Even when she was a mainstream, supposedly unbiased journalist, veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas made clear her sympathies for the Palestinians. She was excused for her bias because she expressed this is in the form of tough questions, not pronouncements, and didn’t go overboard.
Once she left UPI and started doing a column, any effort to hide her sympathies was off. And then she was ousted her position, and therefore from the White House press corps, when it became clear that lurking just below her pro-Palestinian views was anti-semitism.
Sure, she was quite old when she declared on the White House driveway in 2010 that the Jews should leave Israel and head back to Germany and Poland, places where they had been gassed to death and then had their corpses incinerated or thrown in ditches. But my experience with really old people is that they start saying things that they had held in check during their younger, politer years, as opposed to making up new stuff.
Here’s her final moment as the widely revered Helen Thomas:
So it’s little surprise at this point that Helen has received an award of some kind from the Palestinian envoy to the U.S. for the very words that got her booted from her final White House gig.
I felt bad after Helen’s outburst. As a young reporter who suddenly found himself amidst giants of journalism covering the White House, she had been kind to me and gave off no airs that she was some kind of legend, which she was.
And she was one of the toughest questioners in the White House press room, putting to shame those a third her age, as well as the entire group frankly that quizzes Jay Carney today.
I’d say her story is a tragedy, but its really not. Anti-semitism is a tragedy.