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I Come to Praise Helen Thomas, Not to Bury Her
I am not going to try and defend the comments Helen Thomas made about getting the Jews out of Palestine and sending them to Germany and Poland; that was an unbelievably stupid thing to say, not just to a rabbi, but to anyone. Thomas is a Lebanese-American with very strong views on Israel, views to which she has every right, but in saying what she said, she abrogated two responsibilities: first, to treat others as she would want to be treated, and second, to avoid undercutting the legitimacy of her own views with incendiary, insulting and inappropriate vitriol. Thomas blew it on both fronts, and her words became torpedoes that struck the ship of her career at the waterline.
Perhaps, it is entirely just and appropriate that her comments have finished her as a journalist, but that is an argument for other people to make. In this space, I come to praise Helen Thomas, not to bury her. There are plenty of voices in the so-called "mainstream" media who gleefully shouted her down after her ill-advised tirade, a lot of whom are now very happy to see her gone. You see, Helen Thomas was and remains a mirror held up to the rest of the press, forcing them to see their own glaring flaws and faults, forcing them to see just how much blood is on their hands.
I refuse, I absolutely refuse, to let this one incident become the thing everyone remembers about Helen Thomas. That would be a sin equally as great as the one she committed with her words, and it would give cover to the mainstream press cretins who always wished she would go away, because she exposed them for what they really are.
Frauds. Mouthpieces. Dupes. Willing participants. Colluders. Conspirators. Traitors. That's what much of the press has become over the last ten years, but not Helen Thomas. Never Helen Thomas. Much of the outrage directed at Thomas today isn't based on her comments about Israel, but are, instead, a barbaric yawp from a pack of liars who are thrilled to see her gone, as it means they no longer have to look at themselves in that mirror she held up with her life, her career and her uncompromising way of speaking actual truth to power. Read more.