Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Write to Helen Thomas' Airhead Israeli Apologist

. Catch the name of Helen Thomas' new apologist, claiming Helen
Thomas just made a "momentary slip": Hagit Limor

From the Wall St Journal
Worse Than Bigoted
Helen Thomas's latest may be too much for the Society of Professional
If your lifelong ambition is to win the Helen Thomas Spirit of
Diversity Award from Detroit's Wayne State University, you might as
well end it all now. Thomas's alma mater terminated the award Friday
"after she made controversial remarks in Dearborn on Thursday,"
reports the Detroit Free Press.
Things move more slowly at the Society of Professional Journalists,
whose website still advertises the Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime
Achievement and describes Thomas as "a living icon of journalism for
her dogged pursuit of the truth in a career that has spanned almost 60
years." Thomas said on Thursday: "Congress, the White House, and
Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists." Apparently the
truth outran her.
We asked SPJ if it plans to continue offering the award in light of
Thomas's latest comments. The society's president, Hagit Limor,
quickly got back to us by email. She wrote: "I am placing this item on
the agenda for consideration at the next executive board meeting,"
which will be held Jan. 8.
Having finally managed to reach an SPJ executive--Limor's predecessor,
Kevin Smith, stonewalled us six months ago--we asked Limor why the
society decided to continue the award after Thomas's last eruption, in
which she demanded that Israeli Jews go "home"--that is, that they
leave their homes and emigrate to the countries whence their ancestors
came. Limor replied: "We discussed the issue at our exec board meeting
in July 2010. The majority believed this to be a one-time slip that
didn't change Ms. Thomas's lifetime of service, which is what we were
Associated Press
Journalism icon?
As you might expect, Thomas is not happy with Wayne State's decision.
"The leaders of Wayne State University have made a mockery of the
First Amendment and disgraced their understanding of its inherent
freedom of speech and the press," she told the Free Press. "The
university also has betrayed academic freedom--a sad day for its
We suppose she could hire a lawyer and sue Wayne State on the ground
that removing her name from the award is tantamount to censorship of
protected speech. We like the university's odds of prevailing in that
one. As for academic freedom, are we to understand that Thomas claims
to be engaged in scholarship?
It must be said that Thomas's comment about "Zionists" was taken out
of context and made to look, in most news accounts, like a bigoted
rant. It was that, but it was also something even more pernicious.
Blogger Robert Stacy McCain transcribed the remark in context:
If we invade a country like Iraq for no reason that's valid, no
weapons of mass destruction, no ties to al-Qaeda--a very bad dictator,
yes. But is that a reason to kill thousands of people? No reason to
invade Aghanistan--no president has yet been able to defend it or
explain it. . . . To kill or die, for what? . . . There is an actual
campaign constantly, since I've been at the White House. Every
president has known the truth about the Arab world, but they have not
been able to act for the truth. And 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.
Here is McCain's commentary:
What Thomas is saying is that America waged war in Afghanistan and
Iraq entirely because of "Zionist" influence.
Is her assertion true? Was there "no reason"--or "no reason that's
valid"--for either of these military campaigns? Have thousands of
American soldiers, and many thousands of Iraqis and Aghans, died
merely to satisfy the blood-lust of Zionist Jews?
Leaving aside any debate about the overall wisdom of Bush-era foreign
policy, is it really the case that the root of the world's problems is
the insidious (and allegedly insuperable) influence of a Jewish
Or is it not rather the case, as I am inclined to believe, that the
incitement of hatred against Israel by Arab demagogues--whose ranks
Helen Thomas proudly joins--is the real root of this problem?
Even this, however, doesn't quite go far enough. Helen Thomas is
ethnically Arab, but she is a natural-born citizen of America. She
spoke to an Arab-American group called Arab Detroit. (The Free Press
claims that "a majority" of her audience was "non-Arab," but it's not
clear how the reporter would have ascertained that.)
That is to say, Thomas is an American, making an ethnically based
appeal to fellow citizens. She urges Americans of Arab origin not only
to view "Zionists" as their enemy but also to regard their own
government--in a time of war--as being under the control of that
In doing so, she is trading on her reputation as, in the words of the
Society of Professional Journalists, "a living icon of journalism for
her dogged pursuit of the truth in a career that has spanned almost 60
years." We have long wondered what if anything she did to deserve that
reputation, so we took the opportunity to ask SPJ president Limor if
she could give us examples of stories Thomas had broken or advanced,
risks she had taken on behalf of the public's right to know, or
original analytical insights she had offered. Limor's response:
The Lifetime Achievement award honors just that, not any specific
story. Helen Thomas filed countless reports covering 10 presidents
since the 1960s. Her body of work is unmatched on this beat; thus SPJ
attached her name to our award for lifetime achievement.
This reinforces our suspicion that the accolades for Thomas are based
entirely on the quantity rather than the quality of her work. Instead
of a living icon of journalism, she would be more accurately described
as an icon of long life who used to work in journalism.
When the executive board meets next month, we hope they'll consider
this suggestion from reader John Steele Gordon: "If the SPJ decides to
change the name, how about calling it the Daniel Pearl Award for
Lifetime Achievement? He worked as a journalist until the moment he
died. Helen Thomas got to retire."

Want to write to or call Hagit Limor? She can be reached at hlimor@wcpo.com
Hagit Limor
Investigative Reporter
1720 Gilbert Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 852-4012

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?