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. Long Live the Plumber

    I wish he would go to Gaza to tell Israel’s side of the story from there too... Does one have the right to schools, hospitals, food, clean water, basic necessities, etc, etc, etc? Does one have the right to live in peace with freedom?

    It is all perspective. Palestinians believe Israelis are the terrorists since they took their land away from them, have not adhered to any UN resolution, treat humans like animals. It is funny and disappointing to hear how people in America are so biased towards Israel. This is getting old. Wake up to reality. Read up on some history. When America was fighting against the British to gain freedom, I think Britain would have considered us terrorists and we considered ourselves freedom fighters. If you take an objective stance on this ME conflict one would clearly see who are the real terrorists.

    January 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. Nick - West Hills (L.A.), CA

    a: Israel should continue beating down on Gaza's Militants 'till they stop firing rockets in to Israel. That's a no-brainer.

    b: Joe the plumber should stick to unclogging toilets.

    c: If we prevent the media from reporting on war, we'll have more war. Joe the plumber is a fool, and his opinion on what the media should to is inconsequential.

    d: pjtv.com needs to change itself to a website where pajamas are sold.

    January 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. cool onlooker

    Not interested in this kind of persona whatsoever. Full of non-sense.

    With barely a high school diploma, no professional licence, can anyone become a war reporter in a professional manner?! What a farce!

    January 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Ahhhh!!!

    If media should not cover war, then go home, you idiot media wannabe.

    January 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Fred

    He's a plumber.......a plumber not a corrispondent!

    January 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Ariana

    This guy is such a moron. Since when does the media try to make Israel look bad??? If anything, they don't tell us nearly anything on the atrocities that Israel commits. I'm outraged that we send billions to Israel, when we need that money here in the US!!!

    The hardships of daily life in Sderot?? How about life in a refugee camp in Gaza, with no electricity, running water, etc etc etc????


    January 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. OHIO here


    January 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Frank

    Ban Joe the Plumber

    January 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. chris m

    i would love to see this man run for governer, he is a smart fellow not to fall for the bs media stories thats are given

    January 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Sandymouldin

    How many "you know" does this fool say in a minute? Get a life.

    January 12, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. uncle jimbo - Chicago

    You must be joking – giving this proven liar any platform to regurgitate more GOP talking points is pathetic.

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

    dont report on war .says joe WHERE HAVE WE HEARD THAT BEFORE.cnn you are stupid for even giving this guy space on this page.SURE DOES FIT WITH PALEN BUSH CHANEY.THEY ALL SHOULD BE IN HELL.

    January 12, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. LOL in NC

    Something smells...when is America going to flush!

    Ok so the plumber doesn't want the media to report on war???? He doesn't even know that that's just what he's doing or something like that...how dumb.

    If he's so outright furious that he's caught in the line of fire than he shouldn't be over there...why is he over there?!

    This is so funny.

    January 12, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. mike

    "Unload on the boy?" This guy is an idiot.

    January 12, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Peace

    What a contradiction Joe the plumber. You want media to be banned from war and you are there covering Israel side on conflicts. Is that not covering the war???? You are a so called funny correspondent the plumber!

    January 12, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. lynn

    Indeed, he will have far more foreign affairs knowledge than Palin when he return….

    January 12, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. B, Illinois

    Joe the Plumber decries reporting on war as he arrives in Israel to report on the war.

    Case in point, this is the perfect example of just how unbelievably stupid this man is.

    January 12, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. Greg

    You have along way to go before you can be thougth of as a reporter in a war zone Joe. There are many who have gone before you and even some of them are good and true to their profession. There are always some prostitutes as well, so those are the ones you will have to be better than.

    If you feel so strongly about the feeling of helplessness when the sirens ring, you can always stand outside and watch the event happen to get the ful impact so to speak. Me, I would refer to go into a bunker and live to write about it for another day regardless of how that made me feel. Spent a year in VietNam dodging the rockets from the DMZ so I understand the frustration well.

    January 12, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. Bri

    Joe doesn't know squat–where's the news?

    January 12, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. John

    This guy is a joke and giving him time and a camera is a waste of resources. Lets not have any more dumb and (Palin) dumber stories unless in the comedy relief section.

    January 12, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. janetlaw

    Say what? Why the h**l are we paying any attention to this idiot? C'mon, CNN, so NOT a newsworthy story. Who cares what this non-entity thinks?????

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

    Joe, please stay in Israel. Thank you.

    -The United States

    January 12, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. boered1

    As we can see he is a member of the raqdical right and has been from the start... to paraphrase him "I think that freedom of presz is a bad thing if we can control what people hear we can control what they think. Look at faux news they made everyone on the right believe everything was all peaaches and cream in Iraq and now it has turned out that way!

    and why did he run from the missle? I thought he said "God would prtect him?" I guess he equates God with Isreal...


    January 12, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. John

    Nice to see what Joe thinks of the 1st Amendment. In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny....what a maroon!

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

    Does this buffoon not understand the ironay of bemoaning media covering war while he acts as a "correspondent" covering a war. This guy is irrelevent.

    January 12, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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