“The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823

IN DEFENSE OF HELEN THOMAS

Posted Jun 07 2010, 09:39 AM by Paul Jay with 57 comment(s) Helen Thomas was the dean of the White House Press corp.  She has a fifty-year history of tough-minded journalism and is one of the very, very few journalists in the mainstream press who has had the guts to question US policy towards Israel. On Monday she was pressured into resigning, “effective immediately”.

On Friday she was asked by a guy who stuck a video camera in her face, for any comments on Israel and she said, “Tell them to get the get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people [the Palestinians] are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not Germany, it’s not Poland.” She was asked where they should go and she answered, “They should go home, to Poland, Germany and America”. The video has been making its way around the Internet.

This was said days after the Israeli attack on the aid flotilla that killed at least nine activists as their boat sailed in international waters.

The Associated Press
Mon, 07 Jun 2010 12:57 EDT

.

.

© Unknown
White House Correspondent Helen Thomas, seen here in 2008, retired on Monday after coming under fire for controversial remarks about Israel.

Helen Thomas

Longtime Washington journalist Helen Thomas abruptly retired Monday, according to her employer, Hearst News Service.

The 89-year-old Thomas, dean of the White House press corps, leaves amid a brewing controversy over remarks she made about Israel and Palestinians.

Thomas, known for her confrontational questioning, apologized for comments that were captured on video and have spread widely on the Internet. On the May 27 video, Thomas says Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine,” suggesting they go to Germany, Poland or the U.S.

The Hearst announcement came shortly after White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called her remarks “offensive and reprehensible.”

National Public Radio
Mon, 07 Jun 2010 12:50 EDT

© Associated Press
In this May 27, 2010 file photo, Helen Thomas listens to President Barack Obama during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

Controversial remarks about Israel by veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas drew sharp criticism from the Obama administration on Monday, as well as the cancellation of a high school graduation speech she was to deliver.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked at his daily briefing with reporters about President Barack Obama’s reaction to Thomas’ remarks. Gibbs called them “offensive and reprehensible.”

Thomas, a columnist for Hearst Newspapers, has apologized for comments that were captured on video by an interviewer for the website. On the May 27 video, Thomas says Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine,” suggesting they go to Germany, Poland or the U.S.

“She should and has apologized,” Gibbs said. “Because obviously those remarks do not reflect certainly the opinion of most of the people here and certainly not of the administration.”

Thomas had been scheduled to speak at the June 14 graduation of Walt Whitman High School in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Md., but Principal Alan Goodwin wrote in a Sunday e-mail to students and parents that she was being replaced.

“…quoniam punitio non refertur primo & per se in correctionem & bonum eius qui punitur, sed in bonum publicum ut alij terreantur, & a malis committendis avocentur.”

[Translation from the Latin: “… for punishment does not take place primarily and ‘per se’ for the correction and good of the person punished, but for the public good in order that others may become terrified and weaned away from the evils they would commit.”]
.
And apparently, evil in our ‘land of the free’ these days has been re-defined as being forthright and inconveniently honest while asking questions and voicing personal opinions….
.
Now, what was that piece of paper again, that declared America’s independence!  The Constitution? It’s been out of use so long, I hardly can remember….
.
Advertisements