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Helen Thomas is 'retiring'

It's over: Helen Thomas is "retiring." Hearst Newspapers, which employs her and publishes her column, e-mails:

Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately.

Her decision came after her controversial comments about Israel and the Palestinians were captured on videotape and widely disseminated on the Internet.

Thomas later issued a statement: "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.''

Thomas will mark her 90th birthday on Aug. 4.

The initial criticism had largely been confined to conservative Web sites, but today liberal sites and organizations began to weigh in, and the White House described her comments as "reprehensible," making it only a matter of time until she stepped down, voluntarily or otherwise.

More in a bit.

UPDATE, 12:41 p.m.: Here's the original video of Thomas's remarks, which is now at over 1 million views:

By Greg Sargent  |  June 7, 2010; 12:20 PM ET
Categories:  Political media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Helen Thomas unlikely to hold her plum press seat
Next: Could Fox News inherit Helen Thomas's seat?


Talk about your classic monumental collapses.

Greg, quick, try to get her seat!

Posted by: SDJeff | June 7, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Hah -- will do, SDJeff. :)

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 7, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

You know Greg, it would be awfully helpful if you and the other blogs actually posted the video of her saying this. While wrong I definitely think people are reading what she is saying and taking it differently than how she said it. Doesn't really matter at this point I suppose since she's out but just a suggestion. People can judge for themselves then.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 7, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Do they get to keep their spot up front?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Greg, you could change your blog to Plum Seat, then you wouldn't have to listen to anymore, "it's supposed to have a b on the end of it". LOL

Posted by: lmsinca | June 7, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I believe that it was Branch Rickey who said that he would rather trade a baseball player a year too early, than a year too late. Helen should have retired years ago, while her mental faculties, and reputation were intact.

A word of advice to David Broder.

Retire now. You have been wading into the shallow end of the same pool, during recent times.

Get out before you make the same mistake as Helen.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Hah -- will do, SDJeff. :)

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 7, 2010 12:29 PM


So that is why you referred to it as; "plum press seat"!

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Video added above

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 7, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Notice how most of the reporting on this stops at her saying Poland and Germany. You never hear about her saying "American and every where else" because, you know, its much harder to make it seem like she was calling for a religious cleansing as some of these idiots have suggested.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 7, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse


You're really plumbing the depths of pathetic, here.

Helen Thomas herself apologized for what she said.

Helen Thomas herself admitted that she went "over the line".

Helen Thomas herself decided that it was finally time for her to retire.

But here you are, a deadender, still defending Helen Thomas.

Give it a rest...haven't you embarrassed yourself enough over this?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

That does not make what she said, any more palatable.

The vast majority of Israelis were born in Israel, not in Poland, Germany, or any where else.

I see no differenc between claiming that people born in the state of Israel do not belong there, than claiming that Mexicans born in the USA do not belong here.

Both claims are totally despicable, and totally unjust.

A child born in Israel has every right to stay there. It is that child's birthplace and homeland.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Liam, I'm still chuckling over the fact that "whistling" thinks you're wreckless. I guess, if nothing else, that means that you at least are totally off the hook for the Gulf mess!

Posted by: Michigoose | June 7, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Ok Greg consider this a formal complaint about the ad hominem attacks. Other folks have weighed in over the weekend but Im sick of it. Seriously. From now on when these trolls make personal attacks I'll first direct your attention to it then push my complaints all the way up the chain as far as it has to go. I dont mind heated debates but thats not what this is about and its turning off would be commentators on both sides. I'm not going to let them run me off but at the same time I am going to hold you and WaPo accountable for your own policies. This calling ppl slaves needs to end immediately

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 7, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I was surprised to see Joe (Morning Joe) give her a break. She's 89, he said. A very sad end to a feisty no bs reporter who, in recent years, was more an annoying gnat than anything else. Her best days were way behind her.

Posted by: bitterpill8 | June 7, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

some ppl need a histor book by the way and to look up the word "occupied". SMDH

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 7, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

OT but Cantor is an idiot.

Cantor Claims Turkey ‘Seems’ To Be ‘Aiming To Destroy Israel’ via Think Progress

"Everyone understands now that the international community has gone in uproar over this and the point that’s been missed is the fact that Israel’s enemies really are aiming to destroy Israel. Those voices start in Iran, Syria and what seems to be now Turkey is throwing in with those voices."

If this is turning into some religious war turning this country against all Muslim Nations, someone needs to step up and put a stop to this ASAP.

Cantor is a fool.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

And if this has anything to do with end times Rapture crap, it needs to be known.

Can some journalist out there with some sense get these politicians to lay out their religious beliefs and see if this Rapture garbage is driving the debate. At the very least, ask them who their loyalty is to, the U.S. or Israel.

Why is Cantor willing to drive Turkey from NATO with charged statements like he just made? Does that clueless dunce not know Turkey was vital in our Iraq operations and most everything else that happens in the mid-east?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, sg; the name-calling has made me take a break from the site twice now whenever Bilgeman starts posting again.

Posted by: Michigoose | June 7, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Helen Thomas gets run out of town on a rail, meanwhile, Thomas Friedman, who thinks the Iraq war was "absolutely justified" because the United States needed to "get a big stick" and tell one of any interchangeable Muslim nations to "Suck. On. This." is still a serious, well-respected voice in our national discourse.

That about cover the current state of affairs?

Posted by: Verchiel77 | June 7, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Michigoose, sgwhiteinfla, I hear you but get some thicker skin. This is the internet. Bilgeman is a lowlife who has literally NOTHING better to do than hide behind his computer and call anyone a slave who he doesn't agree with.

Ignore him. Or her. Or whatever it is. Don't give him the power to ruin your mood. He's a piece of garbage. Pity him. He can call me slave all he wants, as he has in the past. I'm not one, so what the hell do I care? Every time he calls someone a slave, he further reveals himself as a rude, insensitive, lowlife(did I mention that already?) schmuck.

When you complain, you make his day. Keep in mind, he lives for this. He wants to bother people. He feels his cushy white privilege world is threatened by a black president and progressive agenda. He's just trying to get under your skin. It's the only way he can make sense of the ever-changing world. Don't give him the pleasure. Flat out ignore him.

Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: SDJeff | June 7, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

That video is pretty bad. She's been an amusing old lady for quite some time, but Helen Thomas is entitled to nothing. If anyone else said that on camera with a smile on her face, they'd be in trouble too.

Go back to Germany? Seriously? That's just painful to watch.

However, I agree it's obvious that we never hear about the "go back to America" part because it wasn't as offensive.

Posted by: SDJeff | June 7, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Just laugh Birther Bilgey off, or just scroll past his comments, if you are bothered by them.

He mostly calls people the same names, over and over.

He appears to be inflicted with Chronic Typerette Syndrome.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"Greg, quick, try to get her seat!"

Aa write-in campaign!

Posted by: wbgonne | June 7, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse


Brother, maybe you could cool it with the slave business. It doesn't bother me, but it really seems to tick off many others.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 7, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse


I think he can not restrain himself. I would not be too surprised if something like Tourette Syndrome, or some variant of Asperger Syndrome is contributing to his constant barrage of mostly the same name calling.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

All, guess who may inherit Helen Thomas' seat: Fox News!

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 7, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

No SDJeff I have as thick a skin as anybody and if I wanted to I could spend all day making these trolls into pretzels but Im not here for that. The internet might be that kind of experience for YOU but for me when I come here Id like to actually have some serious interaction or failing that at least some common decency. This slave crap along with the fact that other folks won't come here because of that kind of BS is the final straw for me. If they don't want to enforce the policy they shouldn't have one plain and simple.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 7, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse


"From now on when these trolls make personal attacks...This calling ppl slaves needs to end immediately..."

Ever hear of the term "cognitive dissonance"?

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

sg, if you find a good website where honest political debate doesn't descend into namecalling, let me know.

Or you could just ignore the troll. Like I said, it's just my 2 cents. That's how I deal with these fools. I refuse to engage them or acknowledge them, or let them adversely affect my life in any way.

Posted by: SDJeff | June 7, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse


"sg, if you find a good website where honest political debate doesn't descend into namecalling, let me know. Or you could just ignore the troll."

Not you too!

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"No SDJeff I have as thick a skin as anybody and if I wanted to I could spend all day making these trolls into pretzels but Im not here for that."

It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told...

What it's REALLY here to do is defend its' fellow anti-Semite beyond the bitter end.

It does not want to talk about the self-admitted and apologized anti-semitism of Helen Thomas' words.

It wants to talk about what Limbaugh said.
It wants to talk about what Huckabee said.
It wants to talk about what Repubicans do...or don't do.

It wants to talk about anything in the big blue world EXCEPT the fact that Helen Thomas is an anti-semite.

And this is probably because the slave is an anti-semite itself.

So here it is, protesting and whining and crying LONG after it is apparent that the Sweat Lodge has cut the old dame loose and put her out to pasture, and when I point this out to it, it goes off on being called a slave and being "attacked" and once again, on any subject BUT the one I brought up.

But it then, when told to grow up, even by it's fellow moonbat herd-mates, it claims to have a thick skin...

Too funny!

Typical of a moonbat...when they can't out argue or shout down opposing viewpoints, they whine and snivel for the "Ban Hammer".

Your Lefty blogs are remarkably consistent in this, in case you cattle didn't know.
The first inkling of Little Green Snotballs turning into the Liberal Cesspit it has become was when the Bicyclist began banning his commentariat who held opposing views.

"The internet might be that kind of experience for YOU but for me when I come here Id like to actually have some serious interaction or failing that at least some common decency."

The slave is getting the "serious interaction" it claims it seeks...but apparently when it gets it, it doesn;t want it.


It rubs the lotion on it's skin...or it gets the hose again!

Now go cray about that.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"Brother, maybe you could cool it with the slave business. It doesn't bother me, but it really seems to tick off many others."

T'ain't my fault that some people can;t handle the truth when they hear it.

Is it you or Liam-slave-still who slaps the BP BilgeSlave on me?

Have I ever wailed about it?

Of course not...because the Feds, using their newly usurped powers under Socialist Utopia ObamaCare, can also prosecute me for not maintaining a maintenance contract on my own body with a third party business concern, (that the Feds approve of, naturally).

This is tantamount to a lien, and since one does not put liens upon people, but rather upon property, it follows that we are all nothing more than our Federal masters.

That's the truth of it, and I don't like it. But MY anger is directed where it belongs.

At those who have enslaved us.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

GOD HELP US...PLEASE! The crazies have taken full control of this nation.

God Bless Helen Thomas. The last domino has fallen. Get ready for a new century repeating the biggest errors of the last century.

Posted by: rjmmcelroy | June 7, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The absolute absurdity of liberals on this blog whining about name calling and personal attacks really can't be described in any words.

Home of rukidding, gasbag, oddjob, and the whole motley crew of slanderers and spitballers. From day one I have been insulted in every way possible and called every possible name, from pet epithets to obscenities to random slanders like war criminal and pedophile. I've even been wished a disabling disease because I opposed obamacare.

There are few if any liberal regulars who havent launched personal attacks against me and every other rightie who has the temerity to challenge the echo chamber. The much lamented Tena was as bad as anyone.

But only the liberals whine for censorship. How typical of modern cry-baby, self-absorbed, entitlement-mentality, authoritarian liberalism.

Bilgey, btw, happens imo to be one of the more interesting and funny commenters I've seen anywhere. You guys need to get over your love affairs with yourselves and find a sense of humor. I will give lmsinca credit for that. (She is right -- lmstonedinca was hilarious and in good fun.)

In short, if sg and the other whiners are trying for maximum irony or hypocrisy, they have succeeded. Grow up already.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 7, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The republican's again show they have no heart. With all the mis statements they make like the rag head comment or "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran", they do this to a 90 year old lady. Have they no mercy for anyone but themselves?

Posted by: soapm | June 7, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I see this as nothing more than an opportunistic attack on a woman who's made many enemies over the years by speaking truth to power, taking serious this responsibility as a journalist in an age where few do anymore. More often we see ideology, political affiliation sometimes even fear, as an underlying motive for words written and/or position taken, on any given issue. And if you're willing to listen with an unbiased ear, it can be found in this ambush of Mrs. Thomas. It reeks of this. The reality is that this has more to do with who said what, than with what was said.

Posted by: truthseeker7771 | June 7, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Back in the day, we had Helen Thomas and her still living husband to a dinner party at our house. She drank about six or seven Dewar's on the rocks and told me wife, who is Greek Orthodox, that she too was Greek Orthodox, but "I'm not religious." Duh, you could have fooled us. For such a petite person to knock back a third of a bottle of high-test Scotch was something to see. Her husband died about a year later and after that her professionalism deteriorated. As an opinion columnist, she shouldn't have kept the White House Press Deanship, for what it's worth. With Obama, the WH Press Corps has been totally marginalized, much to the chagrin of these true-believing Kool-Aid quaffing Obamatrons. I guess he thinks you should keep pets out of the way as much as possible. And stenographers really are at the bottom of the media totem pole.

Posted by: djman1141 | June 8, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

1)Well, I am wondering what happened to 'Freedom of Speech' now?

2)She may have 'apologized' but she did say what she had in mind. As far as the right to stay in Israel is concerned. I agree to the points that those who are born there have the right to stay there and that jews have been living there for quite some time but what about those who were driven out of there and those who were killed? Jews repeated what had been done to them all over again. Is sympathy only for jews? lol... that land was not empty.. there were people living there.. it was a country.. jews migrated to palestine and that's how they grew in number on that land and eventually took over.. it was not an overnight thing.. why do palestinians have to pay the price for what was done to the jews in OTHER countries?.. i am not a palestinian nor an israelite ... i don't know where israelis should go but her whole view point is that they occupied palestine by force and that's what was wrong... and i totally stand by it.. what's wrong is wrong... holocaust was totally wrong but that does not in any way make the occupation of palestine fair!

Posted by: i_s1 | June 9, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

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