Monday, June 7, 2010
Controversy Brings Down Veteran Correspondent Helen Thomas
Helen Thomas, veteran Hearst opinion columnist and before that, White House bureau chief for UPI, resigned today amid the furor caused by her May 27 comments about Jews, Palestinians and Israel. In an interview, Thomas said Israel "should get the hell out of Palestine" and suggested that Israel's Jewish citizens return to the European nations where they had lived prior to, and during, their persecution in World War II. These intemperate comments have cost Thomas a graceful exit from a remarkable, 67-year career during which she blazed trails for women journalists and aspiring political correspondents. Frustration among long-time observers of the endless Israeli and Palestinian negotiations -- and Thomas has had a front-row seat at the White House since the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s and has met many of the players-- is undoubtedly rising. But comments such as these, coming from a journalist of Thomas's stature, are no help whatsoever, least of all to Thomas herself. It's a sad day.