Helen Thomas: In Appreciation. By Paul Craig Roberts

Via: Foreign Policy Journal.

The propagandists for the Israel Lobby, who occupy the Wall Street Journal editorial page while pretending to be journalists, are determined to remove Helen Thomas from the annals of journalism. In case you have already forgotten, a few days ago the distinguished career of Helen Thomas, the 89-year-old doyen of the White House Press Corps, was ended by the Israel Lobby, which made an issue about her opinion that immigrant Jews should leave Palestine and go back to their home countries.

The White House Correspondents’ Association fell in line with the demands of the Israel Lobby, and the cowardly president of the organization added the association’s disapprobation to that of the neoconservative cabal.

Helen Thomas asks President Barack Obama a question Having removed Helen Thomas from the journalism scene, the Israel Lobby is now  working with its agents on the Wall Street Journal editorial page to eliminate the Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society of Professional Journalists.

A nonentity in the world of journalism, James Taranto, apparently is associated with the Wall Street Journal editorial page, although Wikipedia reports that he was incapable of graduating from journalism school at California State University, Northridge. On a Wall Street Journal web site, Taranto writes: “We’ve been calling Thomas ‘American journalism’s crazy old aunt in the attic’ for years,” and he asks who would now accept the Helen Thomas award after Ms. Thomas revealed she really was crazy by criticizing Israel.

I would for one.  Of course the Society of Professional Journalists would never give the award, assuming the distinguished award survives the assault of the Israel Lobby’s assassins, to a critic of Israel. Helen excepted, American journalists are cowards. With the concentrated ownership of the corporate media today, no independently-minded journalist can have a career in print or TV media. You defend the Washington/Tel Aviv line, or you are out of work. Continue reading

IN DEFENSE OF HELEN THOMAS – on apologizing to apologists. By Paul Jay

Via: Canada.com.

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.

She later apologized in a short statement on her website “”I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

Her apology was not enough to stop calls for her head from those who have wanted to shut Thomas up for years.

Ari Fleischer, President George W. Bush’s press secretary, led the call in an e-mail Friday to the Huffington Post saying Thomas’ comments amount to “religious cleansing.”

“She should lose her job over this,” Fleischer wrote. “As someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to like her, I find this appalling.”

Perhaps Fleishcher should also add that he is someone who knows something about apologies . . . being the leading apologist for the Bush administration as their war led to the deaths of at least one million Iraqis. Continue reading