Helen Thomas: Stenographer with Attitude
A funny satire on the Helen Thomas story jokes that Ari Fleisher, who appeared on cable news shows to condemn Thomas, is, politically speaking, a completely irrelevant person. But when did Thomas' opinions begin to make waves? It seemed before this, when she has actually said things of substance, she was the butt of everyone's misogynist and ageist jokes. So why does putting your foot in your mouth make everyone take you more seriously?
Once current events reminded me that Helen Thomas is indeed alive, I didn’t think much of it. Michael Young at Beirut’s Daily Star thinks that journalists, Thomas included, are often little more than stenographers with attitude. I’m inclined to agree. Journalists are conduits for information that need to be angry enough not to get taken advantage of by Power. There are other things, but being angry and covetous of one’s pride are important journalistic standards. The more mild-mannered, politically correct journalists we demand, the more passively we will begin to consume information fed to us by the hand of Power.
Robert was perhaps the first to say he appreciated Thomas’ obnoxious character. It is telling that so many news outlets have taken Thomas’ outburst on Jews as the extent of her opinion about the Israel/Palestine mess, especially since Thomas has explained her positions more fully in several written and video interviews which are part of the public record. At the 4:08 point in this Real News interview, Thomas draws on her decades of reporting experience to make clear her thoughts on the Middle East. She recently gave an interview to Vice Magazine, too, in which she demonstrates her thoughts do not fit neatly into a thirty second clip.
As Paul Jay points out, what Thomas said was not anti-Semitic, nor is she (likely) an anti-Semitic person. As I am about to point out, I doubt she was unfairly pressured into retiring. I bet the old Betty got one word of the controversy caused by her comments on Israel, let go some curse words at the silliness of it all, and quit with a flourish.
Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!
As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.
Here are 7 often-overlooked World Heritage Sites, each with its own history.
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites are locations of high value to humanity, either for their cultural, historical, or natural significance.
- Some are even designated as World Heritage Sites because humans don't go there at all, while others have felt the effects of too much human influence.
- These 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites each represent an overlooked or at-risk facet of humanity's collective cultural heritage.
Famous physicists like Richard Feynman think 137 holds the answers to the Universe.
- The fine structure constant has mystified scientists since the 1800s.
- The number 1/137 might hold the clues to the Grand Unified Theory.
- Relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics are unified by the number.
A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.
- Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
- Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
- The researchers will be able to try their approach in 2021, when the LHC goes back online.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.