January 12th, 2009
03:01 PM ET
12 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. Jennifer NY

    Well, for once I agree with "Joe the Plumber"....he is right. People don't have realistic expectations or even basic understanding of what war is. If the Isaelis don't put a stop to Hamas who are killers (these people torture the Palestinians who don't agree with their "political" party)....the Palestinian people are suffering – not because of Israelis – but because of Hamas. Hamas has done NOTHING constructive for the Palestinian people....of course, they should live in peace – but are the Israelis to just let them continuously bombard their villages and schools with rockets and missiles....Iran has been arming Hamas who has nothing more in mind than to start this war with the Israelis....they are not interested in peace, educating their people, commerce, or anything else....they are KILLERS!!!

    January 12, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Retired Military

    Amazing. As we love to say around here: "It's not real, is it, GrandMa?" This poor idiot might be comical if not for those that believe he might be valid. His 15 minutes of fame should be over soon. We can hope.

    January 12, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. Charm

    While I think this man is a complete buffoon, he is onto something. The media should always present both sides of the conflict. It makes me sick to think of the innocent people, mainly children, who are suffering and dying. And while it's sickening that Hammas is using Gazans as human shields, who put Hamas into power in Gaza? Hamas was smart enough to recognize that if they built the infrastructure that was missing in Gaza and provided Gazans with everyday needs, the people would back them. Unfortunately, they are now in a catch-22 as human shields. Hammas has played and replayed their hand to the point where Isreal finally retaliates with the intent to wipe out Hammas. How is this to be solved?

    If other free nations, along with Isreal and Arab countries would have provided Gaza with funding to build their infrastructure and provide social services, education, etc in the first place, Hammas would have had a harder time making their foothold in Gaza. Oh well, just my thoughts. I'm not a expert on anything.

    But as for Joe the Plumber, I'm really sick of reading about this guy. He has nothing to offer and makes me think mediocrity seems to be the new fashion for us Americans. :/

    January 12, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |

    HAHAHA these are the hardships of daily life in southern israel? They have to take "quick showers" and "can't take a picnic". Go compare what the Palestinians are living like with jets and helicopters bombing them.

    This is so hilarious comparing the Palestinian rockets with what Israel is shooting at them.

    Peace loving man my butt! This guy looks like the kind that would would scream in enjoyment as he's shooting someone. you can always hear the US troops in Iraq laughing and applauding as they are shooting someone or calling in an airstrike on them.

    I know war has to happen sometimes but you dont enjoy it. This guy is a liar and a war hawk. Hed be a proponent of nuking moslem mecca or something.

    January 12, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. ridge

    Boy, you really can't make this stuff up!

    January 12, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Blue in NC

    The problem is that Western journalists aren't being allowed in. All of the video and news that we're getting from Gaza is from the "Hamas Broadcast Company". HARDLY fair and balanced!!

    January 12, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. Madge

    What a pity. Joe's fighting for a good cause, but he's such a blowhard, the point is totally lost.

    January 12, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Jordan

    Here's an idea: The media should be banned from reporting on Joe the Plumber! This guy is as irrelevant as can be.

    January 12, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. JIMBO 52

    you guys complain that Joe is biased. What about the media you so glorify. They love to report on civilian casualties, but never mention the Hamas guerrilas are shooting and hiding behind those civilians. If you don't want civilian death, come out and fight mano amano. When Israel defends themselves and Arabs die, you guys are all over it. Yeah Hoe's biased, but it's about time someone is biased for Israel. As far as banning corresp[ondents from war zones, i feel myseelf tending to agree. If every time a US soldier died in WWII it was splashed all over the media, we would have lost the war after D-Day. War is Hell, and people die. The trouble now is liberal journalists use their deaths to advance their own agenda

    January 12, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. SEH

    JTP, please crawl back into whatever hole you came out of.

    January 12, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Denisa

    Try telling the victims of genocide that the reporters should not be allowed in, better yet be a victim of genocide and then talk about the visual truth. What an ignorant jerk, who made this guy someone of importance where his opinion would really matter. If your land was stolen from you, and you were regulated to the worst part of the land, it wouldn't be terrorist attacks, that would be retribution.

    January 12, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. McCrazy

    Stop referring to Sam as a plumber, as Joe and as a correspondent.

    This is the reason this guy is still on TV.

    January 12, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. still searching for true equality in america

    shut up joe!!! please just shut up..

    January 12, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  14. Rebecca

    Ban the media? Sounds like communism

    January 12, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. mohammed

    I agree with joe in some part. Reporting on somethings that you are absolutly biased on should be banned. You mr. are absolutly baised to call yourself a corespondant. if you began your reporting by saying "Israel should have attacked sooner" then you are there as a bropaganda tool than a reporter. For any news media to sit back and let this indvidual call himself a reporter is to let people think that being a reporter is nothing more than being a mouth peice.

    January 12, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Vem Vertym

    An example how shallow Americans can be.
    When it comes to stupidity and criminal attitude ..The sky is the limit !!
    Call him "Joe The Moron"
    Congratulations for the Israeli Terroists..They have a MORON in their side !!

    January 12, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. chris

    Two more things...."Pyjama.com"????Wow that's fierce! Also, what about the irony of Joe complaining about the media, when he in FACT is being questioned by the media? Stay in the bunker, man

    January 12, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Jimi NY

    Let's ban the media from talking about Joe the Plumber.

    January 12, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Justin

    I was just getting use to being proud of my U.S. roots again with the dawn of hope in our land...but another day in (sur)reality hits when Joe the Plumber corresponds from war on how there shouldn't be war correspondences!

    January 12, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. Rick

    This guy is right on the money....get those idiotic journalists out of the war zones. They don't report the news, they report their opinion and those opinions are usually what their demented liberal professors have told them it should be.

    January 12, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. Mack

    Spare the guy, even though he has tried to hog as much limelight as possible one must try and analyze things objectively. For instance his question on tax to obama was a valid one. Oh and btw i was a volunteer in the obama campaign at Chicago for 2 years. It was election season so we piled up on him.

    Again even though his point of banning media from war sounds silly he is correct that media does not always show the complete picture. We talk about disproportionate response by Israel and suffering of Gazans. But do not forget that if Hamas had the same weapons as Israel it will have no qualms about killing every Israeli whether they are women or children. We are staring in the eyes of an ideology that loathes our very existence. Wake up please !

    January 12, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Laughing in Nashville

    Poor Joe, what an idiot.

    The whole point of the press is to pry, expose, and start the dialogue. Without them we wouldn't know anything about the war.

    So Joe's idea of war correspondence is to keep out the press and trust the leadership to do everything fairly?

    January 12, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. RB

    I'll second his nomination for RNC Chairman.

    The Grand Old Party needs someone like this man.
    He represents the average Joe.
    He speaks truth to power.
    He is good people.

    January 12, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Ken

    Joe Is SO right!! The media should be banned from everything!! –

    Without the media we would not have known that Joe was delinquent in his taxes and that he wasn't even a plumber!!

    January 12, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Kevin

    "The media shouldn't cover wars," said the man hired by a media organization to cover the war.

    January 12, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 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