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Monday, June 7, 2010

Helen Thomas Retires

I posted my thoughts on Columnist Helen Thomas here.  I also mentioned her on the LTC "City Life" program this AM, where my theory that she had done something wrong banged up against the view of the other three present, George Anthes, Gerry Nutter and John McDonough, that she was merely exercising her First Amendment rights.

Now comes Politico with the news that Ms Thomas has left Hearst Newspapers and gone into retirement.  Frankly, this is sad news, almost as sad as her telling a Rabbi in a quick answer that the Jews should get out of Palestine and go back to Germany and Poland.

The woman is almost 90 and has broken many barriers for female journalists.  She has covered the White House since Eisenhower was president, which is over 50 years.  It would have been better if she had gone out with a dozen roses, given her by the President.  Instead, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs noted that her comments did not reflect the view of the White House.

The story in today's Washington Post had the following as the lede:
The White House on Monday blasted veteran journalist Helen Thomas's remarks that Jews should leave Israel and go "home" to Germany, Poland and elsewhere as "offensive and reprehensible."
The WashPost, further down in the story, noted that:
On May 27, during a White House commemoration of Jewish Heritage Month, Thomas gave an impromptu interview to a Web site called Asked about recent arrests of Palestinians by Israel, Thomas said Israelis should "get the hell of Palestine."
And went on from there.

We need an open and informing debate on all the issues in the Near East and the Middle East.  For the White House this was not the start of such a debate, given the appearance of a White House that is withdrawing support from Israel, as George Anthes noted on today's "City Life".

Regards  —  Cliff


Craig H said...

She's responsible both for the much good she's done (e.g. breaking gender barriers) as well as the recent bad regarding middle eastern geopolitics. I hardly feel sorry for the sullying of her reputation, being, as it was, at her own hand and by her own volition. We should all be so lucky as to have the opportunity to be hoist on our own petard.

I won't miss her.

ncrossland said...

As journalists go, she has never been a favorite of mine. In the past few decades, many of her questions and commentary were simply daffy. However, since her earliest days, she has been known for her exceptionally sharp tongue, particularly with the Jews who she has never liked, and made no bones about it. She has also been an unabashed left-winger and if the truth didn't fit, she made it so. No foul on that accord since "truth" and "journalism" are today very estranged bedfellows.

I am not at all convinced that there is much to debate regarding Israel and the Palestinian question...or issue. One is either for Israel's existence as a nation state....or not. It really is that simple. For my part, the so-called "Gazans" are a made up bunch in response to Israel becoming a national entity. The Palestinians are essentially Arab discards, a people with no true home other than that which they claim for Arabs on the same land as that claimed by Israel. Now, they are shills for Iran and other hard line Muslim groups in the ME.

The reaction of the WH to Israel should be very discomforting to any other "ally" who may be dependent in any way on the US, now or in the near future. This behavior is what "community organizers" do. There is no "position" that is non-negotiable. Everything is as firm as newly poured Jello....which is a metaphor for describing their backbones.

America needs to stand for something and stand by what it stands for. We don't seem to do that very much any longer. But then, standing for one's beliefs is what forced Helen Thomas to retire....that and her absolutely horrible looks. She has always impressed me as being in the bag.....a hag in the bag.

C R Krieger said...

So I take that as an up-check on integrity for Helen Thomas, but a down-check for looks.

Regards  —  Cliff

ncrossland said...

Ugly is forever.....I got that from a fighter pilot friend of mine....