I just read a story about unfortunate remarks by Helen Thomas, the White House reporter who has been covering the white house since the Eisenhower administration. They have gotten her in deep shit with the Jewish community. I’m not going to post the clip here, because I love Helen and don’t really want to “pile on” by spreading her screw up even further. I think she was expressing her anger towards a brutal Israeli government that continues to kill innocent men, women and CHILDREN. Ever heard of cluster bombs? She has issued an apology for her remarks which is here. I had the honor to meet Helen a few years back, the university I work at brought her in to speak. Her niece is a local news anchor. I’ve also exchanged emails with her since then and she is a very kind, generous woman who also isn’t afraid to speak her mind to power. She is the only reporter who held George W. Bush’s feet to the fire. The ONLY one.
Ari Fleischer is calling for her to be fired for her remarks, which of course is an overreaction. Considering Helen has been doing this since 1943, if this is the worst screw up she’s had, I think we can cut her some slack. What she said about Jews going home and occupying are akin to racists in America telling African Americans to go home, she screwed up. The history of that land and who owns it is a long one and it’s not so cut and dry. I’m often reminded of America’s own claims of ownership on this land, in my opinion Native Americans are the original owners of this land but we all know that they don’t exactly have control of it now, do they?
She’s apologized and it’s time to move on. Helen Thomas is an icon and a much needed voice in the white house briefing room, even if you don’t always agree with her. We need her to ask the questions no one else will ask, the ones that aren’t about some freakin’ poll but the issues that are important to the American people.
(Update: CNN is reporting that Helen Thomas is retiring. Thanks Helen for all you’ve done for America over the years, you will be missed)
(Updated Again: Crooks and Liars has a post about it with details on the hate from the right and the Jewish community)