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Saturday Roundup: Hearst won't say whether Helen Thomas will keep job

* Hearst Newspapers is refusing to say whether it will stand by White House veteran reporter Helen Thomas in the wake of conservative outrage over her remarks about Jews leaving Palestine and going back to Europe.

Conservative Web sites have been banging away at Thomas ever since video surfaced of her urging Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Germany and Poland. Beyond these comments, Thomas has aggressively questioned the Obama administration's support for Israel in the wake of the flotilla raid, angering the right, and some Republicans are now seizing on her latest comments to call for her firing.

Asked if Hearst would keep her, Hearst Newspapers spokesman Paul Luthringer emailed me this:

We deeply regret Helen Thomas' remarks, which in no way reflect the views of Hearst Newspapers or its employees. Helen has expressed her own profound regret over the incident.

Asked again whether Hearst would keep her, Luthringer refused to go beyond this statement.

Thomas has already expressed deep regret for the comments, writing on her Web site that "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."

Thomas is a longtime fixture at the White House who's known for directing pointed and ascerbic questions at Democratic and Republican administrations alike, and her firing would be a big story. But it's unclear whether she'll survive this assault, and with Hearst appearing to be holding off on a final decision to see where the story goes next, her fate hangs in the balance.

* In his weekly address devoted to the Gulf spill, President Obama ups the anger-and-resolve quotient yet again, describing the "fury" locals feel and vowing to "fight alongside them, until the awful damage that has been done is reversed."

Still not good enough, Mr. President. Maureen Dowd and I decree that the public wants to see a whole rainbow of emotions. Where's the sadness? The angst? How about a soupcon of wistfulness about nature's fragile beauty?

* Relatedly, Steve Benen notes that some media figures do seem to be finally rejecting the Obama-isn't-emotional-enough narrative.

* Eleanor Clift gets it right: The real way to reverse the "Obama's Katrina" narrative is to seize on the spill to rally for genuine and lasting energy reform. That's what this blog has been sayin'!

* In all seriousness, whether he's listening to pundits or not, Obama is really striving to empathize with Gulf spill victims, saying in his weekly address:

These folks work hard. They meet their responsibilities. But now because of a manmade catastrophe -- one that's not their fault and that's beyond their control -- their lives have been thrown into turmoil. It's brutally unfair. It's wrong. And what I told these men and women -- and what I have said since the beginning of this disaster -- is that I'm going to stand with the people of the Gulf Coast until they are made whole.

* Top allies of the Obama administration gear up to spend $25 million selling the new health reform law. Cue up GOP response: If it costs that much to sell it, then what does that tell you?

* Not going away: Mark Kirk's exaggerations get the full Nagourney treatment.

* Israeli commandos board the latest Gaza-bound aid ship without incident.

* Also in the above link: Israel may "soften" its approach to the Gaza blockade in the face of international pressure.

* And the shocker of the day: Sarah Palin just may be putting her own ambitions over her stated conservative principles.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 5, 2010; 10:16 AM ET
Categories:  Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Political media  
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Comments

Funny I thought when folks like Limbaugh say their latest vile and disgusting thing it's always the right wing that wraps itself in the cloak of the 1st amendment and free speech.

Hypocrites the lot of them

I don't support what she said but I've heard a lot worse from the same a holes calling for her to be fired

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

And I'd add that at least she apologized

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 5, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

SG -- good point. interesting that Hearst may cave, huh?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 5, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

To Greg & Co who claim the public wants more emotion from our president, please give it a rest. We know Obama is not one to show extreme emotion so if he were to start pounding the podium, flailing arms, we'd know he was faking it. Give me a break. This is another ginned up 'issue' the MSM came up with. Enough with fluff journalism, already.

Posted by: samverza | June 5, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm guessing it a career-ender for the lady. She's put herself smack into the meat-grinder with that one. But it wouldn't have been well-received even forty years ago (though for different reasons, I'd argue).

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"To Greg & Co who claim the public wants more emotion from our president, please give it a rest."

You must be new around here....Greg is being completely snarky about this.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 5, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@samverza - you've got Greg wrongsideout here.

Re Palin...Imsinca noted yesterday that Palin's Facebook comments following that endorsement have been vicious. They are, it's a fun read.

And she's really pushing the "mama grizzly" thing which, again, aligns with the Matalin clue on what we're likely to see coming up the pike re pushing Republican femaleness in order to draw women voters away from Obama and the left. That's not new, of course, as they tried that last election with the PUMA campaign (highly organized, multiple "groups", cross-linked and mutually supportive) ostensibly in support of Hilary but actually a well-orchestrated Republican initiative.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I don't get it, I'm not conservative by a long shot, I don't see this as a political issue I see this as a hate issue. I do believe Helen Thomas should be fired, reporters are supposed to report we shouldn't know their opinions. Let's all get a grip, this partisianship is getting out of control. Everything becomes political-the oil leak, Katrina, etc...
Helen Thomas though wears her partianship on her sleeve and for that she should be terminated.

Posted by: jalexander3 | June 5, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"How about a soupcon of wistfulness about nature's fragile beauty?"

That's awesome, Greg. Almost as good as your "libertarian fairy dust" from a few days ago.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 5, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The time has come for Helen Thomas to resign. At her advanced age, she is no longer up to the job.

Saying that Jews should go back to Poland and Germany, of all places, shows that Ms. Thomas no longer has the rational capacity to function as a working reporter or journalist.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 5, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

* Top allies of the Obama administration gear up to spend $25 million selling the new health reform law. Cue up GOP response: If it costs that much to sell it, then what does that tell you?

................

Greg,

It tells me that it still costs less to sell the Health Care Reform, on a national basis, than it is costing to sell Meg Whitman in a mere Republican state primary.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 5, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Slave Sargent:
"SG -- good point. interesting that Hearst may cave, huh?"

Scuse me, meme-master..."cave"?

Do you mean to say that you would view the firing of a veteran White House correspondent who publicly stated the anti-Semitic equivalent of "Blacks should go back to Africa" as some kind of concession to political gamesmanship?

Interesting insight into your defective little moonbat mentality.

So...is it that you hate Jews enough to not mind the damage you do to yourself politically, or do you hate Conservatives so much that you don't mind making common cause with anti-Semites?

I'd suggest that you drop this line of reportage entirely, lest this tar-baby soil and pollute you.

Let's face it...a journalist with the record of Helen Thomas you ain't.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 5, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

Where does the live links issue stand. Are we never going to get back that tool?

I have two fairly long articles, that I would like to link to.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The most interesting thing in Mr. Sargent's report is the dog that didn't bark. Mr. Sargent notes "conservative outrage" over Helen Thomas's remarks. Where was the liberal outrage? Do liberals agree with Helen Thomas that the 70% of Israeli Jews who were born in Israel should go "back to Poland and Germany and America"?

Posted by: Rob_ | June 5, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It's a shame Thomas' career has to end this way, but that's a risk taken when people hang around too long. She is mentally no longer able to do her job and so instead of retiring to the accolades her many years of work have earned, she will leave to jeers.

Interesting that some people here defend Thomas. They invent claims of hypocrisy in their ideological opponents to defend their own shamelessness. But that's why we have comment sections, isn't it? So we can be embarrassed by the idiots on our own side.

Posted by: timmaguire | June 5, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"re pushing Republican femaleness in order to draw women voters away from Obama and the left. "

I can see why they would want to try that....it worked so well for them two yrs ago with Palin on the ticket {rolls eyes}.

If it's one thing 2008 showed, it's that women voters don't just want "a woman" - they want "the right woman". It's the equivalent of running Alan Keyes and expecting to win the AA vote.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 5, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Wow, so Helen Thomas makes an over-the-top comment but it only evokes "conservative outrage", not just "outrage"? Actually, I guess it's been no secret that various breaches of ethics and decency mean far less to the Left than they do to the Right.

Posted by: Poster2 | June 5, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Funny I thought when folks like Limbaugh say their latest vile and disgusting thing it's always the right wing that wraps itself in the cloak of the 1st amendment and free speech."

OK, sgwhiteinfla - so show me where Limbaugh told blacks to go back to Africa, or accept the fact that you're a liar.

Posted by: greybeard3 | June 5, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Conservative outrage? Give me a break. The outrage is universal, unless you're a fellow anti-Semite. The WaPo again proves it's staffed by useless tools.

Posted by: TheLastBrainLeft | June 5, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

First, the notion that Helen Thomas was somehow equally tough on Rs and Ds is laughable--she has long been Exhibit Number 1 in the pantheon of Democrat-supporting reporters.

Second, she doesn't get a pass due to her age. She's always had a hatred of Israel. Perhaps she is simply unable to disguise it at all anymore.

In any event, she needed to go years ago. I'm pleased that her career ends with her showing her true colors, though.

Posted by: georgepurcell1 | June 5, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Hearst will never fire anti-Semite Helen Thomas as she speaks, although vulgarly without the usual nuance, the basic theme of the liberal Israel hating media. Could Helen have gotten away with saying Blacks should return to Africa? Or mercantile overseas Chinese across the globe should return to China? Of course not. But, she does have permission in the liberal media to get away with her shades of Hitler comment.

When are American Jews going to wise up and stop voting for and funding the Democrats who despise them? Did they learn nothing from the 1930's? Have they forgotten how their appeasement of and groveling before the Fascists and Communists in Europe ended for them?

When, not if, Israel is turned into glass by Iran American Jews are complicit in my opinion.

Posted by: onecent100 | June 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Faux outrage. The press and everyone else needs to just ignore conservative pundits and operatives. It's all a big show.

Call it what it is and move on. Obama did a good job of calling in phony outrage during the elections but he's not in a position to make that call now. Everyone else should be doing that though.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 5, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how many of you that are "outraged" actually saw her remarks. She said israelis should withdraw from Palestine. She was then asked where they could go and she said home. When they then asked her where was home she Said Germany and Poland which, if you've ever read a history book and know how modern Israel came to be is in fact accurate. It was a dumb thing to say especially on camera but there wasn't hate behind it when she said it. To say this is akin to somebody telling a black person to go back to Africa is patently foolish. I'd also like to point out that nobody is saying she was in the right but by the same token her speaking out of turn doesn't automatically mean a person of her accomplishments should be fired. If it did I'd imagine a lot of you would be unemployed.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 5, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"Actually, I guess it's been no secret that various breaches of ethics and decency mean far less to the Left than they do to the Right."

Would that be the same "decency" Limbaugh showed when he referred to a 13 yr old Chelsea Clinton as "the White House dog"? Or would that be the same "ethics" shown by John Boehner when he was handing out campaign checks from the tobacco industry to members on the House floor at a time when lawmakers were considering eliminating a tobacco subsidy.

Spare us your faux outrage.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 5, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Notice that we already have some jackoffs defending Rush Limbaugh. I rest my case...

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 5, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"Hearst Newspapers is refusing to say whether it will stand by White House veteran reporter Helen Thomas in the wake of conservative outrage over her remarks..."

A genuine question; I am sure liberals are outraged at these remarks. No rational person can agree with Thomas' ignorant take on history, not to mention the fantastic improbability that Jews would voluntarily "return" anywhere.

Why then limit your reporting to conservative outrage?

Rick Moran

Posted by: elvenstar522 | June 5, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I’m satisfied. Who among us hasn’t innocently stumbled into a statement of support for ethnic cleansing when we didn’t really mean it?

Posted by: yachiragonzalez | June 5, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"To say this is akin to somebody telling a black person to go back to Africa is patently foolish."

Then you're a moron as well as a liar and an anti-Semite. She was making a blatant call for "Palestine" to be cleansed of Jews.

Posted by: greybeard3 | June 5, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I am a liberal, and if Helen Thomas was calling for the State Of Israel to be ended, and for it's Jewish citizens to go live in some EU countries, then she clearly has lost it, and should retire.

The vast majority of today's Jewish citizens of Israel were born there, or never came from either Poland or Germany,

The reality is that the Jewish population of those two countries was mostly eradicated by the Nazis.

The two state solution is the only rational way to end the conflict.

Palestine should declare it's Independence, within the pre 1969 borders, and should announce; that all those who live within those borders will be full citizens of the new state, including the settlers. If those settlers do not like that, then they should return to the legitimate state of Israel.

Leaving it up to the two eternally squabbling sides, to decide how to end the forced marriage, and who gets to keep what property is absurd.

An impartial international judicial panel should be set up, to issue a ruling on a final divorce decree, and to divide up the property fairly.

That should take no longer than a year to accomplish, and once there are two legitimate nations established, then both of them will be required to respect each other's territorial boundaries, and any attacks launched from one side on the other can be treated as acts of war, and the other nation will be justified in using force to defend itself.

Give the Palestinians a state, so they have something that bad behavior will put a risk, and then their own citizens will be far less supportive of reckless violent acts, being done in their own country's name.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 5, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I love the way wingnuts recoil in horror when anyone dares to suggest that their blinding hatred of Obama may in any way be related to his race - yet they have no qualms yelling "ANTI-SEMITE" at the first sign that anyone might possibly utter anything that could in any way be construed as being critical of Israel.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 5, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

slavegwhiteinfla:
"I wonder how many of you that are "outraged" actually saw her remarks. She said israelis should withdraw from Palestine. She was then asked where they could go and she said home. When they then asked her where was home she Said Germany and Poland which, if you've ever read a history book and know how modern Israel came to be is in fact accurate."

Uh-huh. Moonbat...PLEASE!

Read a history book yourself and see where the Hebrews came from BEFORE the Diaspora.

It's pretty unequivocally clear from the historical record that they were from what we call Israel today.

And if you believe the Bible as a historical text, then they might have as much a claim to Egypt or Iraq as they might to Germany or Poland.

"It was a dumb thing to say especially on camera but there wasn't hate behind it when she said it."

No, moonbat. The very FIRST thing you had to say about the matter on this post was:

"Funny I thought when folks like Limbaugh say their latest vile and disgusting thing it's always the right wing that wraps itself in the cloak of the 1st amendment and free speech.

Hypocrites the lot of them"

You could care less about Jews OR Helen Thomas, you are so enmired in political hatred that all this is to you is an opportunity to try to score moonbat points.

Thomas should be handed her purse and her hat and shown the door...by the White House Press Office, if not Hearst.

Let her report from outside on the sidewalk...

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 5, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"These folks work hard. They meet their responsibilities. But now because of a manmade catastrophe -- one that's not their fault and that's beyond their control -- their lives have been thrown into turmoil. It's brutally unfair. It's wrong. And what I told these men and women -- and what I have said since the beginning of this disaster -- is that I'm going to stand with the people of the Gulf Coast until they are made whole."

I think the president missed a good opportunity to take a jab at the free market and endorse the regulated free market we have. A pure free market allows the big guy to crap on the little guys with impunity and worse, no regulation means it's unfortunate but legal. These small businesses and private American's are collateral damage in a true free market society. Just a casualty of a brutal system where the rich just get richer and posses all the power.

The reason we need energy reform is not to squeeze mom and pop small businesses out of the competition as the Republican's would make us believe lifting the caps would do, instead a regulated free market set's common sense rules of the road and gives tax payers and less influential small business owners a recourse in times like these. They level the playing field and makes small businesses able to compete. They also protect tax payers, citizens and the environment from risk taking carelessness like what the Republican's allowed on Wall Street and in the Oil Industry.

Posted by: soapm | June 5, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

And the native Americans can lay a much more recent claim to lands that belonged to them, before they were forcefully displaced.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 5, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

""To Greg & Co who claim the public wants more emotion from our president, please give it a rest."

"You must be new around here....Greg is being completely snarky about this"

You both have good points but I want to add, Obama's "calm in the storm" is one of the reasons he was elected. McCain panicked during the financial crises, suspended his campaign to save the nation from financial ruin. Obama's stock went up because he was able to multi-task, stayed calm and assuring and handled the crises like a true leader of the free world.

The republican's are winning the messaging war by forcing Obama to show more emotion. They know they will benefit if they can crack his calming shell. The Democrats are being led by the nose and don't realize this will be Obama's Katrina if he starts flying off with temper flares.

Greg knows the real deal and I wish more Democrats would follow his lead and tell the Democrats to counter the Republican's cry for more anger by appreciating the calm, level headed leader we elected.

Posted by: soapm | June 5, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

The diminishing returns, and ever increasing risk of massive environmental catastrophes, from off shore oil drilling, makes that enterprise the 21st Century version of the Whale Oil For The Lamps Of China exercise in futility.

We had reached the point where we could no longer produce enough Whale Oil, and we were driving the species to extinction.

The same applies now, to the off shore oil drilling efforts. What can be extracted, is just a drop in the bucket, compared to what we consume, and even a single spill, can destroy the habitat of many species.

Just like the Whale Slaughter For Oil, Era, It is time to end the Offshore Oil Drilling Era.

The risks far exceed the returns.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 5, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

So, Helen Thomas will lose her job because she said what so many believe.

YET - when people try to tell Jews that it is this very act of vengeance against any and all who question Jews, their ethnocentric bonds, and disproportionate power.... we are called haters.

The next time 2 Jews are wringing their hands and asking "why do they hate us"?

Point to Helen Thomas and their zero tolerance for difference of opinion.

I'm sick of the USA being occupied by this 2% cabal.

Posted by: cwardnm | June 5, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder was fired for much less than this. Helen needs to apologize and resign.

Helen, go retire and never be heard from again.

Posted by: Redwarning | June 5, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is trapped in an "Angry Emotional" cage.

If he shows Anger and Emotion, then the Right Wingers will start using "The Angry Black Man" stereotype against him.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 5, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Jimmy The Greek should have fired long before that for passing as an odds making expert.

His record on picking winners, on the Sunday NFL games, was always considerably less that 50% predicted correctly.

A coin toss would have provide a better winning percentage.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 5, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Ms Thomas merely said what the vast majority of the American left believe. The one true measure of status with the left is " what is your level of Victimhood". The weaker party, no matter how evil, is always right. Palestinians are the weaker party. Facts are for those who do not understand that the primary purpose of a political belief for a leftist is to demonstrate the nobility of the believer and the purity of their soul.

The truly fascinating trend is that over the course of 50 years antisemitism has migrated from the political right to the political left in the USA. While there are many possible explanations can you think of any other major issue that has so completely revered it's political base?
Even harder to explain is the increase in antisemitism in Europe amongst the non Muslim population. The continent has gone in two generations from Christian to agnostic yet antisemitism has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. Why?

Posted by: devluddite | June 5, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

devluddite:
"The continent has gone in two generations from Christian to agnostic yet antisemitism has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. Why?"

Because as they have turned their backs upon God, they have by default turned their faces to Satan.

And Satan welcomes the audience...

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 5, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The left is not anti-semitic, moron.

Because one very old lady said something patently stupid does not a case make.

The left is built on diversity and equality; the right wants none of that. See Arizona for a demonstration of how that's playing out.

Where do you get your ideas, Jonah Goldberg?

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 5, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"Thomas is a longtime fixture at the White House who's known for directing pointed and ascerbic questions at Democratic and Republican administrations alike..."

Bull swallop. When was the last time Ms. Thomas asked a pointed question of a Democratic administration? She certainly hasn't done so with this administration. Nor will she do so now. It's time for her to go.

Posted by: ravail136 | June 5, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Look at THIS critter!

A Nazi moonbat:

"So, Helen Thomas will lose her job because she said what so many believe"

A lot of what she said, the forcible resettlement of Jews elsewhere, was also said by a guy with a toothbrush mustache.

"YET - when people try to tell Jews that it is this very act of vengeance against any and all who question Jews, their ethnocentric bonds, and disproportionate power.... we are called haters"

No. You're called a hater because you are a hateful Nazistic anti-semite. And a liar to boot.
Helen Thomas didn;t "question" anything...she made a declaration.

"The next time 2 Jews are wringing their hands and asking "why do they hate us"?
Point to Helen Thomas and their zero tolerance for difference of opinion."

Yes...Jews are SO intolerant that Helen Thomas HASN'T had a 60-70 year career in journalism.

You're a half-witted booger-eater, in addition to being a lying hateful Nazistic anti-Semite.

"I'm sick of the USA being occupied by this 2% cabal."

Feel free to go back to where YOU came from.

Y'know, most of the moonbat cattle 'round the Slum Line are really little more than weak-minded little airheads, using politics as a means of being "popular".

You are a critter of quite a different phylum.

More like a snake than a moonbat.


Posted by: Bilgeman | June 5, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

First, Helen Thomas did NOT say Jews should go "back to Europe". She said they should go back to Poland and Germany.

Your equivocation on this is no small matter.

The specificity of her comments is chilling. This is tantamount to saying Jews should go away and die. Everyone gets the reference.

Which brings me to my second point:

It is NOT just conservatives and Republicans who are outraged by this.

Everyone who finds the Holocaust abhorrent is disgusted and outraged at this.

You should be too. The question I have is: Why are you not?

Posted by: Antonin | June 5, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with Jewry. This has to do with illegal and brutal occupation of indigenous Arab lands. The brutality makes it horrifically unbearable. Imagine being a child raised in those lands being tormented by your occupier for over 6 decades. You had better be glad that I am not a Palestinian, or the occupiers would have another enemy. Things would be differeng if the occupiers were more friendly and helpful. Unfortunately this is not the case. It just so happens that the occupiers that stole the land with the help of their financial relationships with the British were Jewish. I am anti-occupation and anti-brutalization, not anti-semitic. The occupiers could be Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Atheists for all I care.

Posted by: stealthjihad | June 5, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

stealthjihad:
"This has to do with illegal and brutal occupation of indigenous Arab lands"

"Arab lands" are in the Arabian Peninsula. Israel is not. Hebrews lived in the Levant LONG before anyone had heard of Muhammad, or clapped eyes on any Arabs.

And before you get any higher on your Arab charger, I'd like to remind you that Arabs were a fairly land-acquisitive lot themselves.

And didn;t seem too concerned with the indigenous peoples whose lands THEY had conquered...ask a Tunisian Christian or an Algerian Jew, (if you can find any).

The Arabs conquered the Levant under the banner of Islam, lost it for awhile during the Crusades, regained it under the Ottoman Turks, and lost it again to Lawrence of Arabia.

So where you get off touting Israel as an "indigenous Arab land" is truly absurd.

"The brutality makes it horrifically unbearable. Imagine being a child raised in those lands being tormented by your occupier for over 6 decades."

Oh. please...Israeli Palestinians have never had it so good. Except for the suicide bombers and the rockets launched at them...by OTHER Palestinians.

"You had better be glad that I am not a Palestinian, or the occupiers would have another enemy."

It's manifestly obvious that you indeed already ARE their enemy, although you admit that they have done you no wrong.

"I am anti-occupation and anti-brutalization, not anti-semitic."

Well, I'm sure there's at least ONE person reading this blog who believes THAT.

Hey...how do you feel about American Indians?

Tibetans?

Australian Aborigines?

I betcha that the cause of none of those groups turn your crank enough to cause you to post screeds against their conquerors.

But the people conquered by Jews?

That's a different story ain't it?

Jew-baiting is something you just WANT to do.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 5, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I'd think by now I would be no longer shocked by the level of disingenuousness of the wapo's "writers" but you people are always able to sink to a new low.

Conservative outrage indeed. Needless to say the "progressives" find nothing wrong with what Helen Thomas said because they themselves believe the same thing. But what the "progressives" will find out is that a vast majority of non-conservative don't!

The people who write for this paper are a reflection of the people who have controlling interest of it. I hope Donald Graham understands that.

Posted by: zefal | June 5, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

@Bilgeman

Well it is obvious that with people like you in the world I should be weary of the hounds of hell.

Israel did not exist before 1948. The land was stolen by filthy rich people in association with the British Empire.

And what happened to the American Indians, Tibetans, Australian Aborigines and any other indigenous people is wrong too. The major difference is that these conflicts are not the focus of US and British foreign policy, and their occupiers are not lobbying the US or Great Britain to support their war efforts on an oppressed society for nearly a century.

I am not an enemy of Israel. At least not yet. But I could be convinced into fighting Israel if Israel continues to abuse the US government and the US foreign policy political agenda for Israel is taken back by the American people. Do you know anything about the USS Liberty?

Palestinians never had it so good? You are a grotesquely sick in the head. I dare you to spend one year in Gaza. You would not last a month.

By the way, the Arabs have not been conquered by the Jews. The conflict still wages on. And many of the immigrants in occupied Palestine are from many other cultures and religions.

Once again, this is not about Jewry and anti-Semitic attacks. It is about getting along with thy neighbor, whether they be Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Atheist, Islamic or Jewish for that matter.

Stop being racist.

In any case, Israel better shape up before it loses its best ally, the US. You do not want the US as your enemy.

Posted by: stealthjihad | June 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Beyond the merits of her argument, what ticks me off is how public figures make assinine, statements and then show "deep regret". What I'd like to know is if she regrets it because *she* realized it was a mistake or because of pressure.

Hey genius-its called "thinking before you speak".

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | June 5, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

John Cole:

"In other news, I think Helen Thomas will probably get fired for this. Those kinds of views might be acceptable for Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and conservatives like Pat Buchanan, but probably not the press."

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/05/the-blockade/

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Of all of the stupid, just-plain-wrong, moronic columns I've read by people on the right, this has to take the cake.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/06/04/the_university_guild_vs_glenn_beck.html

Unbelievable, just unbelievable. The CFR should just fold up its tent.

Do people like Schlaes have any idea what goes on in the world? Or even in the world of higher ed? I think they just get their info from TV and other pundits.

Wow. Idiots.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 5, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@BGinCHI,

I am not a fan of the CFR at all. Using Glenn Beck as a pillar of justice and academia is a new low for even the CFR. They must be reaching for straws these days. The political enlightenment and diverse leadership in the world today are breaking up status quo quasi political governments and their mainstream media propaganda machines. Finally!

Posted by: stealthjihad | June 5, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

What about Adam Rothschild calling the Prime Minister of Canada a slave on facebook? http://bit.ly/cv5kYY

Posted by: stealthjihad | June 5, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"What else is happening?"

BREAKING FOX NEWS!

Another scandal discovered by the GOP. President Obama has filled his cabinet with people he offered the jobs to. The entire cabinet! Every one of them!

Let the impeachment begin!

Posted by: wbgonne | June 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

To those brave posters on this site who feel the need to defend Ms. Thomas, just ask yourselves - Where did the Jews from Germany and Poland come from before they arrived in Europe? What was the Diaspora? How did Jewish antiquities dating back centuries/millennia arrive in the land now called Israel if Palestine wasn't a Jewish land? This is no biblical reference - its historic fact. And to those (sadly, but primarily on the left) that want to fall in line with the "bash Israel crowd" - your ignorance of history truly undermines your credibility.

Posted by: GetReal3 | June 5, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Helen Thomas has been senile for about 25 years. Well past time to retire. An unfortunate way to go out but something like this has been inevitable for a long time.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 5, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"Conservative Web sites have been banging away at Thomas ever since video surfaced of her urging Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Germany and Poland." - Yes, "Banging Away" - How foolish of us!!! "Banging Away" - This comment/opinion along with all the other wonderful, loving comments from the left (or was this a true Bigot speaking) be just 'laughed' as as 'cute' or to 'intellectual' for the common man/woman to understand?

Posted by: mikecolo | June 5, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

GetReal, who here is defending what she said?

Your sketch of the Diaspora is that before the Palestinians Palestine was a "Jewish land"? Well, it was for a period, and then it wasn't, and then it was.

People push other people off land all the time. The history of human beings is the history of displacement. You can't just use this in a simplistic way to justify what a nation state is doing to a specific group of people.

Or, you can, but at least be honest about what's happening on a daily basis to the Palestinian people (not Hamas; I don't care a fig for those gangsters).

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 5, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"This comment/opinion along with all the other wonderful, loving comments from the left (or was this a true Bigot speaking) be just 'laughed' as as 'cute' or to 'intellectual' for the common man/woman to understand?"

Yeah, based on that "sentence", I'm pretty sure no one can understand wtf you're trying to say. Sounds like you graduated from the "Sarah Palin School of English Proficiency".

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 5, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

@GetReal3,

I know all about the history of the Middle East. A number of tribes and empires occupied much of the land in question today. The specific history you talk about goes back a couple of thousand years. The people of modern day Israel are not entitled to the land that their ancestors owned 2000 years ago. Sorry, but you will have to get real and understand that fact is absolute.

People from Germany and Poland have no more right to land in Israel/Palestine than Americans of German descent have in Germany, or American Catholics in Italy, or Hindu American have in India.

Citizenship and land ownership is by immediate ancestry or negotiated acquisition, or pretty much everyone would be a citizen of pretty much everywhere and claim land all over. It's one thing if people move from Europe to Israel. It's quite another if they are allowed to do so, and yet Israel still denies the right of return to the several hundred thousand Palestinians displaced in war. There is a right of return in international law and it refers to immediate blood descendants (children), NOT people of the same religion or culture.

Otherwise, I want to claim some land that the Russians, British, and Vikings took from my ancestors a couple thousand years ago.

Posted by: stealthjihad | June 5, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I took Greg's point about Helen Thomas to be that right wingers who call for her head based on her odious comments never call for Rush's head based on his.

What she said was despicable, in my book, and she should step down. Rush should have been run out of town on a rail a long time ago, but there's an audience for his garbage.

I am sick of the hardcore right wing calling moderates and liberals anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. I am pro-Israel, anti-Netanyahu, and anti-third rail attitudes toward Israeli abuses of power.

When America F's up, we get called out on it and we (usually) admit it. When Israel F's up, the wagons circle and the justifications come raining down. Our paranoia about anti-Semitism is enabling Netanyahu to become tyrannical.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | June 5, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Where's the news about Sue "ChickenChick" Lowden? Now *that's* a story.

The whole fate of our Congress and Nation depends on whether the Fine Bartering Folk of Nevaaada outnumber the Slightly Saner Folk therein.

I need 666 chickens for my lobotomy so I can stand the 2000 psi of the POAP -- the Preposterousness of American Politics.

Posted by: wendyf | June 5, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

BGinCHI - just read some of these posts and you'll get an answer to your own question.

Posted by: GetReal3 | June 5, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I just read the prez's email on the Gulf Coast, and it seems to me he's doing/been doing about everything people accuse him of not doing. Meeting with fishermen? Yes. Billing BP? Yes. Seeing there are vast numbers of vessels available for the cleanup? Yes.

I still maintain that if the public thinks he's not doing all that it can, it's due in part to the coverage. Unless we install speakers on every street corner and in every living room for him to get his message out, I'm not sure what more he can do. And I've never been that crazy about those totalitarian models.

Posted by: AllButCertain | June 5, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The right? Conservatives? Why aren't all good people calling for the firing of this clearly anti-Semitic woman?

I would love to see quotes of the racism that the left constantly accuses the right of uttering. They smear, and claim but never quote. I have listened to Rush Limbaugh and he has never made a racist remark. Not one, not ever. Because he is not a racist. He is a clear thinking person who will not kowtow to the politically correct mind and language control of leftists.

Helen Thomas said exactly what she thinks. Her only regret is that her views became public.

Posted by: SameOldTiredThinking | June 5, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

"I would love to see quotes of the racism that the left constantly accuses the right of uttering. They smear, and claim but never quote."

1)“Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”

2)

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 5, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

(hit the wrong button) cont:

2)“Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”

3)“The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

4)[To an African American female caller]: “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”

5)“We need segregated buses… This is Obama’s America.”

Need more?

http://newsone.com/obama/casey-gane-mccalla/top-10-racist-limbaugh-quotes/

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 5, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's a bit of good news from Jason Linkins. And like most comments here I think Helen Thomas said a pretty dumb thing and will probably lose her job. Not quite sure how what she says makes all us liberals anti-semites. That's usually the refrain when we disagree with Israeli policy decisions as opposed to the right who resides in Netanyahu's hip pocket. I wonder if the vast number of actual Israeli's who disagree with the blockade etc. are also anti-semites. Just sayin'.

"UPDATE: Good news. The gutless, carbound racists lost, and the mural is being restored to its "original theme." Jeff Lane, the principal of Miller Valley Elementary School, and Kevin Kapp, the school superintendent, showed up at a protest today to apologize for giving in to whims of mentally deranged adults, spewing racial epithets at a painting:"

Posted by: lmsinca | June 5, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

That's awesome news about the mural, Imsinca. Thanks for the update!

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 5, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I think wbgonne's Fox post is as important (but funny) as any journalists derailment. The Obama Admin. is the result of the President offering people jobs? Oh, the humanity!

Posted by: hoser3 | June 5, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Helen Thomas knows that when the Jews left Germany and Poland they were fleeing with tatoos on their arms from Dachau and Auschwitz where most of their families were killed and where most of them nearly died. Is that where she wants them to return? Is that what she wants for them? Who would have guessed that such a prominent American would have harbored such deap seated Anti-Semitism? Who would have guess that she would ever make such statements so openly? But then since Obama was elected President Anti-Israeli and Anti-Semitic statements seem to be more and more common and acceptable!

Posted by: valwayne | June 5, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

"Israel is Jewish land". The rationale for this claim being original occupation.

First, this rationale, if it were factual, would have North America as native Indian land. In fact, it would be the land of the first wave of settlers from Russia and not those who arrived out of Russia in later waves. Australia, New Zealand and all Pacific Islands would be properly "owned" by those who set out across the Pacific in outriggers. Etc. So this is hardly a reasonable basis on which to make such a claim.

But further, when Abraham's people moved up out of the Tigris-Euphrates delta (of course, there's a potential claim here, using the "first occupiers" rationale, that Iraq is Jewish land) and moved into what is now Israel, there were people already living there (the archaeological record on this is unambiguous).

And they were, almost assuredly, Semitic peoples as well.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"Helen Thomas knows that when the Jews left Germany and Poland they were fleeing with tatoos on their arms from Dachau and Auschwitz where most of their families were killed and where most of them nearly died. Is that where she wants them to return? Is that what she wants for them?"

There's no reason to assume she meant this at all. You offer up a reading that matches some notion you have about her words and meaning but that interpretation doesn't have support other than in your head.

It's a commonplace to hear, for example, Americans of a particular ideological bent to exclaim that those Americans who offer up criticisms of America to "love it or leave it". The intent is "go elsewhere", it isn't go somewhere else and die or suffer.

It's also a commonplace here or in Europe to hear exclamations to folks from southern regions, blacks or Muslims for example, to "go back where you came from".

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"It's a commonplace to hear, for example, Americans of a particular ideological bent to exclaim that those Americans who offer up criticisms of America to "love it or leave it"."

A commonplace? Really? When was the last time you heard anyone say this? How many times have you heard someone say this in, say, the last year? Can you provide any evidence whatsoever that this exclamation is a "commonplace"?

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 5, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Triple sheesh...Benen also thinks Palin is going to run
"A PRETTY BIG 2012 HINT"
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

Can the party so stupid as to permit this? Imagine the debates..."Like Ronald Reagan, I would send a message to the South Koreans that the United States of America will NOT allow them to build that highway to the United Nations."

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Scott - get your Love It Or Leave It bumper sticker at the following link...
http://www.stickergiant.com/love-it-or-leave-it_aad572.html

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

National Review... http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MGZlMGZmZWYzMjI5MjdmMTI0Mzg0NjRiZGFiYzc3YmE=

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

More National Review...
http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MjM4Zjk1MmIzY2ZhNDVmZTNmOTZhYTcxNjI3N2Q0NWY=

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I hope Hearst will do the right thing and get rid of Helen Thomas. There is no place for such ignorance and bigotry in any news organization.
Her apology is a joke; she said what she believes in the interview.

James McDonough,
Publisher,
Irish New and Entertainment
Manhattan, Kansas

Posted by: jimmcd44 | June 5, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Triple sheesh...Benen also thinks Palin is going to run...Can the party so stupid as to permit this?"

Bernie, I know you probably don't particularly like it, and so it may slip your mind from time to time, but there still exists in this country some degree of a thing called "freedom". Parties don't "permit" people to run for President. Anyone is free to do so, no matter how stupid Bernie Latham thinks they might be.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 5, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Comment in Andrew Breitbart's page...
http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/bighollywood/2010/06/01/gene-simmons-tribute-to-the-us-military/

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

And then there's your tea party flag examples... http://media.cleveland.com/metro/photo/tea-partyjpg-4dbecfbf1d8f0b90_large.jpg

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Helen Thomas 's correction of her statement notes that : "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." Ms. Thomas is not alone . There are a number of countries in European ,Africa and other continents including 57 Muslim countries in Middle East who are demanding since creation of the State of Israelis , that they should withdraw from Palestinian Lands . Almost all high school history books explain creation of Israel fairly and accurately . The Jews in large numbers were driven out from their homeland in Germany and other European countries . The State of Israel was created with help of the U. S. and generously support with military and economic assistance of billions of dollars ever since 1948 . Since 1967 all U. S. Presidents have demanded dismantling of Jewish Settlements ,as a compromise for lasting peace in the region . The World knows that an injustice was done in the aftermath of WW II with Palestinians . The complex negotiations on 2002 peace plan , and agreements already reached on the Settlements , must be respected first by Israel . The U. S.,Israel and Palestine Authority, after a very long time have agreed on a two State solution for the resolution of the Middle East Israel - Palestinian dispute . Although the two State solution of the dispute may not be the correct and best solution for the lasting peace in the region . This is also not acceptable to the current right wing extremist prime minister and majority of hard line Israelis . There are two other solutions ; First , in the short run , one state of Palestine based on universal suffrage of one man one vote , for all the people Israelis and Arabs etc. Second , Europeans States , particularly Germany and Poland should accept Jews back , because the Jews came from there due to their civil war . Germany should with the help of rest of Europe and the U. S . can accept them for the World peace . Since there is lack of trust , a Palestinian State side by side an Israeli State will never work , unless the demography changes in the next 20-30 years , in favor of the Arabs. The current prime minister has no respect for the International laws and agreements . He has spent his life time opposing all Palestinian rights . The three million Palestinians living in sub human conditions and jail like land strip of Gaza have been suffering for forty years . The World has noted this injustice after three and a half years .

Posted by: dmfarooq | June 5, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Scott -re Palin...please, my good man. Of course the party seniors will work to determine who becomes the party's nominee. It will be a key element to whether or not the party has electoral success.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I suppose we could point out that the only reason Palin arrived anywhere near power was because the party seniors (ie Kristol) moved her into that position. Nothing terribly random in this.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 5, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Are there any Progressives that are condemning the statement of Helen Thomas?

Posted by: d1carter | June 5, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Helen Thomas represents herself and no one else. The left/progressives have no reason to publicly take a position.

You on the right are used to Limbaugh, who tells you what to do, stands for everything you believe in because you can't think for yourselves, and so you expect anyone who makes the news on the left to be a "spokesperson" or something.

Sorry Charley. Please leave this blog and inquire directly to Helen about what she said. We here on the left are capable of having complex opinions about the Middle East that need no comment from a geriatric DC reporter.

Idiots.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 6, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

You really are shameless, aren't you Bernie? That you pontificate on the lack of integrity in others given your own obvious shortcomings on that score is almost comical.

In order to defend your claim that is a "commonplace" for American critics of America to be told "Love it or leave it", you link to two National Review posts. One of them in fact has nothing whatsoever to do with America or American critics of America, is titled "Australia: Love it or leave it", and is merely a report about something that is going on in Australia.

The other is a post headlined "Love it or leave it" that is not itself telling anyone to love America or leave it, but is instead simply a second hand label directing its audience to a different article not dismissing American critics of America, but rather reluctantly considering the possibility that Islam, at least as it is understood by many Muslims, is simply incompatible with American values.

BTW, that article, by editor of the Dallas Morning News Rod Dreher, was prompted by Dreher's meeting with local Muslim leaders, part of which Dreher describes as follows:

"I asked the delegation's leader to clarify something he'd said to me and some colleagues last time we met, about his belief that homosexuals should be killed, adulterous women stoned, etc. He launched an elaborate defense of this position, saying that Judaism and Christianity are against homosexuality. Yes, I said, but they don't require that gays be killed for being gay. Do you believe that they should? An imam jumped in to explain why the sharia is right to require hand-chopping of thieves. Later, the delegation's leader said that if I'm asking him to apologize for what his religion requires, he's not going to do it."

Is that the type of criticism of America you had in mind, Bernie? Complaints that in America Muslims are not allowed to kill gays, stone adulteresses, and chop off the hands of theives?

In any event, your presentation of NR's two posts as evidence to support your claim that American critics of America are regularly told to "love it or leave it" is either grossly ignorant or outrageously dishonest.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 6, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Good to see that Helen Thomas continues to be a pain in the a*s*s for both the left and right.

Posted by: Andy94 | June 6, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Helen Thomas should be fired. This is a textbook example of liberal media bias. Can you imagine the uproar if a conservative had made a statement about all the _______ going back to ______ . It would not even matter what is in the blanks. Over th eyears I have had the feeling that Helen Thomas was getting pretty far out with some of her questions. I had no idea how far out she was. Put her out to pasture. Her 15 minutes has lasted much too long.

Posted by: guitarman1944 | June 6, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

This Helen Thomas affair is a timely object lesson in that just the other day Ethan went ballistic at my noting that the left generally hates Israel and tried without success to argue to the contrary.

Thomas said in bald terms what is a very common sentiment on the left. Now, dutifully, liberals swarm here to defend or excuse her, all the while protesting that they don't really hate Israel or Jews, and bringing out the all-purpose deflection the "Rush Limbaugh is worse and hasn't been fired." It's funny how these closet Israel and Jew haters are always ready with a twisted "history" lesson and prescription for "peace" that always functionally entails the surrender of Israel to its murderous Muslim enemies. And even someone like Greg carefully notes only that conservatives are outraged by Thomas's candid statement of her beliefs, which are very common on the left, as even many comments above show. It bears observation as well that these sentiments are often deeply intertwined with the general anti-western strains of leftism.

It is good to see the true colors of folks like SG and BG, but we already knew much about the malignant nature if their thoughts in many regards. No surprise that they would defend eliminationist rhetoric towards Israel.

BTW, to those cynical liberals playing they hopeless "Rush is worse" game, I would be careful about linking and pasting alleged racist comments, because there are fabricated ones floating around the left blogosphere, as Gasbag recently found, and Tena did earlier. Not that the left cares about the truth very much.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 6, 2010 4:34 AM | Report abuse

Hey Greg - why do you focus on conservative outrage? Why aren't you and your liberal cronies outraged by they old bat's comments? You and I both know if a conservative had said anything close to being this vile, it wouldn't be portrayed and liberal disgust. It would be portrayed as the entire world is disgusted. I'm so sick of the left wing games. Helen Thomas is a ultra left wing hack who said what she really feels. She needs to go retire back under the rock from which she crawled.

Posted by: gorams1 | June 6, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Hey Greg - why do you focus on conservative outrage? Why aren't you and your liberal cronies outraged by they old bat's comments? You and I both know if a conservative had said anything close to being this vile, it wouldn't be portrayed as liberal disgust. It would be portrayed as the entire world is disgusted. I'm so sick of the left wing games. Helen Thomas is a ultra left wing hack who said what she really feels. She needs to go retire back under the rock from which she crawled.

Posted by: gorams1 | June 6, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

d1carter asked: "Are there any Progressives that are condemning the statement of Helen Thomas?"

A question back at you. Why not spend some time reading the posts that preceded yours? More to the point, that you ask this question at all is a demonstration that you don't read much nor widely.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 6, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Scott - You have some bad habits in discourse. I'm not sure if they arise from a war-like stance when discussing something for rhetorical purpose("I must not be seen to have it wrong") or if it is something about how you go about the thinking task.

IN response to statements above that Thomas obviously meant Jews should experience further Holocaust victimhood, I made the argument or claim that the tribalistic or nationalistic "Go away, you don't really belong here" species of statement - and I pointed to the specific instance of "America - love it or leave it" - is a "commonplace." You then tried to undercut my claim or to show it as invalid/worthless/suspect by isolating that one usage and then tossing up a completely arbitrary definition of "commonplace" as something one had seen in the last year.

All of that is overwhelming silliness on your part. One could stop 100 people on the street and ask them if they are familiar with the idiom "America Love it or Leave It" and if 5 out of that 100 weren't familiar with it, I'd be terribly surprised.

And in arguing in such a silly manner, you commit your worst rhetorical folly which is to avoid some other more central question at issue. And you do this even about the silly place you take a discussion. Here, for example, you asked for any instance in the last year and I gave you a link to a photo of a tea party flag with the phrase over-layed on the flag, thus meeting your arbitrary and silly definitional stipulation. You ignore that and head off further away from the initial discussion.

If you wonder why Imsinca said you change the goal posts, it's because of this sort of rhetorical move. It's not interesting other than as a study of rhetoric or psychology. It avoids rather than faces.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 6, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: bernielatham | June 6, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - I've just had another post put in moderation and for no discernible reason. It's the product of a fair bit of work and I'm not, frankly, very happy about it.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 6, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

sgwhiteinfla: Needs to get a new history of the "Jews" book. Might even consider reading the bible. Even the Muslims acknowledge their being in the neighborhood.

Posted by: glink134683 | June 6, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

sgwhiteinfla: Needs to get a new history of the "Jews" book. Might even consider reading the bible. Even the Muslims acknowledge their being in the neighborhood.

Posted by: glink134683 | June 6, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I get why the right is angry at Thomas' comments. They're vile and bigoted. But why isn't the left angry?

Posted by: AliB | June 6, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Bernie -- apologies for that. Your posts are absolutely NEVER put into moderation on purpose, purely by accident.

Pls let me know if you have any other problems, and let me find out why that happened...

and thanks for your patience...

Posted by: sargegreg | June 6, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Other than the odd commenter who wandered into the PlumLine yesterday to perhaps get out of the heat, none of the regulars as far as I can tell agree with Thomas' comment or support the elimination of the state of Israel. Actually reading the comments would help.

Israel of late has taken a more isolationist stance and I for one am alarmed by where this may lead. It's very difficult for the US to help broker a peace agreement which becomes more elusive every day while Netanyahu increases the number and ire of their enemies. Turkey is on the verge of severing all ties with Israel which not only hurts them but the US as well.

I personally fear for the state of Israel more now than ever before and believe that blindly supporting their every move on the political stage does more harm than good. Those kind of knee-jerk reactions may appeal to the cowboy in all of us but have little to do with diplomacy.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 6, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I thought dinosaurs were extinct, but evidently not. Helen Thomas has got to go. Too bad she cannot summon the simple decency it would take for her to resign.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | June 6, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Wait - it's conservatives calling for her to be fired and no liberals are upset by these comments? Wow, that's a story in itself. The woman is a professional reporter, a part of the White House Press Corp. She has a responsibility that comes with the job. Her comments were plain wrong and offensive. It's worth mentioning that she made these comments at a White House function celebrating Jewish Heritage month to a Rabbi. Looks like it's okay to tell Jews to go home (just say that out loud to yourself and listen to how utterly stupid that sounds). Well, how about we all just go home? Unless you are a Native Indian then you really don't belong here if we follow her logic.

Posted by: cysusa | June 6, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

All, Sunday roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/sunday_open_thread.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 6, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

My final comment about the Helen Thomas "scandal." I have no idea what her politics are and I care about them even less. The last time I've seen her ask Obama a question it was something like this: You ant to tell me why we're still in Afghanistan ... and don't give any of that crap like Bush did about [something or other]. Helen Thomas' position in the press corps is largely ceremonial because, and the Right Wing may not have noticed this, she is REALLY OLD AND KIND OF OUT OF IT. Why then does the GOP insist on making this old woman its latest scalping victim? Here's why: the GOP and the Right Wing are dung beetles. They thrive in sh*t so they insist on turning everything into sh*t. The Left Wing and Democrats have ideas; they want to improve things; they want to do things for the country. The Right simply opposes everything. The Right has nothing to offer the country; all they want to do is destroy Obama and the Dems. Unfortunately for the GOP (politically speaking), the entire country is well aware that there are grave problems confronting the nation and, since the GOP has nothing to offer, it must constantly cough up rotten red herrings to distract everyone from the fact that they don't have anything constructive to offer. Sestak. Thomas. Blumenthal. It's all part of the Whitewater Game and it will continue indefinitely so long as Obama is president (and god forbid they get the subpoena power in the House). Vilify. Us against them. Hate. Anger. Attack.

So Helen Thomas is nothing for the GOP but an excuse to attack someone and distract from the real problems. In this instance, that Israel is becoming an international pariah due, in part, to the hyper-aggression that the GOP advocates in lieu of rational thought. If it sounds good, say it. If it feels good, do it. That is the GOP today. Dung beetles, trying to turn the whole world to sh*t. And if an old lady is the newest scalp, that's just fine and dandy.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 6, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

“One could stop 100 people on the street and ask them if they are familiar with the idiom "America Love it or Leave It" and if 5 out of that 100 weren't familiar with it, I'd be terribly surprised.”

I don’t doubt that virtually everyone is familiar with the phrase. I just doubt that it is all that commonly used as a way to shut down critics of American policy on this or that.

“you commit your worst rhetorical folly which is to avoid some other more central question at issue.”

You are correct that I was not addressing your central point, ie that Thomas was not necessarily suggesting that Jews go someplace to die (although I am not at all sure that your interpretation of the post you were responding to is correct, either.) I did, however, take issue with your claim that the phrase and its intent was a “commonplace” among those of a certain “ideological” bent to counter criticisms of America because, well, that is what I objected to.

“You ignore that...”

You are incorrect. I didn’t ignore anything, at least not intentionally. I saw your two NR links and was in the process of responding to them when, seemingly, you introduced more links. It wasn’t until after I posted my response that I saw the new ones. Given that it was 12:15am, I chose to go to bed instead of spending more time saying more of the same.

“If you wonder why lmsinca…”

I don’t.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 6, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Leave Helen alone. She is presenting a face of the Media that is often feared but seldom seen. Now it is out in the open. Thank you Helen. You should get the Dan Rather award for advancing the Main Street Media.

Posted by: ImHappynBP | June 6, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Leave Helen alone. She is presenting a face of the Media that is often feared but seldom seen. Now it is out in the open. Thank you Helen. You should get the Dan Rather award for advancing the Main Street Media.

Posted by: ImHappynBP | June 6, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I consider myself a liberal and I find her comments anti-semitic and bigoted. Framing this as a left-right issue puts it into a purely political context -- this is about basic human decency.

Posted by: asrels25 | June 6, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

"And what I told these men and women -- and what I have said since the beginning of this disaster -- is that I'm going to stand with the people of the Gulf Coast until they are made whole."

But first, Bam's going to have a couple Hollywood parties. And so much for a D-Day remembrance .... can't let a party get bogged down with remembering our war dead.

And Helen is a bigot, and should be fired. Her comments were disgusting, vile and way beyond the bounds of public discourse.

Posted by: playfair109 | June 7, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

THIS VICIOUS LITTLE RACIST TOAD SAT FRONT AND CENTER IN MY WHITE HOUSE AND PROBABLY LAUGHED WITH GLEE WHEN THOSE ARAB TERRORISTS BLEW UP 3000 PEOPLE.......THIS WITCH........SHE THINKS THE JEWS SHOULD GO HOME................THIS CREEPY WITCH SHOULD GO HOME......THAT TOADY LITTLE WITCH USED OUR FREE SPEECH TO SMASH OUT JEWS AND THEIR FREE WILL..........

Posted by: CATHERINE10000 | June 7, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

YOU LIBERALS ARE WHINING HARD, LEAVE THE OLD LADY ALONE.............HEY LIBERALS THIS IS RACISM EVEN IF YOU GUYS HATE ISRAEL TOO.

REMEMBER LIBERALS THAT ARE STILL COVERING OILYBAMA'S HORROR.........YOU TAUGHT US EXACTLY HOW TO TREAT A COMMANDER IN CHIEF.........THE RIGHT ISN'T HATEFULL LIKE THE LEFT IN THEIR WANTING BUSH AND CHENEY DEAD - (WE HAD TO LISTEN TO THAT CRAP FOR 8 YEARS)

WE DON'T WANT A HAIR HARMED ON OILYBAMA WE JUST WANT HIM TO RESIGN AND STOP THE HORROR.......AND TAKE THIS VICIOUS WITCH WITH YOU..........DID YOU SEE HER BEADY LITTLE EYES GLOW WHEN SHE DISCUSSED JEWS BEING THROWN OUT OF THEIR COUNTRY - AND THIS HATEFUL LITTLE TOAD SAID THAT TO A RABBI AND TWO YOUNG KIDS..............ANOTHER MUSLIM PRETEDING TO BE A AMERICAN...........GET THE HECK OUT YOURSELF RACIST TOAD.

Posted by: CATHERINE10000 | June 7, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Thomas has been a very highly respected journalist for eons. Destroying her career because you disagree with her is unfair and un-American. No, Israelis shouldn't be sent back to Europe, in my humble opinion, but they never should have been put there by Briton in the first place in '48. The Palestinians should have granted them land, as Israel should now grant them. The Israelis and the Brits screwed up. The Israelis need to atone through means of granting the Palestinians their own sovereign state. Shalom. Salam.

Posted by: Ardien | June 7, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

She, Obama and his radical Administration, and the Slobbering Lame Stream Media should not be allowed anywhere near our White House!

Posted by: ProudConservative1 | June 7, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse


AIPAC is putting on a full court press to get Helen Thomas fired...

Posted by: demtse | June 7, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse


AIPAC is putting on a full court press to get Helen Thomas fired...

Posted by: demtse | June 7, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Helen Thomas was a set up for an old lady! It is also a clear indicator that reveals to the public the true identity of the owner and the master of our government and our nation. America is the true promised land!!

Posted by: skaffrichard | June 8, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye Helen, YOU WONT BE MISSED!

Heres a news flash for you Helen. This is America where almost everyone comes from somewhere else. We landed and conquered like everywhere else in the world. That's how it has always worked. Isreal is not unique, except to people who hate Jews, like you Helen. How common, how simple and how sad.

Why dont you take your own advise and go back to where you are from? No doubt you can get an interview with Mel Gibson, your hatefilled brethren, hopefully on his way back to Australia.

Posted by: tsims1022 | June 8, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

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