Tag: Helen Thomas

In Memoriam: Helen Thomas 1920 – 2013

Journalism and the world lost one of its greatest on Saturday, the “Dean of the White House Correspondents” Helen Thomas died at her home in Washington. She was 92.

She had a lot of “firsts” for women in journalism. She broke down the walls of the traditional “old boys’ clubs” of the Beltway:

Thomas was the first female officer of the National Press Club, the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and the first female member of the Gridiron Club [..]

In 1962, Thomas convinced Kennedy to not attend the annual dinners held for the White House correspondents and photographers if they disallowed women from attending. Kennedy moved for the dinners to be combined into one event, with women allowed to attend. In 1970, UPI named Thomas their chief White House correspondent, making her the first woman to serve in the position. She was named the chief of UPI’s White House bureau in 1974.

Thomas was the only female print journalist to travel to China with President Richard Nixon during his 1972 visit to China. During the Watergate scandal, Martha Beall Mitchell, wife of United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell, frequently called Thomas to discuss how the Nixon administration was using Mitchell as a scapegoat.

She was the only member of the White House press corp to have her own seat, all the other seats are designated for the media outlets. She often reminded her colleagues, “We are not here to be their friends.”

She was remembered fondly by many this weekend.

She is a the roll model for all us who report the news,

We are the watch dogs

~Helen Thomas~

Thank you, Helen Thomas

Professional Journalists retire Helen Thomas award

Journalists retire award named for Helen Thomas

January 16, 2011

(JTA) — The Society of Professional Journalists retired a lifetime achievement award named for Helen Thomas.

The society’s board on Jan. 14 accepted the recommendation issued by its executive committee on Jan. 8 based on anti-Zionist remarks made by the longtime journalist.

“While we support Helen Thomas’ right to speak her opinion, we condemn her statements in December as offensive and inappropriate,” the executive committee said at the time.

On Dec. 2, in a speech to an Arab-American group in Dearborn, Mich., Thomas, 90, said that Congress, the White House, Hollywood and Wall Street “are owned by the Zionists.”  

The remarks raised fresh concerns about the sincerity of an apology for her remarks last summer to a video blogger that Jews “should get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Poland, Germany and the United States.

The award itself would be retired, officials of the Society of Professional Journalists said.

“The controversy surrounding this award has overshadowed the reason it exists,” the Indianapolis-based national group said in a statement. “To continue offering the award would reignite the controversy each year and take away from its purpose: honoring a lifetime of work in journalism. No individual worthy of such honor should have to face this controversy. No honoree should have to decide if the possible backlash is worth being recognized for his or her contribution to journalism.”

The Society for Professional Journalists, established in 1909, granted Thomas its first lifetime achievement honor in 2000, and pledged to name subsequent awards for her. It has been awarded nine times since its debut. The award has no cash value.

Officials emphasized that Thomas’ 2000 award was not rescinded.

Thomas, born to Lebanese immigrants, for decades was the White House correspondent for the United Press International wire service. She subsequently was a columnist for Hearst Corp., but resigned that post after her comments last summer. She recently began writing a column for a free Virginia weekly newspaper, the Falls Church News-Press.

Wayne State University, Thomas’ alma mater, immediately withdrew its Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in the Media Award following her resignation from Hearst.

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The Week in Editorial Cartoons – BP is the New BS

Crossposted at Daily Kos


This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

:: ::

Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon

Breaking News : Helen Thomas resigns

Yahoo News, 14 minutes ago reported Helen Thomas resigned this morning over the flap from her I/P comments.  Many people called on Hearst to fire her.  

The update which includes comments by Ari Fleischer and a statement by Robert Gibbs at this morning’s WH briefing demonstrates the inflamatory nature of this issue.

Just shows it can happen anywhere these days, I guess.

Helen Thomas on Feminism, McCarthyism & the White House Press Corps

The third segment of Helen Thomas’ interview talking with Paul Jay of The Real News. In this segment Helen talks about the challenges she faced as a woman journalist in her early days as a member of the White House Press Corps, about the continuing discrimination women still face in political journalism, and about her experiences and reflections on the era of McCarthyism.

Real News Network – April 01, 2010

Transcript here

Parts 1 & 2 of this interview are here, in which Helen talked about Barack Obama’s credibility and political integrity, and about the capitulation of US media to the Bush Administration and foreign policy establishment during the run up to the 2003 Iraq invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq.

PART 2 ADDED: Credibility: Helen Thomas on her question for Obama, & media and political integrity

Part 2 added below the fold March 28, 2:50 PM PST

In part one of his interview with Helen Thomas, longest-serving member of the White House Press Corps, The Real New Network’s Paul Jay asks her about her first question for President Obama.

The question, asking President Obama to name all the countries in the Middle-East that have nuclear weapons, was avoided by the President, who claimed to not want to “speculate”.

Thomas claims that knowledge of Israeli nukes is very public in DC and Obama’s answer shows a lack of credibility. She explains the importance of this question for U.S. policy in the region.

Finally, she confides that she has not been called on by the President since that day, but that if she does, she will ask him whether or not he has found any more information about nukes in the Middle-East since their last encounter.

Real News Network – March 27, 2010