Ed Driscoll

Veteran Leftwing Journalist Helen Thomas Dead at 92

UPI, where Helen Thomas spent the bulk of her career, from 1974 to 2000, has the official, carefully worded obit, only mentioning the moment that cost Thomas her career 21 paragraphs in. We’ll come back to that in just a moment. But first, to set the stage, a “Long List of Liberal Eruptions from Media’s Mount St. Helen” was rounded up by Newsbusters’ Rich Noyes in 2010:

Thomas has been widely admired by the liberal establishment in the media. NBC’s Ann Curry, for example, last year saluted Thomas as “a woman who inspired me….I’ve tried to emulate her.” CBS’s Harry Smith has described her as “legendary,” adding: “What she does day after day after day, I’m not sure we value enough.”

Thomas has not been shy about expressing her left-wing views and reliably anti-Israel opinions since she became a White House “columnist” in 2000, after a lengthy career as UPI’s straight news White House correspondent. But a review shows Thomas was expressing solidly liberal opinions even as a supposedly neutral reporter:

Nearly twenty years ago, she dismissed the idea of liberal bias as nothing but compassion: “I don’t know what a liberal bias is. Do you mean we care about the poor, the sick, and the maimed? Do we care whether people are being shot every day on the streets of America? If that’s liberal, so be it.”

In 1993, she slammed Ronald Reagan as soulless: “A President should care about all people, and he didn’t, which is why I will always feel Reagan lacked soul.” But a few months after Bill Clinton left office in 2001, Thomas fawned: “The human spirit — to me and millions of others, President Clinton has always personified that. He is the man from Hope, and that is what he has given us, hope. We miss him.” And, a few months after 9/11, she ridiculously insisted that the security measures were worse than FDR’s internment of Japanese-Americans:  “The chipping away of our civil liberties is unprecedented. Even in World War II, I never saw anything like that.”

In 2006, Thomas admitted the obvious: “I’m a liberal, I was born a liberal, and I will be a liberal ‘til the day I die.”

As they say at David Horowitz’s FrontPage Magazine, “Inside every liberal is a totalitarian screaming to get out.” Four years after Thomas declared she was a woman of the left, she completely dropped the mask, allowing the world to really see the liberal fascist raging inside her:

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That quote was made in June of 2010 to Rabbi David Nesenoff and a pair of teenagers wearing yarmulkes:

Here is video of Rabbi David Nesenoff on “Fox and Friends” this morning to talk about his encounter with Israel-hating White House Correspondent Helen Thomas. Nesenoff is the Rabbi who interviewed Thomas at a White House Event celebrating Jewish Heritage where Thomas said Israel should “get the hell out of Palestine,” and also said Jews should “go home” to “Poland and Germany.”

Nesenoff said his initial reaction to Thomas’ remarks was “Whoa,” because he had “two teenage impressionable young men” with him, both of whom were wearing skull caps. Thomas has since said she “regrets” the remarks.

Nesenoff said “it’s time” for Helen Thomas to go, and “it’s really disgusting for her” to continue as a member of the White House Press Corps. “She showed her colors,” the Rabbi said.

Rabbi Nesenoff is right. The revelation that she not only said these things, but did it deliberately in the presence of two Jewish teens (wearing skull caps) shows just how vile Helen Thomas has become in her hatred of Israel. As the Rabbi said, it’s time for her to go.

Much more, after the page break.

Thomas’s antisemitism quickly resulted in her “retirement” from Hearst and the loss of her book agent; as James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, who had long dubbed Thomas journalism’s “crazy aunt in the attic,” wrote in September of 2010:

Thomas, who turned 90 in August, became United Press International’s White House correspondent in 1961, arriving at the executive mansion with John F. Kennedy, whose campaign she had covered. 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?’”

By answering that question, she brought her career to an abrupt if long-overdue end.

While Thomas initially claimed that she “regretted” her remarks, the following year, an interview with Playboy — and this is one time where both the pictures and text there are equally hideous — confirmed that the outburst captured by Rabbi Nesenoff was no fluke:

On the Jews’ influence and power: “[The Jews are] using their power, and they have power in every direction…Power over the White House, power over Congress…Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood.  Same thing with the financial markets.  There’s total control…It isn’t the two percent.  It’s real power when you own the White House, when you own these other places in terms of your political persuasion.  Of course they have power.  [To the interviewer] You don’t deny that.  You’re Jewish, aren’t you?”

* * * * * * *

On the changing nature of journalism: “Everyone with a laptop thinks they’re a journalist and everyone with a camera thinks they’re a news photographer.  Where are the standards?  How can we get back to the ethics and standards of journalism?  There’s no editing, no oversight.  It’s just thrown to the wind.  I’m afraid of what’s happening.”

Because yeah, Thomas was certainly the best judge of ethics and standards. Here’s a woman who had access to the most powerful men of the last half century (from JFK to BHO), and ready access to the combined information resources of the entire planet, and the news archives of the world’s most influential wire services. Yet is convinced, Alex Jones/Oliver Stone-style, that there’s a shadowy cabal running the world just behind the curtain. How does a journalist spend a lifetime gathering news and information, yet at the end of her career believe in such conspiracy theories? (And to add to the cognitive dissonance, announce them to the world without fear of reprisal?)

In the response to the news of her death today, for the most part, Thomas’s fellow “liberal” journalists (i.e. Obama’s palace guard) are remembering her as pioneering female reporter, and brushing aside the paranoia and antisemitism that, coupled with nearly a decade of rabid Bush Derangement Syndrome, ultimately led to her long career’s ignominious downfall.

Today, CBS’s Mark Knoller tweeted:

But as Thomas admitted in 2010, she’d welcome plenty of prisoners, preferably shipping them off to camps in boxcars.

Update: Jeff Dunetz, who blogs at Yid With Lid, and who helped put Nesenoff’s video into wide circulation in 2010, does not mince words: “Helen Thomas (HATER) 1930-2013: Why I’m Proud I ‘Took Her Down.'” Read the whole thing.

In contrast, AP has hired Winston Smith to revise its Stylebook: “Helen Thomas’ anti-Semitism described as ‘controversial,’ ‘peppery opinions.’”

More: Stacy McCain proffers “An Entirely Random Observation About Etiquette and Dead Jew-Haters.”