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. rico

    All this reporting on the war...

    Does anybody know, are WE still at war in Iraq. I only ask because I hear so much about Gaza and NOTHING about Iraq.

    Maybe Joe could swing by and do some reporting where we really need it.

    January 12, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. lostincharlotte

    this is too funny!
    thanks for the laugh, CNN!

    January 12, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. BKB

    He is the poster child for the C students.

    January 12, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Sean

    You gotta be kidding me.
    So you're saying that the media shouldn't be allowed to cover war, but yet you're saying this WHILE YOU'RE COVERING THE WAR?
    Seriously Joe, your 15 minutes of fame expired a long time ago, please just fly away. You are a disgrace to Ohioans.

    January 12, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Bern

    Why are we still seeing articles on this dumb dumb? He needs to be banned from humanity. Where does the GOP get these folks?

    January 12, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Jeff W

    Prediction: Palin will either dump her hubby and marry Joe or will name him as her VP pick in 2012. They both share the same ignorant views, are grossly unqualified to run a country (or act as a reporter) and pander to the more idiotic of the conservative party.

    January 12, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. chris

    I agree with Joe Wurzelbacher....The Media can only screw information up and most of it is partisan crap and mis-information.
    We are witness to the masters of spin and mis-infoprmation by
    the Hammas terrorists. Maybe the ACLU should get into the foray and help Hammas negotiate a peace while they send their rockets into Israel....they could probably win some kind of UN lawsuit and
    show the Palestinians the Legal system to support criminals as victims...just like we do in the USA. Yes Joe is right....but the majority
    of loose screws writing here won't ever get it and so it goes.



    January 12, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. John the Editor

    If the media should stay out of the wars, plumbers should stay out of the media.

    Thanks Joe. You're a credit to our species.

    January 12, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |


    January 12, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. Gary S.

    What credentials does this person have to be "reporting" in an official capacity? Obviously, the folks at PJTV want someone who's on their side. Someone who appeals to the Bush core demographic (bonehead, go-get-em mentality).
    Judging by a lot of the comments defending him, they've reached their target audience. Entertaining, but don't count on getting anything but opinionated babble from him.

    January 12, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. Peter (CA)

    So insightful seeing the ramblings of the clueless and the unqualified. It's what I come to expect from the right wing.

    AndyJ-Maybe when the story is verified by someone credible– not the Washington Times or Hannity. Or maybe when there is some understanding of their positions and not the knee-jerk reaction of right wingers screaming "socialism". But, then again, you guys are the tolerant ones right?

    January 12, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. PO'd in Chicago

    More deep thoughts from Joe the Plumber. Can't he stick to fixing sinks? Why the F is he on CNN's site?? I am so close to not even looking at CNN anymore for continually putting garbage up like this that is supposd to be "news."

    January 12, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Eric

    What a douchebag. Go away already!

    January 12, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Brad H.


    January 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Bertowski

    Reducing the Palestinian/Israeli conflict to a playground fight, with a "when someone hits me, I'm going to unload on the boy" philosophy is the reason these conflicts exist. Also, news updates are available to anyone with a computer, not just people at home. We read them to understand the world around us the the bigots who "applaud" shoddy reporting.
    Finally, you praise getting somewhere "in such a short amount of time", as if that's unconditionally a great thing. Committing a crime will no doubt land me on TVs evening news. Would you applaud that as well?
    Diplomacy, compromise and a resolution to share scare resources are tools that will solve conflicts around the globe.

    January 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Hope for the future

    Joe the Plumber won't be going anywhere soon. Like Palin, he likes life in front of the camera even though he does not know what he is talking about. Like Palin, he wants to be famous......ROFL

    January 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Patricia G, Houston, TX

    Are you kidding me??? Joe the plumber...he is not a plumber. This is utterly ridiculous. His 15 min was up long time ago...he and Palin need to just shut up. They appear a bit smarter that way.

    January 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. walden

    Joe you need to be here in the state to fix some of the toilets its back up...

    January 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. Jon

    Hate on a guy bringing up good debate. Asking the questions CNN won't. Reporting on the violence of war in general is not the greatest thing. As he stated, we already know war is hell. Liberal media does this to project the negatives of the war, and negative sales these days. Everyone would rather hate then resolve. If this had been done in WWI or WWII, would the outcomes have been different? Those are the two bloodiest wars of the past century, yet Americans stayed rallied behind the effort. Why? No one wins in war, but some times it’s necessary.

    January 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. Shannon

    WHO CARES WHAT HE HAS TO THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Jimmie

    joe stick to plumbing

    January 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. E.J. Morvey FL

    Has the state of journalism really come down to this???!!! It's a sad, sad state of affairs.

    January 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Ra

    You can thank McCain for making Joe the Plumber and Pain so popular, can you imagine McCain as president. scary!

    January 12, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Chocthdr

    Wow.......what an idiot!
    I can't believe some news organization.....and I use that term loosely....actually sent him over to report on a war, and he's states Reporters shouldn't be able to report on wars.
    Joe........Come home............give the money back and just come home. Follow your own advice.
    I repeat.......what an idiot!!!!

    January 12, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Hopeful Greeny

    Ya, that's right. Supress the media. Way to go freedom-fighting WingNuts. Better yet, ban JOE correspondent!

    January 12, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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