Ed Driscoll

Helen Thomas Rescinds Her Apology

As Martin Solomon writes, “I guess she’s taken back her apology,” but then, did anybody buy it in the first place, after she attempted to save her Palpatine-esque face in the immediate aftermath of her spectacularly anti-Semitic meltdown back in June into a Flip video camera?

The Detroit Free Press reports, “Defiant Helen Thomas defends remarks that led to exit”:

Striking a defiant tone, journalist Helen Thomas, 90, said today she absolutely stands by her controversial comments about Israel made earlier this year that led to her resignation. But she stoked additional controversy with new remarks, claiming that “Zionists” control U.S. foreign policy and other American institutions. The local Jewish community strongly condemned her remarks.

Thomas, who grew up in Detroit the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, was in Dearborn today for an Arab Detroit workshop on anti-Arab bias. The Free Press asked her about her comments, which critics have said were anti-Israel.

“I paid the price for that,” said Thomas, a longtime White House correspondent. “But it was worth it, to speak the truth.”

“The Zionists have to understand that’s their country, too. Palestinians were there long before any European Zionists.”

Thomas claimed that “You can not say anything (critical) about Israel in this country.”

In a speech that drew a standing ovation, Thomas talked about “the whole question of money involved in politics.”

“We are owned by propagandists against the Arabs. There’s no question about that. Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion. They put their money where there mouth is…We’re being pushed into a wrong direction in every way.”…

“Yid from Lid” adds:

Interestingly in the Detroit Free Press report about Thomas’ speech in Dearborn they characterized the comments that got her fired as something “which critics have said were anti-Israel,” perpetuating the myth that Thomas was fired for being critical of the Jewish State. Actually her comments were anti-Semitic, telling Israeli Jews to go back to Germany and Poland [where they faced the horrors of the Holocaust]

Numerous legacy media reporters, after a lifetime of pretending to be objective, have dropped the mask and let it all hang out, such as Dan Rather, Mr. Objectivity himself, now doing fundraisers for far left Nation magazine (which incidentally thinks Helen got a bum rap).

But then, Helen ditched any pretense of objectivity almost a decade ago, as James Taranto wrote in September:

In 2000 she left UPI to become a columnist for Hearst Newspapers, but she kept her prized frontrow seat in the White House pressroom. She enjoyed her new role as an opinion writer. “I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter,” she said in a 2002 speech. “Now I wake up and ask myself, ‘Who do I hate today?’”

Well, I think we all know the answer to that by now.

In addition to her rabid anti-Semitism, at age 90, another dynamic is at play here. Back in October, Andrew Klavan had a great post on elderly “Liberals in Twilight” at Ricochet after watching recent meltdowns from Dick Cavett and Gore Vidal, who’s never met a Republican president he didn’t think was a dictator:

Lefty celebrities of the sixties age badly. Really badly. Once their wit or talent or gift for invective is gone, they have nothing left but crotchety and unreasoned distaste for the Others who disagree with them. They have become, in fact, conservative in the pejorative sense of that word: inflexible, immovable, cantankerously defiant of change.

Age is no friend to any of us, of course. But these are people whose every idea failed spectacularly, who have lived to see that their considerable talents were used in a way that ultimately debased American discourse and themselves. They are a bitter, disappointed and secretly self-disgusted generation. Ciao, baby.

Ciao, Helen.

Related: The headline of the week from Michael Ledeen, who quips, “It’s the Jews, Stupid! (What Was the Question?)”

Helen might want that on her epitaph.

Update: Welcome those clicking in from a variety of Websites that give Helen the vapors: