comment on them before they even knew anything.

    January 12, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. andrea

    oh my goodness. are you kidding me. did he really just say that. and what a hypocrite, isnt he reporting this war also? i thought i had heard the last of him the night macain lost. darn!

    January 12, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. James, Ho. TX

    Did Joe the Plumber carry his "Plunger" with him ? Did he use Air Force One for his trip ?

    January 12, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Dennis

    Isn't it interesting that Joe the Plumber says the media shouldn't report on the war, but signs on as a reporter to report on it himself. Hmmm.

    January 12, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. David

    Sure, being under rocket attack is certainly rough but Joe should realize there are two sides to every story. Had Joe been one of those Palestinians booted off their land and stripped of their rights when Israel was formed in the 1940's, I'm sure he'd also "unload on the boy".

    And the irony is that Israelis have killed nearly as many Israelis via friendly fire than Palestinians have killed in this war (including rocket attacks). All those Israelis total about 15. And the number of Palestinians dead? About 900. 400 of those killed are women or children.

    I'd say the media coverage has been more than fair to Israel.

    January 12, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Jackie in Dallas

    Duh? Doesn't he realize that he's saying that HE shouldn't be there? Like Sarah Palin, he needs some elocution lessons if he wants to be a correspondent; "well" is not a word to use two or three times in one or two sentences!

    However, I do agree with one thing he is saying...and that there has been a distinctly anti-Israel slant to a lot of the press. When Hamas is making their headquarters under a hospital, and storing and firing rockets from a school, it is bound to cause problems for Israel to strike at solely military targets. This is a favorite tactic of many of the extremist Islamic groups, sheltering behind their own children and women to prevent retailiation from being effective. Yet you rarely see any form of outrage when they target suicide attacks at innocents in a church or at a market in Israel. But the entire problem is going to require the wisdom of Soloman to resolve.

    January 12, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. PK California

    He has no business being in Isreal!!! Whoever sent him should have their heads examined, by a plumber!!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. Steve

    This is guy is just as much of an opportunist as Palin. I can't believe the media is giving this guy attention and a platform from which to spout his nonsense.

    January 12, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Steve

    I can kind of relate to what Joe is saying. As a civilian consultant, I was trapped in El Salvador in 1989 during the big FMLN uprising. I got out alive (barely), and my family had saved all the newspaper and TV reports about the fighting.

    When I read and watched the reports, I was appalled at the one-sided perspective that the American media took. I saw plenty of atrocities from both sides of the conflict.

    Ever since then, I distrust what I see and hear in the mainstream US media. We never do and probably never will get the "whole" story on any conflict like this.

    January 12, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. Ugh

    What a dumb***. If media didn't report on wars, we'd have stuff like the Holocaust happen and never know about it until afterwards. And don't you think it'd be a smarter idea to ban wars so that media wouldn't have to report on them.

    January 12, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Tyler

    Soooo. aren't you reporting on the war, Joe?

    January 12, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. Braeden

    Some of you are absolutely out of your mind.
    He has a point but you are so blinded by the slants of media you refuse to see it. There isn't a full disclosure of information on the war. That's what he is saying. So it's not reporting news...it's reporting agendas of the media companies and how they want the story to come across. People who are getting tired of Israel do the following: Imagine growing up your whole life seeing rockets fly over your head and people burning effigies of your countrymen daily only 30 miles from where you live. Hell, Americans everywhere were ready to do anything after 9/11. That was one time. That is what Joe is saying. Most people have no clue the reasons that Israel is attacking Gaza simply because there is no view of what they go through on a daily basis.

    January 12, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Ken in NC

    I have a better idea. Ban the "PLUMBING REPORTER". What an airhead this guy is.

    January 12, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Jason

    Quick showers?! He went over there show the "other side" and that's all he can come up with? Quick showers?!

    January 12, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. lol

    "I’m not a person that runs from things, but when it’s a missile, you run.”

    January 12, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Keith

    Quit telling me about this idiot and quit trying to make him a news story. I don't care about Joe, never have, never did and never will. Give us real news for a change.

    January 12, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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