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. Ug, Texas


    January 12, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. Cori from Colorado

    Joe the plumber said "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".

    Hello IDIOT, you're in a war zone. You voluntarily placed yourself in a warzone, and then you wonder why missiles are being launched around you, then you have the nerve to become furious??? What did you expect, a starbucks latte and breakfast on a silver platter? You are one of the biggest morons to ever have walked the earth, next to George W. Bush.

    January 12, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. good ole boys from texas yeehaa

    Run... Joe... Run!! Keep running please! far... far... far away.

    January 12, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  4. chris

    Make him go away, now! Any grown man with some sort of maturity that has to spend that much time every morning shaving his head so nobody can see his male-pattern baldness is too vain for me. What the hell is he doing in Israel? How did this idiot get a visa? Lord, if that's the best PR Israel can do, God help them.

    January 12, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  5. chris

    And again, I forgot...He's Joe the PLUMBER! Soooo, the only thing he can talk about there is showers and water resources, not dying kids, not rubbled buildings, but SHOWERS. Man, I lived in the Middle East for 6 years, and SHOWERS are almost not available, hardly not even considered there. How about what your're going to eat tonight, maybe our house will blow up? What a moron

    January 12, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Samuel

    And I thought this man was a Plumber making $250k a year – a typical hardworking American enterpreneur. It seems that he was just another politician after all – What a tricky person!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. Journalism Grad

    Jam Master Mike- "I think that the point that is being missed here is that you can tell a professional journalism vs. a hack. All he is full of is biased opinion that has no substance.."

    You couldn't be further away from the truth. Here I am a journalism graduate and I can tell you straight up that there is biased in all media and each reporter will put their own spin on things. There is no way around it. Just read any newspaper, right or left leaning, and you will see how it is.

    January 12, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. J.L.

    Wow... I'm just speechless...

    Lets see... so I guess some of the fighting in the Darfur region in Sudan is a war. Maybe we just "don’t know the whole story" behind why the Janjaweed are burning villages over there. We should have Joe the Plumber go over there and get their perspective of that war?

    I guess I would just have a question for Joe the Plumber. What should the media be doing, if not reporting on conflicts such as the one in Gaza right now? Seeing what Brittney Spears has been up to? Or maybe what Levi Johnston is doing around in Alaska?

    January 12, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. (Former) Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    I'm sick and tired of Joe the Plumber! He is a complete fool who knows nothing. The media should be allowed to cover this conflict truthfully.

    January 12, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. A.J Walton

    1) Joe the Plumber should do just thing – work on the plumbing business that became a political headline during the presidential campaign.

    2) Joe the Plumber should do journalism for, humm, at least a couple of days before he decides he has an opinion on what journalists should or should not be allowed to do.

    3) Joe the Plumber should realize that, wow, he is there, no matter how insane or ridiculous it is, as a reporter.

    4) Joe the Plumber should limit his talk of God because he fails to represent Jesus' idea of turning the other cheek or being a peacemaker (Matthew 5).

    5) Joe the Plumber, in the most polite way I know how to say it, should just shut his mouth.

    By the way, thank you John McCain for giving America and the world this precious jewel of a man. You really have left a lasting impression, in spite of your presidential lost, on this country, as if Sarah Palin wasn't enough.


    January 12, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. Charles Atlanta

    Hmm.. is he the only hope from GOP? No wonder so many GOP senators want to retire. This party has no future..

    January 12, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. Chris

    and what credentials does this idiot have?

    January 12, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. Matt

    Joe the Pseudo-fascist

    January 12, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. D.O'N

    What an ignorant fool...
    Let's just keep the world uninformed, information is so overrated anyhow....

    January 12, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  15. legal in nc

    Joe, keep on showing the liberals that you are a man of many talents. You'll do a great job of reporting and i'm quite sure that is what is scaring them. They are scared they won't get the biased reporting to support their agendas that the MSM has been giving them.

    January 12, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    The media already is banned from the war. When was the last time we saw a photograph of any coffins coming back home? Not that I'd love to look at something like that, but I'm not about to tell anyone they can't do it.

    January 12, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. josh (currently in sao paulo)

    why is he complaining about media covering the conflict if he is there with cameras tagging behind him?

    no doubt the media covers one side of an issue with at least some bias, but he is completely biased in his belief of retaliation

    he doesn't mention anything regarding the causes of the conflict, and it is obvious he is mentally ill-equipped to do so

    January 12, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  18. Susanne NM

    Is it a requisite of the Republican Party not to know, understand or respect the Consituion and the Bill of Rights? Or do they think it is sowthing to make paper airplanes out of?
    7 more days..7 more days...

    January 12, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. sgill724

    A war correspondent saying that war correspondents should cease to exist?


    And to clarify, I don't think the blame here lies with Israel. I think it lies with Hamas.

    I also think that Joe Wurzelbacher is kind of a tool.

    January 12, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  20. Raul

    first of all israel is not letting anyone foreign journalists cover the war so i dont know where your getting your stories from. Censorship nice thats what my parents left in Cuba.

    January 12, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  21. Amber

    Joe, you're the reason why I have to wear a Canadian flag on my backpack when I travel abroad.

    January 12, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  22. Raul

    You know if you think about his name for a minute it does make sense.... cause he sure talks alot of ........... insert plunger!

    January 12, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. KEN

    Its McCain/Palin supporters like him with his stupidity about no freedom of the press that made the Republicans the laughing stock of the last election. Funny how a supporter for Conservative and Republican values, who in the past claimed that they were out to protect freedom and embrace around the world, wants to deny that freedom here at home about the wars going on....Pathetic!!!

    January 12, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. M.R. in L.A.

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

    Hey Joe...question about your ban...should it go into effect right now? Right this very moment when you are acting as a member of the media? Or do you conveniently believe this ban doesn't apply to you? That you're somehow brighter and more enlightened than the average American who pays their taxes, pays their child support, and is legitimately qualified to perform their chosen profession?
    The thing about you Joe that's so pathetic is that you're too moronic to even realize how hypocritical your statement is.

    CNN – could you televise a debate between JtP and Heidi and Spencer from the Hills to help illustrate the dire need to improve America's public schools? Then we could chain them all to the Capital Building spewing nonsensical bon mots as a reminder to congress people as they start their day of how critical their work on education reform is.

    January 12, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. Elsee

    Everyone, close your eyes, prretend you don't know anything, bow down and give up all your life choices to those who say, "We know what we're doing. You don't have to know."

    January 12, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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