Earlier today, I quipped, “If Podesta doesn’t come calling, perhaps, like equally objective centrist journalist Dan Rather, who famously saw no media bias, fundraisers for the Nation magazine could be in Helen’s future.”
In a new post at Hot Air, Allahpundit writes, “Don’t be so hard on her, says Nation editor:”
What’s the big deal, wonders Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel.
Thomas opened many doors for women journalists; she was the first woman officer of the National Press Club after it opened its doors to women members, the first woman member and president of the White House Correspondents Association and the first woman member of the Gridiron club. In 1998, Thomas was honored by President Clinton as the first recipient of the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award. She will mark her 90th birthday on Aug. 4.
None of these prestigious firsts or awards protected Thomas from the firestorm that followed her remarks. Time columnist Joe Klein wrote that Thomas should be stripped of her privileged seat in the White House briefing room. Her remarks were offensive, but considering her journalistic moxie and courage over many decades — in sharp contrast to the despicable deeds committed by so many littering the Washington political scene — isn’t there room for someone who made a mistake, apologized for it and wants to continue speaking truth to power and asking tough questions?
For an example of the “tough questions” vanden Heuvel is so impressed with, see here. Plain and simple: What Thomas said wasn’t a “mistake.” There’s no reason to think that it doesn’t represent her actual view. The only mistake was being candid about it. That being so, why give her a platform? Or rather: Why continue to give a platform to an 89-year-old instead of to a younger, more deserving journalist?
Meanwhile, as Ken Sheppard of Newsbusters notes, “The folks at the left-wing MoveOn.org are practically in mourning over Helen Thomas’s ‘retirement,’” as is MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough (see Hot Air link above), CNN’s Don Lemon and NBC/MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who’s ability to discern bias in the legacy media is nearly as acute as Dan Rather’s.
Helen Thomas and her defenders, welcome to Blair’s Law; you’re doing an exceptional job of defining it.