Quantcast
Connect with us

Veteran reporter Helen Thomas returns to the press, with little fanfare

Published

on

When longtime White House reporter Helen Thomas came under rhetorical fire over comments critical of Israel, she apologized and immediately resigned her post as a columnist with Hearst Newspapers, ostensibly ending a legendary career in journalism that began some 69 years ago.

That was June 7, 2010.

Since then, Thomas has made precious few appearances in the media, opting only to defend herself from the most serious charges of antisemitism. Her remarks, she’s insisted, were meant to be critical of the nation’s policy toward Palestine, not of the Jewish religion or its adherents specifically.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I hit the third rail,” she told an Ohio radio station in October. “You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive.”

But, apparently she has.

Yesterday, to remarkably little fanfare in the US mainstream press, Thomas returned to the media with a scathing indictment of Republican efforts to privatize Social Security.

Her new column appeared exclusively in The Falls Church News-Press, a small Virginia publication with a circulation around 30,000.

“She is progressive, and following my more than eight hours of direct, one-on-one talks with her since the events of last June, I remain firmly convinced that she is neither bigoted, nor racist, nor anti-Semitic,” Nicholas F. Benton, the paper’s owner and editor, said in a published statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

The two have known each other personally since 1991, Benton told Raw Story, and her column has regularly appeared in the paper since 2004.

“I’ve always had a tremendous admiration for her, even when I was in the White House press office myself,” he said during a Thursday telephone conversation. “When this all went down this past summer, I let her know that when she was ready to resume writing her column, I’d be willing to discuss that with her.

“I’ve stayed in touch with her and met with her since then and at the beginning of December I heard through a mutual friend that she was ready to give it a try. I called her and she said yes, and I said we’re ready to go. She suggested that we start after the first of the year so, here we are.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Ms. Thomas’ comments were intemperate and inappropriate, as she conceded afterward,” his prepared statement read. “Her remarks in June were in response to a question about Israel, not Jews, and were intended to mean that in these times, Jewish people are free to live wherever they wish, because the era of anti-Jewish persecution is ended. That was not adequately expressed because of the impromptu nature of the incident.”

Benton additionally told Raw Story that she is being compensated, but did not specify whether she retained a particular title with the paper.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I am proud that a journalist of the stature and professionalism of Helen Thomas is relaunching her career, in her ninetieth year no less, in my newspaper,” he added. “She more than deserves, and I am honored to help provide her, the proverbial ‘second chance.'”

Updated from a prior version.

ADVERTISEMENT

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

Carl Bernstein: There are 7-9 ‘wobbly’ Republicans who want witnesses but Mitch McConnell is trying to block them

Published

on

In a CNN panel discussion Wednesday, notorious Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein revealed that there are seven to nine Republican senators who are wavering after the compelling argument that the House has provided for the impeachment. The problem, however, is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is refusing to allow any break from the party line.

"I think this is a hugely damaging narrative that was laid out today, and that Mitch McConnell understands, and has understood for a while that this hugely damaging narrative was going to affect his members," said Bernstein. "And that his strategy -- I've talked to some Republicans about this -- #MidnightMitch is to wear out his own members so that they don't vote for more witnesses because there are six, seven, eight, nine wobbly Republicans."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

Published

on

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

Published

on

Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image