Monday, June 7, 2010

Helen Thomas Must Die

Author's Note: I originally intended to write this piece as a criticism of the older generation's perceived entitlement to spew out racist or sexist language (my parents often like to loudly express their obtuse, horrifying opinions to the public at large). Upon re-reading this, I realise that it unfairly slams one of the last, great journalists left out there. During my brief stint as a newswriter for the U.S. Info. Agency/VOA in the early 90s, I got a chance to be in the White House Press room for a handful of Q&A sessions, with Helen leading them off. As a newbie to the field of journalism, I stood literally in the last row, just inside the door, behind all the rag tag camera guys--themselves relegated to the back of the rack. I often was quite jealous of Helen's front row seat, literally three feet or so away from Prez Clin-tohn. And no, I don't really want her to die...I just think she should have used her head a little better and re-worded her statement. After all those decades of playing the game, she made the wrong move. I suppose if one is 90 years of age, one slips every now and again. Helen Thomas was a life long Liberal and many of us will always remember her contribution to the field of journalism. It's quite sad the way her career (at least with Hearst) had to end. Over the last few years, however, she had become an opinion writer for Hearst, and I'm not so sure an op-ed columnist ought to have a front seat at the show--but if anyone ever deserved it, Helen was it.

Even if she hadn't bollixed herself into a tight corner last week by loudly declaring that all Jews in Israel "should leave Palestine and go back to Poland and Germany," I would have called for and endorsed Helen Thomas' overdue demise. I mean just look at her. Hasn't she been around for long enough? Give somebody else a chance, madame. Should there not be term limits on that badass, front row seat in the White House press room?

What in hell is that thing hunched over and making gurgling noises every day? Christ, if I didn't know any better, I'd have thought it was this nasty thing from Genesis' "Land of Confusion." How's that for an earworm. But I digress.

Ms. Thomas later apologized for the incendiary remarks, saying they did not properly reflect her position on the conflict of the Middle East (wtf? How is that an un-clear position?) but the criticism has been scorching ever since. Late Friday night, former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer called for Thomas' firing from Hearst news service, where she serves as a columnist. And yesterday, Nine Speakers, Inc. -- Thomas's long time speaking agency -- announced they've dropped her (inquiring minds are anxiously awaiting to see if they change their name accordingly to Eight Speakers, Inc.) from their line up.

To me, this sort of nonsense is de rigueur for the majority of old people--famous or not--who obtusely believe that their prolonged longevity on this planet, gives them Carte Blanche to disseminate their racist, sexist vitriol that, supposedly, had been festering inside for decades--more than likely checked by the semi-lucid realization that one could not really function in civilized society spewing daily Nazi mantra.

But apparently once one becomes a septuagenarian all bets are off. There seems to be a "Common Sense" switch up there in ye olde grey matter that magically gets turned off. Incredibly, that coincides with the involuntary all-out geyser of shit that begins to spew from the mouth around the same age.

"Respect your elders" has always been a laughable concept to me. In my life, most of the elders I've encountered have thought along the lines of Ms. Thomas. In their philosophy, they have shown themselves to be brutish, conservative, bigoted, sexist, fear-laden insects with skewed values and outdated familial ideas. Respecting these people or giving them credence or a voice is detrimental to a civilized society. This is the generation that holds back progress; that clings tightly to outdated ideas, concepts, and way of life.

Personally, I root for the quick demise of such parasitic vermin. And foot-in-mouth, career-ending statements like the recent one from Ms. Thomas only make me rejoice at the consequences.

Hopefully there are consequences.

BREAKING (as of 12:22 pm EST): Helen Thomas announced today that she is retiring, effective immediately, according to a statement from Hearst Newspapers.


the beige one said...

She chose her words poorly, no argument there; but I doubt the same right wing voices wouldn't have made a peep, and she'd still have her job, had the target of her comments been Iraq, Iran or the Palestines.

the beige one said...

Nice comparison on the Israel/Vatican thing.

Lee said...

I can't wait to see you at 80 ... no actually, you're already hunched over and gurgling.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Deni, what she said was she hoped all the Jews would go back to Europe (where they were exterminated). Think what you will, but that'll get you fired. Yes, Beck and Rush and Hannity and those other morons spew junk like that all the time but...they're on Fox News, which actually ENCOURAGES that sort of incendiary comment (I don't believe Hearst adheres to those "standards"), and secondly, Rush Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity don't compare historically with Thomas. At least in my book. And so it goes.

Deni said...

I'll gve you that it is a bad comparison. But I think it is somewhat histrionic to use the extermination argument as why Jews shouldn't live in Europe.

does any sane person really believe that in 2010 a Jew is in more danger living in Germany than in the Middle East?

Anonymous said...

All's I'm sayin is that when you say something like that, there basically is only one event that comes to mind. And that will more than likely get you fired, or sponsors will drop you. I know what you're saying but this issue needs to be navigated around intelligently. I think Helen probably doesn't care at this point. It's kind of a crappy way to go out, though.

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