Monday, June 07, 2010

Goodbye Helen Thomas

Well it's official. Rather than suffer through the disgrace of losing her seat in the front row, Helen Thomas announced her immediate retirement today. The wingnuts will be pleased. They've been gunning for her for years. I don't suppose the White House will be sorry to see her go either. She's been the one asking hard questions on things that matter through many presidencies. In fact, as it turns out, her last question will have been, "When are we getting out of Afghanistan?"

I'm not definding her thoughtless remark, although I'm sure it wasn't intended to be as ugly as it sounded. But the overreaction from all sides is indefensible too. I mean she makes one blunt comment in the heat of the moment, which she immediately apologized for making, and it's a firing offense? Yet Pat Buchanan can defend Hitler endlessly and everyone just shrugs, cause you know, that's just Unka Pat? So yeah, I'm sorry to see her forced out in disgrace when there are so many worse offenders out there.

Meanwhile, the instant speculation, particularly coming from the White House Press corps, about who is going to get her front row seat is downright ghoulish. If inappropriate remarks are a cause for termination, then a whole lot of people should be fired today.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]


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Anonymous Farman said...

Fox Snooze is vying for her seat.

I'm going to throw up.

11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

So I heard. Forget who the other network was that was in competition. Drives me crazy that these guys are so fixated on seating and the pecking order of importance.

9:36:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Well the remarks do reflect her never-mentioned bias (she's Lebanese) and rather unhistorical notions of there ever having been a Palestinian free state or a Palestine without Jews in it, but she is, after all, nine hundred years old and people that old sometimes give up caring about tact and are as impulsive as teenagers. I'm getting a bit like that myself.

I'd love to ask her whether the Palestinians should go home from Lebanon and whether that home shouldn't be Jordan, but she's from the era when journalists were less approachable and accountable to the public and I doubt she's on Twitter.

Pecking order is very important to chickens and I think, vultures as well.

8:33:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

It was a stupid thing to say Fogg, but she IS 90 years old and does have a long history of criticizing Israel. Frankly I haven't read her work in years. I think she lost her edge a long time ago, and that's kind of the point. I'm sure she must have said worse during her career, but the pile on was so ugly and I really don't think she meant to be so offensive.

Anyway, she did a lot for women in journalism over a long career and it's in my nature to defend the downtrodden. I thought she deserved that much. I think she was overdue to retire, but my heart breaks a little to see her hounded out in disgrace. She was the only one that confronted the Bush admin after all and still the only one that asked real Qs at the pressers right up to the end.

10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

No, she's not Limbaugh and doesn't make a living from being offensive, and I know 90 year olds that still drop the N word and wonder why anyone objects. I try to cut them some slack.

The best people say and do the stupidest things, but hey - it still pisses me off when people start with the "Israel shouldn't exist" routine. It's a lot like the "send them back to Africa" routine, which many people of good will were behind.

If Israel shouldn't exist, then neither should Pakistan or India or Bangladesh, and millions were killed in that partition and there's a nuclear standoff in place, but we don't hear that do we, because of course, Jews aren't involved.

It's stupid to talk of sending immigrants home in a nation of immigrants wanting to close the door behind them - a nation that stole virtually all of what it has by force of arms and a nation that welcomed her parents, while turning away Jewish refugees.

The pre partition world she fantasizes about isn't any more real than the world Libertarians and civil rights haters are trying to sell. Yes, she's often been the enemy of my enemies, but that doesn't make her my friend.

1:43:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Agree that whole mindset of send them back to where they came from is wrongheaded and vile, no matter which group is targeted. Actually had an interesting exchange about that with one of my critics at DNews. If you think of it, unless you're a Native American, every other person in the US is living on land taken by force. No one has the high moral ground to be standing in judgement.

2:04:00 PM  

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