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. Anonymous

    Wow, reading these responses just made me more of an idiot than the people who posted here. I guess you can't fix stoopid (and I'm not talking about Joe)

    January 12, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Travis

    So let me get this straight; Joe the Plumber thinks the media should be banned from reporting on any war/conflict.....while he himself is working for the media and reporting on a war???? Sounds like hypocracy to me. Evidently Joe, just like most other Neo-Cons, would prefer to have most of their political actions kept out of the public eye. A government exists soley at the will of THE PEOPLE and all of its actions are subject to the scrutiny of THE PEOPLE. As far as the news media reporting on the evils of Israel, I don't know what (if any) sources Joe has been citing, but most of the media coverage I have seen has been overwhelmingly slanted in Israel's favor. Where is the in-depth coverage of the Palestinian and Hamas casualties, not just in this conflict, but over the past several decades? Israel is not some innocent bystander. Both sides are equally liable for the violence and destruction in that region but somehow, fundamentalist Christians seem to think they can ride Israel's coat-tails into the Promised Land as defenders of God's chosen people. In spite of all of this, what credentials does Joe the Plumber have for being a reputable journalist anyway? I've seen more indepth coverage on the Travel Channel. Here's some advice Joe: GET A CLUE.

    January 12, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. Micah

    Thank God for Joe the Plumber. He makes all conservatives look like the fools they are!

    January 12, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Kent Rothrock

    Joe the Plumber is an idiotic nobody who stumbled into a unique situation. I cannot believe this guy is still in the public discourse! He pretty much turned out to be a fraud (he apparently is not a licensed plumber) and it's really a joke that anyone would listen to this guy regarding anything! In fact, I feel like an idiot for even putting forth the effort to write this comment!

    January 12, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. rickyu

    He is marketing himself. Can u believe how opporunist he is

    January 12, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Free Press only happens in a Democratic Country

    Ban the press?!!! I guess you don't believe in democracy Joe.

    January 12, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. benito

    wow how can a guy who is not even a certified plumber even get to the Middle East? I am amazed how this guy trashed the Republican Nominee for President and now is reporting on the War. Joe the Plumber is plumbing the USA for a freebie. What a loser some one needs to kick him in his plumber's crack!!

    January 12, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Andy

    I've read a lot of articles printed in the USA about Israel's campaign in Gaza, and I don't believe for one second that they are unfair or slanted against Israel. In fact, I think support for Israel is rather strong. My instinct tells me that Joe the Plumber and others of his political persuasion simply like to bash the media whenever it suits them.

    January 12, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Roy, St. Paul

    This dude is ridiculous!

    January 12, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Los Angeles

    Typical "Bubba". The rest of the world hates us because they think Americans are like this Joe "the plumber" character. Please stop giving him press time!

    January 12, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Khelley

    Not only did Mccain give us S. Palin who made history as the first idiot running for VP, but also this skinned head ignorant who want to be an adviser on war. Jesus Lord! People could not wait for the election to be over so that these two could vanish from their sight; but they are two stuborn stains that refuse to fade away. The media should take his advice and stay away from wars because , he and Palin are two wars against peoples' sight. Why the media keep covering these two idiots, I don't know.

    January 12, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. John

    :14:59:59- PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stop givng this guy any more media coverage! He's an idiot! He doesn't represent me, my values nor literacy level. If he wants to spout off his moronic ideals on PJTV, let him go for it, but please stop putting him on legit news outlets!!!!

    January 12, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. R Wolf

    So, why are you there, reporting on the war, Joe? What a jerk. He sure has a lot of veiws, I just don't know why CNN felt anyone really
    needed, or cared, to hear any of them.

    January 12, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. jrshipley

    Joe the fascist, hater of 1st amendment, US constitution. Stop reporting on this guy's opinion. It's about as newsworthy as mine.... Come to think of it, how about a CNN headline "jrshipley thinks Joe the plumber is a fascist"? Then if someone comments on that, calling me a leftist jerkwad or whatever, you can report on that.... beats, ya know, doing actual reporting.

    January 12, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Julian Smith

    Why would anyone think sending this bozo to a warzone is a smart idea?

    January 12, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Nurse Ratchet

    Pardon me, Fred, you're actually applauding (hence rewarding) some jerk from Ohio for basically lying, misrepresenting himself, not paying his taxes, and maintaining his unemployment until the point where he found a way to take advantage of the political scene and turn himself into the Paris Hilton of the McCain campaign?

    Get the F outta my country man!

    January 12, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. big mark

    I rather listen to Rosie the Riveter.

    January 12, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Robbie

    @ fred

    What good points are you referring to? The humor of a war reporter saying war reporting should be banned, or the simplification of war's trauma to 'not being able to take a 20 minute shower'?

    And sorry, but any success he has a result of his appearance in the election is not attributable to his hard work or talent, all of these gigs are being handed to him (sort of like the welfare he so decries). And his appearance in Israel is an insult to every single person who ever worked their butt off on a journalism degree and who are still looking for work in their chosen field.

    January 12, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Jason the Teacher and Susie the Preacher

    We think the media should not be allowed to cover Joe the Plumber.

    January 12, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. Yolanda Murillo

    War is always ugly no matter the way you put it. I believe that both sides are wrong, at this time of age every body should discuss their differences with diplomacy.
    Should we create another iron curtain? I do not think so.

    January 12, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. old Democrat.....

    Sad to say......I'm from Ohio......we produce all kinds of fools. We did get it right in getting rid of Bush, though.

    January 12, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. Bill Nancy,Ky

    Isn't it about way past this man's " fifteen minutes of fame" is over? Send Joe and Sarah back to obscurity where they belong!

    January 12, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Yes, war reporting should be left to fake plumbers.

    January 12, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Mr Magoo

    I have thought for years that the Media often causes more harm than good during war time. War is not pretty and most of it should not be covered, only the highlights. Do we really need to see the awful effects of war as they happen? Is it going to change anything at that moment?

    For instance, when we first entered IRAQ we had Journalists announcing to the world where we(our troops) were heading and at what time. The IRAQI army received alot of our where abouts from the news media.

    World war 2 did not have much media coverage and there was more damage and innocent victoms then any war since. Did we need to see it ? Did we want to lose the moral of our fighting soldiers? Our soldiers were heroes when they returned and thanks to media our soldiers are murderers when they return form war much due to media coverage.

    War is hell and sometimes you need to break a few eggs to make an omlet. Sorry for the analogy but that is war.

    A country has every right to defend itself and that is why we are not demanding a stop to this.

    Joe the plumber is doing what any of you bloggers would be doing if given the opportunity so stop your whining, get off your a$$es and make your own difference. Adopt a poor child from Gaza or something productive.

    There, I feel better ( ;

    January 12, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. John

    Incredible, Joe. So who's going to decide which wars should be covered and which should not? You and your right-wing supporters? And any time you think there's some media bias, you are going to ban coverage?There's a word for that–CENSORSHIP. My friend, if we took a vote on it, YOU would be banned. Fortunately things don't work that way in America (though we were close to it under Bush-Cheney!).

    January 12, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61