Helen Thomas: Hater and proud

By Joseph Farah

Old journalists never die, they just get honest.

Walter Cronkite finally let it all hang out after retiring from CBS News and his position as “most trusted man in America.” Now he shills for the World Federalist Association.

Then there’s that wretch Helen Thomas, formerly of United Press International. After retiring as White House correspondent, the 82-year-old has hit the college lecture circuit railing against the current resident of her old beat.

Here’s what she told a crowd at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently: “I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter. Now I wake up and ask myself, ‘Who do I hate today.”’

Ahhh. What a life.

According to an MIT news office account of Thomas’ talk, those she hates today include President Bush, timid officeholders, a muffled press corps and cowed citizens. Her No. 1 beef? The impending liberation of Iraq.

“I have never covered a president who actually wanted to go to war,” she says. “Bush’s policy of pre-emptive war is immoral – such a policy would legitimize Pearl Harbor. It’s as if they learned none of the lessons of Vietnam.”

Now, I’m very tolerant of dissent. I welcome vigorous debates on national issues of great importance. As the editor of the leading independent newssite on the Net, I publish all kinds of opinions, many with which I strongly disagree.

But Helen Thomas has crossed a line. Her comments equating the imminent war on Iraq with the attack on Pearl Harbor are dangerously close to sedition.

“Where is the outrage?” she demands. “Where is Congress? They’re supine.”

Yes, Helen, that’s right. Congress approves of the policy. And so do the American people as the election showed. That’s the way things work in a republic. So, what’s your beef?

“Bush has held only six press conferences, the only forum in our society where a president can be questioned,” she continued sputtering. “I’m on the phone to Ari Fleischer every day, asking will he ever hold another one? The international world is wondering what happened to America’s great heart and soul.”

Huh? You mean if Bush holds more press conferences, it will restore America’s heart and soul in the eyes of the world? This witch has definitely spent way too much time in Washington. Her incoherence is surpassed only by her arrogance and self-importance.

Imagine getting up in the morning and asking yourself: “Whom do I hate today?” I have no doubt that people like Thomas do just that. Not surprisingly, nobody reads it. Her audience is nil. She writes for the Hearst Corporation, one of my former employers, which ought to be ashamed of itself for providing a forum for this tired, old battle ax. But nobody is beating down her door to read her diatribes.

Only the closed-minded universities throw open their doors to hear her rant and rave about hating the president and pretending to be something she wasn’t for 50 years – an honest, fair, impartial reporter.

So, why do I care?

I care because I’m a journalist. I care because I have spent 25 years working in the same industry as Helen Thomas. I care because I don’t like to see traitors like this misrepresenting the legitimate role of a free press. I care because I believe in dissent, but not treason. I care because I still think America is the greatest nation in the world and I’m not ashamed to say it.

I also care because of what Helen Thomas and Walter Cronkite demonstrate about the nature of the Big Media in this country.

These people are not truth-seekers. They are partisan political activists masquerading as objective news professionals. They are dishonest hypocrites who hide their true agendas while they hold positions of power in the media – only to discover candor about their real motives when it benefits them on the speaking circuit in retirement.