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. Roberta

    Who gives a flying fudge cookie what "Joe" the Plumber's opinion is on the media. Is he actually trying to bite the hand that feeds him?

    January 12, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. penrose

    Edward R. Murrow is rolling over in his grave.

    January 12, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. Marcus

    This is so funny.The media shouldn't cover the war but there he is posing as a media insider doing what.......he's covering the war. This reminds me of the interview he gave after the election.The interview where Joe the Plumber said that he was so mad at John McCain that he wanted to get off the Straight Talk Express because of McCain's position on the bailout but he never did. He rode on the Straight Talk Express all the way to defeat. The guy is a piece of work. I think as Americans we should demand Joe the freeloader give us back our money for the times he was on welfare and then decided to call everybody else a deadbeat. Or we should demand he pay his taxes or stop complaining about bailout money that he's not frontin because he owes the government money.

    January 12, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. SFRussell1963

    Joe has had WAY more than his 15 minutes of fame. It's time for him to go away.

    January 12, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. Ty

    “I think media should be abolished from, you know, reporting,”

    January 12, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Doug in New Mexico

    Mr. Simpleton with a simpleton comment. Maybe he would like to ban the press from everything. He is not a plumber and he sure is no reporter. Some people make me nervous and he is one. He has to much extreme right wing agenda going on.

    January 12, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. kathleen

    Wait – let me get this straight. We should "ban the media," so out-of-work plumbers can better report on the situation? This reminds me of Jeff Foxworthy's bit: "It isn't that ALL Southerners (now substitute Conservatives) are dumb, we just can't seem to keep the least intelligent amongst us off the television."

    January 12, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Andy

    Well said Joe...! With every right comes responsibility...the media has been a joke over the last several years...so left leaning it's pathetic...He isn't trashing the freedom of the press as some fool will likely say..rather he's pointing out the idiocy of receiving half-truths (lies) from our "press".

    January 12, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. NYHillary

    UNREAL...This guy didn't even pay his taxes. He talks bad about McCain. Plus he's not even a license plumber. UNREAL.

    January 12, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. Phil

    This man should be banned from all public speaking both in person and via the media. He's the Ryan Seacrest of political reporting, and thats kind of an insult to Ryn Seacrest.

    January 12, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. A Former Loyal CNN Viewer

    CNN should be embarrased they even pay attention to this guy.

    January 12, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. America Held Hostage T-8 Days

    He's got a point. The Israeli conflict mostly been about Israelis cutting off the heads of children and the Palestinians are just the poor peaceful mountain people from the song "One Tin Soldier".

    January 12, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Ty

    “I think media should be abolished from, you know, reporting,”


    "I personally believe the U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh...people out there in our nation don't have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and...I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., err, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our..."

    January 12, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    Joe the fake plumber, turned war correspondent, who doesn't believe in the rights of media to cover war. There are no words to describe how preposterous this is. If I get covered in a news story on national tv and act like an idiot, will I qualify for a reporting job, too? Is this what our media has turned into – unprofessional garbage? Yes, sadly!

    January 12, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. Rick

    I love the picture to accompany the story: him standing in the middle of a field in Israel. Media should be banned but he should be able to venture over it and tell the other side? This guy's such a dimwit.

    January 12, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Sam Thornton

    I'd like to add my personal thanks to Pajama's Media, the Republican Party, John McCain, and the vast right wing conspiracy for providing some solid, comic entertainment in the form of Moosejaw Palin and "Joe" Das Klempner.

    January 12, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. William

    Well Joe.......why did you fly over to cover reporting of it? What a HYPOCRITE!!!!

    January 12, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. Paul DObro

    He should spend 5 days there and 5 days in Gaza. THEN HE CAN MAKE A JUDGEMENT.

    January 12, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. D.Kimbro OHIO

    This guy makes me ashamed to live in the same state with him. This man is a total disgrace. I would agree a previous post. He has to be on fouryeen minutes of his fame by now.

    January 12, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. Israel is not always right

    MAybe its time to Cut off aid to both Israel and Palestine?

    Perhaps we should quarden off ISrael and Palestine and let them annilate each other. Killing each other is all both parties know how to do. Peace will never be in their value systems.
    Sad...but true After 2000 years, what else is left, really

    I am sick of the US always standing up for Israel but we wont protect other countries in similar situations just because they dont have a voting block in significant numbers in our country like those of the jewish faith

    I totally understand the oppression that Jews endured in their history. their perserverance to see that opression never happens to them again is paramount
    But I am sorry, Israel 'right or wrong' is not a respectable stance anymore. ISrael is not without some blame of their own. Both sides are disfunctional.

    We will never be considered a peace broker until we even out our support. We always suypport ISrael, so if you were Arab, how much are you going to listen to peace proposals if you support one side so blindly.

    January 12, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. Libby

    Remind me why this man is qualified to be commenting on anything at all? And why his comments are being covered??

    January 12, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Steve in Louisville

    Joe, you're a Nazi.

    What a great American.

    January 12, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. hdf

    Let's ban the media from ever mentioning Joe the Plumber again; long may he live in Iraq.

    January 12, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. mom for obama

    So, Joe is in favor of censoring the media now? So that we only hear happy things? Kind of the way Bush made the media stop showing pictures of all the hundreds of caskets being flown home??

    *Wurzelbacher said. “It was fear at first, then outright anger, and then me wanting some kind of retribution.*

    Wow...just the way Yoda told it to Anakin...and look what happened with that. "Fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate..." Did Darth Plumber learn nothing?

    January 12, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  25. sstr61

    Joe (Sam) the (unlis
    censed) plumber *is* the media now that he has taken this job. He should follow his own advice.

    January 12, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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