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. Misty

    What a racist idiot?? Ban him CNN.. I do not understand why CNN is giving him the time of day. He is a sham and a shame.

    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. Polistes

    This guy is an idiot. He's entitled to his opinion, but he clearly doesn't understand . . . No, that's not right . . . He doesn't care about or respect the First Amendment. To anyone who argues that this is not our war and that the First Amendment doesn't apply: Smarten up: our bombs, our technology, and our permission–even our encouragement–supply the Israeli civilian-killers. More than 900 Palestinians have been killed, 40% of them women and children. That blood is on our hands, and we need to know that through the free press.

    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. Robert

    Before "Plumb and Plumber" shoots off his mouth about war correspondents, he should familiarize himself with their distinguished service in past conflicts, and their invaluable role in letting people know what's going on. It was thanks to reporters that we knew how much the U.S. government was lieing to us about Vietnam. People who don't want reporters around are afraid of the power of facts. Go back to fixing leaky toilets, Joe.

    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Tito

    Dear Joe the Plumber,

    Go away.


    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Jeff W.

    Did this guy even graduate from high school? I love that the Republican party continues to embrace dumb people (e.g., Sara Palin). The party just loves anti-intellectualsim. It's as if they learned nothing from their recent defeat in the White House. Obama can't get in soon enough.

    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. Onesided

    Wurzelbacher should've studied up or at least read the Cliff Notes on the conflict before he landed...

    Bet he wouldn't like living as a Palestinian under occupation either – constant checkpoints – can't move... His wife getting felt up by Israeli soldiers if she dares to grocery shop... Water and electricity turned off at whim. Medicine, food, NOTHING gets in... Oh yeah – and the WHOLE world seems to side with the ones doing this... Yep! It's great to be a Palestinian!

    Completely simplistic and one sided – like Wurzelbacher himself!

    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. H Sanei

    Media should have no business in reporting war but "Joe the Plumber" should!!!!
    We think Joe should focus on his plumbing business and try to get that plumbing license. We also think CNN should stop giving this fellow publicity. We think he is not representing millions of smart and enlightened Americans. This is an insult to us; please stop covering "Joe the Plumber".

    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    What an absolute moron!

    And why do we care what this lying non-plumber has to say?

    His 15 seconds was over along time ago!

    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Fred

    Interesting that such a man of morality and conviction is doing exactly what he said shouldn't be done ... reporting on a war. Filthy hipocrite.

    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. Georgia

    This is never a shortage of morons willing to give their opinions.

    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. Adam

    Why in the world do you persist in covering this guy?

    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. E D

    As someone covering this story for the media, shouldn't Joe's argument be for the media to cover the situation in a more balanced way from his point of view, rather than having "no business in it."?

    January 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. Mary

    Why dont Joe put the microphone down and put on a military uniform. Has he paid his back taxes yet?

    January 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    So Joe the Plummer is now Joe the Reporter covering a war zone and saying at the same time that reporters shouldn't be covering the war zone........does sanity no longer exist in the world? Joe apparently has the intelligence of a dipstick.......and to think that McCain was trotting this guy around with him during the campaign. It seems the clowns have taken over the circus.

    January 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    from plumber to reporter !!!!!!!!!!
    does the guy know anything about the middle east?
    you better go fix your pipes

    January 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. MattM

    Yea Joe, they should be banned. Only you, with your extensive foreign policy knoledge should be able to cover any war. Like you said, your a christian and your god protects you. Too bad what he protects you from is intelligence. Dont you have a bunch of back taxes to pay?

    January 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. Rhonda

    Why is this guy still talking and more importantly, why is the media still listening? I say report on the war and stop reporting on Joe the Plummer

    January 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Dave C - NJ

    He's angry that he's got missles launched at him, however the missles are the only reason he is there?

    So he goes there to "report" and all he comes back with is that no REAL reporters should be allowed to report? Seriously?

    Is there a Guiness book category for "biggest joke of the planet"?

    January 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. J-Syxx

    And this guy has the arogance to call other people socialists???

    January 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Kevin

    Oh, this is all we need – this illiterate idiot making the US look even more stupid.

    No, journalists should keep reporting on the war, they just shouldn't give this goon a moment's attention.

    January 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Cathy

    This report is fied under 'Uncategorized'

    Joe is truly 'Uncategorized'

    Join them and fight and plumb away the terrorists...

    January 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Shon

    Why oh why do Republicans keep making fools of themselves. This man sounds like an idiot. On the one hand he says the media coverage is biased, then he states that he wants to cover Israel's side of the story. He's making a fool of himself.

    January 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. dave from chicago

    in every miserable situation there are always good people willing to step forward and tell the truth. joe is one of these few. as in germany there were some christians who saved jews at the risk to their own life.

    January 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. beartrack

    This poor fool. Hasn't anyone taken him aside and explained to him how really stupid he is. Go away.

    January 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. David

    Why do the news media keep reporting on this moron?

    January 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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