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Thread: Legendary White House reporter Helen Thomas retiring

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Legendary White House reporter Helen Thomas retiring

    Helen Thomas, the 89-year-old veteran White House correspondent, will retire effective immediately in the wake of her offensive comments on Israel.

    "Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately," a Hearst Newspapers statement said. "Her decision came after her controversial comments about Israel and the Palestinians were captured on videotape and widely disseminated on the Internet."

    Thomas, who transitioned from reporter to columnist in 2000 but kept her front-row seat at White House briefings, had come under fire for her statement that Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine" and that Jews in Israeli should return to Germany, Poland, or the US.

    Thomas apologized for the comments, saying:

    "I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon."
    The White House Monday called Thomas' remarks "offensive and reprehensible."

    "Helen Thomas' comments were indefensible and the White House Correspondents Association board firmly dissociates itself from them," the WHCA said in a statement. "Many in our profession who have known Helen for years were saddened by the comments, which were especially unfortunate in light of her role as a trail blazer on the White House beat."

    The WHCA statement added that the incident "does revive the issue of whether it is appropriate for an opinion columnist to have a front row seat in the WH briefing room."

    Story continues below

    More from the Associated Press:

    The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham H. Foxman, said Sunday that Thomas' apology didn't go far enough.

    "Her suggestion that Israelis should go back to Poland and Germany is bigoted and shows a profound ignorance of history," Foxman said in a statement. "We believe Thomas needs to make a more forceful and sincere apology for the pain her remarks have caused."

    Thomas began her long career with the wire service United Press International in 1943, and started covering the White House in 1960, according to a biography posted on her website. She became a columnist for Hearst in 2000.Helen Thomas RETIRING Effective Immediately
    I know what she said was wrong but damn, this woman is 89 years old and has been a steady and impartial observer of the Washington scene since George Washington or something. One slipup in a career that long and this is how it ends. Sad, very sad.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I bet Foxman is relieved he can talk about something other than why IDF forces were justified in shooting people in the head four times at close range in international waters.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yeah. I love the White House reaction too.

    Honest comment = reprehensible.

    Israel murdering a bunch of unarmed activists on boats in international waters including one with American citizenship = perfectly fine

    The world is fucked up.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Unfortunately the fate of Helen Thomas is tied to pretty much nothing and I think politicians are convinced that the fate of teh world, or at least a large portion in it, is tied to somehow redressing the imbalance in the Middle East, ie Israel surrounded by hostile neighbours. I think they're dead wrong but I also know that diplomacy is all about walking a fine line, particularly when you hold most of the cards.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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    A Friendly Note to Many of Israel's Defenders
    June 08, 2010

    From the sickeningly rancid, foully infected underbelly of the Outraged Furor! over Helen Thomas's violation of The Sacred Rules Concerning What Is Permissible to Say About Israel, there is one "argument" offered by Israel's defenders that might be among my favorite debating tactics of recent years.

    In their efforts to prove beyond all dispute that Thomas is a vicious anti-Semite who loathes every Jew who has ever lived and longs for the day when every single one of them is dead, these defenders of notably horrifying and murderous State terrorism gleefully spit out: "It's just like saying, 'Hey, all you Black Americans! Go back to Africa!' And we all know what it would mean if someone said that!"

    I've heard and read this a huge number of times in the last several days. I am forced to admit that the comparison is staggering in its power. It makes the point with concision, and the historic parallels are overwhelming. To review briefly, and despite the very painful familiarity of these facts: significant numbers of Africans voluntarily, indeed enthusiastically, migrated westward and took over large parts of the eastern seaboard of what was then the United States beginning in the mid-1800s. They were able to do this because they had the unending support in a multitude of forms of the most powerful Nation-States of the time. The Africans claimed that a special dispensation from ... well, something or other ... ordained that the land mass designated by the name "United States" was uniquely theirs. The Nation-States that made possible the Africans' conquest and domination agreed.

    In the ensuing century and a half, the Africans slaughtered most of those they found living in the United States, beginning in the eastern states and then steadily continuing their campaign of murder and destruction across the continent. The few survivors fled further and further west. The Africans inexorably pursued them, all still with the backing of certain immensely powerful Nation-States. Eventually, the Africans drove the remaining previous inhabitants of the United States into just three or four very small areas in (what were then called) Arizona and New Mexico. From that point on and continuing to the present, the Africans forbade virtually anyone and anything from moving into or out of these impossibly restricted areas. Although it is rarely talked about or admitted, people will eventually acknowledge, when pressed, that the Americans forced to remain in these concentration camps must endure conditions that are among the most nightmarish on earth.

    Given this history, well-known to every young school child in the world, it is indeed exactly the same to say that the Israelis should "get out of Palestine" and to demand that the Africans should "get out of the United States." The argument is unanswerable to a degree that causes me profound embarrassment and distress. I greatly resent having the pathetic shabbiness of my views revealed in this manner.

    But perhaps I might offer an exceedingly minor piece of unsolicited and doubtless unwanted advice to many of those who regularly defend Israel's systematic State terrorism, extended entirely free of charge and only because I'm a hell of a sweet guy:

    You don't need to work at making yourselves stupid. Seriously.

    On a related note: it is not "brave" or "courageous" of you in the slightest degree to side with unanswerable power, or to act as enforcers of permissible speech. To the contrary, that choice is one of the least courageous choices imaginable. It is also remarkably, astonishingly ... well, stupid. But I've told you that you don't need to work at that.

    I have a number of other, considerably more complex points I want to make about this Helen Thomas episode. I'll get to all that in the next day or so. But I came across this particular "argument" several times again this morning. So I wanted to get this out of the way.

    For me, one of the more gut-wrenching aspects of today's monstrous culture, a culture that kills each and every manifestation of empathy, understanding and compassion with relentlessly systematic determination, is the combination of unending destruction, cruelty, violence and murder with the most abysmally wretched depths of stupidity.

    In certain respects, that is my own personal nightmare. And so, so many people work with such diligence to make it real every single day. They needn't work at that, either, and I desperately wish they would stop.

    Assuredly, they will not.


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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
    A Friendly Note to Many of Israel's Defenders
    June 08, 2010

    From the sickeningly rancid, foully infected underbelly of the Outraged Furor! over Helen Thomas's violation of The Sacred Rules Concerning What Is Permissible to Say About Israel, there is one "argument" offered by Israel's defenders that might be among my favorite debating tactics of recent years.

    In their efforts to prove beyond all dispute that Thomas is a vicious anti-Semite who loathes every Jew who has ever lived and longs for the day when every single one of them is dead, these defenders of notably horrifying and murderous State terrorism gleefully spit out: "It's just like saying, 'Hey, all you Black Americans! Go back to Africa!' And we all know what it would mean if someone said that!"

    I've heard and read this a huge number of times in the last several days. I am forced to admit that the comparison is staggering in its power. It makes the point with concision, and the historic parallels are overwhelming. To review briefly, and despite the very painful familiarity of these facts: significant numbers of Africans voluntarily, indeed enthusiastically, migrated westward and took over large parts of the eastern seaboard of what was then the United States beginning in the mid-1800s. They were able to do this because they had the unending support in a multitude of forms of the most powerful Nation-States of the time. The Africans claimed that a special dispensation from ... well, something or other ... ordained that the land mass designated by the name "United States" was uniquely theirs. The Nation-States that made possible the Africans' conquest and domination agreed.

    In the ensuing century and a half, the Africans slaughtered most of those they found living in the United States, beginning in the eastern states and then steadily continuing their campaign of murder and destruction across the continent. The few survivors fled further and further west. The Africans inexorably pursued them, all still with the backing of certain immensely powerful Nation-States. Eventually, the Africans drove the remaining previous inhabitants of the United States into just three or four very small areas in (what were then called) Arizona and New Mexico. From that point on and continuing to the present, the Africans forbade virtually anyone and anything from moving into or out of these impossibly restricted areas. Although it is rarely talked about or admitted, people will eventually acknowledge, when pressed, that the Americans forced to remain in these concentration camps must endure conditions that are among the most nightmarish on earth.

    Given this history, well-known to every young school child in the world, it is indeed exactly the same to say that the Israelis should "get out of Palestine" and to demand that the Africans should "get out of the United States." The argument is unanswerable to a degree that causes me profound embarrassment and distress. I greatly resent having the pathetic shabbiness of my views revealed in this manner.

    But perhaps I might offer an exceedingly minor piece of unsolicited and doubtless unwanted advice to many of those who regularly defend Israel's systematic State terrorism, extended entirely free of charge and only because I'm a hell of a sweet guy:

    You don't need to work at making yourselves stupid. Seriously.

    On a related note: it is not "brave" or "courageous" of you in the slightest degree to side with unanswerable power, or to act as enforcers of permissible speech. To the contrary, that choice is one of the least courageous choices imaginable. It is also remarkably, astonishingly ... well, stupid. But I've told you that you don't need to work at that.

    I have a number of other, considerably more complex points I want to make about this Helen Thomas episode. I'll get to all that in the next day or so. But I came across this particular "argument" several times again this morning. So I wanted to get this out of the way.

    For me, one of the more gut-wrenching aspects of today's monstrous culture, a culture that kills each and every manifestation of empathy, understanding and compassion with relentlessly systematic determination, is the combination of unending destruction, cruelty, violence and murder with the most abysmally wretched depths of stupidity.

    In certain respects, that is my own personal nightmare. And so, so many people work with such diligence to make it real every single day. They needn't work at that, either, and I desperately wish they would stop.

    Assuredly, they will not.
    Thank you so much for posting that, sasha (whoops!). That was incredibly well said.
    Last edited by buttmunch; June 9th, 2010 at 03:16 PM.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Yeah, sorry but that's a complete bullshit comparison regarding the article's fictional Africans and Israel, and anyone that's ever read anything truthful about the Middle East and the founding of Israel would know it. You don't have to be a hard line unrepentant Israel supporter to see it.

    The current Gaza issue aside (where Israel is wrong), both sides share the blame for this long bloody conflict.

    Helen Thomas was great reporter, but she made a big mistake, it's a shame that the end of career will be shadowed by this.



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    Well, Israel did push the Palestinians out, took land (some at the behest of the UN and international powers, some through their own rampaging) and they continue to squeeze them into smaller and smaller areas, forcing them to live under conditions that are tantamount to apartheid. Setttlements, anyone? Settlements that continue to expand and are, to an extent, about water rights? Water rights that develop into laws where the settlers are allowed to have much bigger water tanks than Palestinians are allowed to have? It's an endless cycle of repression over there.

    I think Helen Thomas lost the plot and shot her mouth off, but I guess she's seen enough over the years to blow her top as an old lady. I'm a big fan and think this is a sad end for her. I hope she writes a book about everything she's seen and heard for all those decades.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Yeah, sorry but that's a complete bullshit comparison regarding the article's fictional Africans and Israel, and anyone that's ever read anything truthful about the Middle East and the founding of Israel would know it. You don't have to be a hard line unrepentant Israel supporter to see it.
    I remember reporting for my university newspaper on a lecture by an Emory University professor concerning how a lot of the land was acquired by Israeli settlers.

    What he said was that typically Jewish settlers would buy land from absentee Palestinian/Arabic landowners. Then, they would evict any peasant farmers or squatters who were on the land. Even though it was technically fair, and probably non-violent in its execution, it would probably come across as a cruel practice that would leave a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people there.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    I remember reporting for my university newspaper on a lecture by an Emory University professor concerning how a lot of the land was acquired by Israeli settlers.

    What he said was that typically Jewish settlers would buy land from absentee Palestinian/Arabic landowners. Then, they would evict any peasant farmers or squatters who were on the land. Even though it was technically fair, and probably non-violent in its execution, it would probably come across as a cruel practice that would leave a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people there.
    I can absolutely understand why they would feel that way.


    This is one of the rare cases where both sides have legitimate grievances. Both are right and both are wrong. Both have been agressors and both have been victims. It's a Gordian knot.



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    From what I learned in history at uni, in part, was that the Zionists drove many Palestinians off their land, rampaging through villages and terrorizing the occupants. There was also the ongoing conflict between the British and the Zionists, which many Palestinians fled from in fear and then lost their land when it was claimed by 'settlers'. This is the root of the right of return.
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    "I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon."
    How is telling the Israelis to get the hell out of Palestine and go back to Germany & Poland not a reflection of her heart-felt beliefs? Neither Israel or the Palestinians are innocent in this clusterfuck, but it doesn't change the fact that Thomas shot herself in the foot and thereby ended her career. And despite everything she's done over the years, this will be her final legacy. That's all on her and no one else.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if dementia has set in.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Could be, Butt. Or maybe her Depends were too tight that day.

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    I'm going with dementia. She's too smart and been around too long to make such a junior cub kind of mistake, ie letting her emotions get the best of her.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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