What the Hell Happened to Helen Thomas?

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What the Hell Happened to Helen Thomas?

After 67 years of reporting from the White House, legend, Helen Thomas has been fired — or she quit depending on who you talk to. After being quoted across YouTube for saying Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine," the media and blogosphere errupted.

 

Of all the dumb and corrupt things that are said and done in Washington, Thomas' comments are the least of them. For a woman with such an incredibly illustrious career and the only correspondent who has covered ten administrations (that's everyone since JFK) I'm sorry to see her exit go down this way.

Watch Laura Flander's take on Thomas from Grit TV.

Thomas turns 90 this year.



Comments [68]

Grace Moon's picture

For Realz

people lets not go down this road of arguing the right and wrong of Israel/Palestine.

any more incendiary remarks will be deleted.

tweet tweet @gracemoon

karrr's picture

velvet park has crossed the

velvet park has crossed the island and that pacific pond and made it into the world of lots of tiny nationalities countries smashed together with borders galore.

 

nice to see some fresh passionate voices here bringing up some ideas from the source. welcome welcome!

Yvonne's picture

Why?

Why not debating? it's just opinions in a virtual word, where you can finally see some else's point of view. If I am offending someone please tell me why and how.

or am I wrong Grace Moon Grace?

Not2Taem's picture

Hi Yvonne

I just tried to PM you, but ran into that whole premium membership thing. I hope you don't mind me asking here. I went to your profile and noticed you have several languages listed; Way to go! I'm wondering if they are listed in the order that you first learned them. Most folks here are native English speakers and I think sometimes we forget that a lot can be lost in translation, even for second language speaker is fluent. Certainly a lot of the heat here is due to different backgrounds and political orientations, but I wonder if some of it may also be that we all need to listen with an understanding that tone can often be lost in translation.

Respectfully,

Tae

Yvonne's picture

Hey Tae

Thank you for the clarification, as you are saying, I think my sarcasm wasn't understood.

Personally I intended to steer the conversation beyond what Helen Thomas said to why she said it, reading posts offending her eventually offended me. So I posted . 

But I think everything is cool now, I read the replies and did not find them offensive. 

SMBrown's picture

Ok, but...

Until now I think it's been a really thoughtful, respectful discussion (the kind that gives me hope cooler heads could prevail in the MidEast).  Just sayin'...

Yvonne's picture

What the hell happened to Helen Thomas... really

Saying that Israelis should get the hell out of Palestine land to go back to Poland, Germany, the USA, Russia etc... Doesn't she know that these people suffered and deserve a break? Doesn't she know that she should clean her mouth before speaking about Israel, THE ONLY DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY in the middle east? Shame on her really.

Palestine people, (or what's left of them) should burn in hell, waste them all methodically, and kill (in way or another) all of those who still stand and talk about them and what happened to them.. Pff Her and her Lebanese roots..

She is talking about the innocent Israeli citizens, not the politicians and their ways to manipulate everyone.. because the mass is usually smart.

Long live Herzl, Long Live Balfour.

SMBrown's picture

Lovely--you're advocating

Lovely--you're advocating genocide.  Way to learn the lessons of the Holocaust (not!).

Yvonne's picture

advocating genocide

What I was saying and referring to in my post is the daily life of Palestinian people and all those who support a right, non-brainwashed cause, it just seems that putting them in words surprises everyone..

SMBrown's picture

Lost in translation?

I'm still not completely understanding--but trying!  So your statement about Palestinians was sarcastic, and meant to represent how some OTHERS think?

Yvonne's picture

yes

Yes, it is both, because this has been going on for more than 60 years ago, so logically it is what most think. right?

When you deport millions of Palestinians out of their country and kill, seize and punish the others that are left, then it is what most think.

just noticed your last reply.. sorry for repeating posts.

Grace Moon's picture

...

Yvonne, srly?

either you are joking and we didn't get it or something else.

Lets take this convo down a noch shall we people. Me and my Arab roots are offended.

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Yvonne's picture

yes srly

[...] either you are joking and we didn't get it or something else [...]

Actually it's all of them Grace. It's the bitter funny reality Palestine is living, and everyone not getting it, along with something else called misleading and brainwashing.

I beg you to re-think about your blog, when and if knowing that millions of people in Gaza, West Bank and Jerusalem are reading it under threats of methodical abolishment.

There is a truth that is hidden from your eyes, it's been lately partially shown in an incident called Flolita boat, if the same incident would've happened to Arabs, and 20 were killed from any Arab country, no one would've cared and no news would've mentionned it.

I hope you do not remove my post, you stated your opinion and I'm just stating my reality.

 

SMBrown's picture

Arab roots, really?  I did

Arab roots, really?  I did not know that.  Cool...

Rusty's picture

speaking of pff

So Israeli citizens are "innocent" but "Palestine people, (or what's left of them) should burn in hell, waste them all methodically, and kill (in way or another) all of those who still stand and talk about them and what happened to them."

This is the attitude that is causing many staunch supporters of Israel (myself included) to start doubting the morality of that choice.

(Somebody flagged your comment, but I hope it's left up. Thomas shouldn't have been punished for voicing her opinion and neither should you.)

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Yvonne's picture

Sure

Because this attitude is denied, you may talk nicely as much as you want but when it comes to the truth, you will find a forced link between what happened in World War II and the defense of Israel. This link is illogical and delusional. Arabs did not murder one Jew person.

I respect and cherish all religions and I am an advocate of peace but I just do not get the link between the occupation of one land, fleeing all its people to the surroundings and methodically abolishing others and link it with the Holaucost -which by the way is disgusting and immoral as aproved by all nations and in no way anyone can deny it- 

But the truth I know makes me free to come here and state this opinion, whereas many others still deny justice just because no one told them otherwise, and every single brainwashing media works for the offender.

For all I know I will be flagged again and called anti-semite. It's fashionable now to call everyone who gets to the point anti-semite. Because if you talk about Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, it's fine to call their people and politicians terrorists. And any other explanation to see that there is no link between the Holaucost and the creation of 'Israel', is an offense to Human Rights. 

Now please check Hertzl and his era, then check Balfour promise and its year and get the link.

Flagged?

SMBrown's picture

Yvonne, if I'm reading you

Yvonne, if I'm reading you correctly now, then you appear to be in agreement with many of us--certainly Rusty and me.  I think we didn't understand your sarcasm in your original post--sorry.

Yvonne's picture

ok

But what I was trying to add, is the truth that defending Palestine is not an opinion or choice between two. And certainly Helen Thomas should be more respected in your media.. and I say finally she spoke! =)

Peace

nerdyboi's picture

double standard

Thanks for explaining more. Originally I missed the sarcasm, but if I'm getting it, there totally is this double standard, where people say things about Palestinians that are so nasty it's almost unbelievable, but then any criticism of Israeli state policies is automatically considered, in the US at least, to be outside the realm of possible discourse. It's always scary when there's something that can't be criticised....

Not2Taem's picture

And so did you

Personally, I say thank you for your directness and honesty.

Rusty's picture

economic warfare

It's the economic warfare, stupid. "Official Israeli Document Admits Blockade Is About Collective Punishment"

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/6/10/874698/-UPDATE-III-McClatchy...

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Rusty's picture

And also, she was no longer a

And also, she was no longer a White House reporter. She was a columnist.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Rusty's picture

Diversionary tactic?

Diversionary tactic? - hell yes. Are we discussing Israel's attack on a civilian vessel? Nope. We're talking about Helen Thomas expressing her opinion. Cuz you know what she said is so much more heinous than what they did.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

minniesota's picture

Doesn't deserve a break

I'm not giving Helen Thomas a  break because she doesn't deserve a break on this situation. She's tough enough to take her lumbs even at 89. She apologized for her remarks and resigned. We shoudn't be giving her a break or making excuses.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Rusty's picture

context

I'm not giving her a break because I don't think she needs one. She expressed her opinion. I'm just sorry she apologized for it. Her comment is clearly being taken out of context:

Nesenoff: So you're saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany?

Thomas: And America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries? See?

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

minniesota's picture

She still doesn't deserve a

She still doesn't deserve a break.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Rusty's picture

I didn't say she does. I said

I didn't say she does. I said she doesn't need one.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Joanne Robertson's picture

She's

89 for goodness sake.

I don't care how "switched on" you are (or have been) in the past, at 89 you're going to have a fall, miss the mark or say something politically incorrect or out of step with modern thinking.

Maybe we all need to check ourselves .... Thomas could say she doesn't believe in gay marriage at this point and I'd still err on the side of compassion for her - because she's freaking 89!

minniesota's picture

Just because you are old doesn't mean you are right

I will not give her a break just because she is 89. That is just being condescending to older people.

 

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Joanne Robertson's picture

There are

realities to being a certain age.

I have a family member who (until recently) was a total pistol - she's 88 and now slipping into senility rapidly.  Just because Thomas spent her days in the White House instead of an old persons home, doesn't mean this isn't happening to her.

I don't condescend old-er people, I'm just not in denial about the aging process (though I'm not suggesting you are) I just think you're being a tad uncompassionate due to the passion you feel about the topic she spoke of.

Robin Rigby's picture

And yet there are people who

And yet there are people who are sharp well into their 90's & 100's.  Just because one relative of yours started to lose it at 88, that doesn't mean everyone does.  My grandmother was sharp as a tack & still living on her own into her 90's. 

I would have to agree with Mystics & G4G about the fact that no one is permitted to speak frankly about all the unconscionable things that Israel has done.

Joanne Robertson's picture

I'm still

not going to hate on an 89 year old.

I can live with the fact an elderly journo said something I don't agree with.

There are bigger (more dangerous) fish to fry.

Robin Rigby's picture

I was not suggesting that you

I was not suggesting that you should start hating on old folks.  Quite the opposite.  I actually thought that your prior comment was kind of condescending.

Joanne Robertson's picture

.

.

minniesota's picture

No

I am not being uncompassionate for Helen Thomas as a person. I am disappointed in her as a professional journalist.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

SMBrown's picture

A double-edged sword

Minnie, the thing of it is, what has distinguished Helen throughout her career has been her candor, her journalistic irascibility.  We (well at least me) all cheered when she called W the 'worst President ever,' when she was one of the few critics of the Iraq War, when time and again she stood up for women around the world.  She offended more people than usual here, but make no mistake she's been offending people from Day One--the truth hurts.  

minniesota's picture

Irascible

I need to be more irascible!

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

SMBrown's picture

Nah...I prefer your 'light'

Nah...I prefer your 'light' touch! 

Joanne Robertson's picture

Same

thing.

minniesota's picture

Old age

I'm much older than you so chalk up our disagreement to my old age.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

minniesota's picture

Hubris.

What the hell happened is simple Hubris.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Interesting...

Helen Thomas' views, expressed to a blogger who is also a Rabbi, and recorded without her knowledge or permission, are shared by many, including many non-Zionist Jews.  A large protion of the global population views modern Israel as a European colony within the Middle East, and even Israel has acknowledged in the past that many recent arrivals to Israel since the fall of the former Soviet Union have specious claims at best with regards to their Jewish ancestry.

Thomas' comments, by the way, were a month old before they hit the media.  The timing is suspect, given far more recent events of a far more tragic nature.  This smacks of typical media distraction tactics.

Also interesting is that, while the Obama Administration gave a weak (at best) response to the shooting deaths of nine unarmed civilians by Israeli commandos who boarded their ship in international waters (said remark coming nearly a day after the incident), the Obama Administration was very quick to condemn Thomas, a US citizen speaking her mind off the record, who killed no one.

Not only is the timing suspect, but so are the motivations of the mainstream media and the Obama Administration.

minniesota's picture

Not just a citizen

Helen Thomas is not just a US Citizen. She is a journalist. As journalist, she should know the affect of her remarks. A journalist is held to a higher standard.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Even during private moments?

The version of events I got from the BBC indicate Thomas was not acting in a professional capacity, but was engaged in what she thought was a private, off-the-record, conversation.  I've never known Thomas to allow her personal feelings to create bias in her journalism.

What we have here is a case of "gotcha" journalism, timed to distract the rest of us from something far worse.  If I had pulled on someone what was pulled on Thomas, and used it in the way it has been used, I not only would have been chewed out by my professors, I would have flunked Journalism Ethics.

I'm not saying I agree (or disagree) with what Thomas said.  What I object to was how this whole mess came about, the timing of how it got out, and how it was used to destroy a brilliant career, all in the name of changing the subject and creating a distraction.

It just plain stinks, in my opinion.  I also find it hypocritical of the media to go after Thomas for her comments, but Rush, Bilbo, Beck, they pretty much can spout off with whatever against whomever, and little mention of it is made.

minniesota's picture

Not a private moment

It wasn't a private moment. It was a public moment. She was in a public place when she made her response. Acting ethically is not predicated on what others do, Limbaugh etc. Only what what you should do.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Rusty's picture

agreed

I agree and I find the anti-Thomas outrage to be outrageous. And yes, it's smells like an attempt to divert attention away from the flotilla story. I'm not condoning what she said, but it's oo bad the Obama White House couldn't find the courage to express as much disgust with the Israeli actions as they did with  Thomas' comments.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

minniesota's picture

Not outrageous

 I don't find the the outrage about Thomas' remarks to be outrageous. I didn't like what happened with the Flotilla but I also dislike journalists who think they can be glib about a very serious situation as Israel and Palestine.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Rusty's picture

You have every right to

You have every right to express your opinion and Helen Thomas had every right to express her opinion on the Israeli occupation. She just forgot that free speech is suspended when criticizing Israel.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Bingo

Smile

Yvonne's picture

(No subject)

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