Ari Fleischer re: Helen Thomas; “Fire her!”
No ambivalence here
After video surfaced of Helen Thomas making what to me was a “Go back where you came from” statement regarding Israel, I and most other thinking Americans were incensed.
Even Sarah Palin spoke out;
Helen Thomas press pals condone racist rant?Heaven forbid”esteemed”press corps represent society’s enlightened elite;Rest of us choose truth about 3 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Jake Tapper of ABC News saw this and replied;
@SarahPalinUSA Who condoned it? about 3 hours ago via web in reply to SarahPalinUSA
Tapper’s reasoning, and it seems sound to me at least, is that a lot of things are said by a lot of people that aren’t “officially” condemned by everyone, but that lack of condemnation doesn’t necessarily constitute an “endorsement”.
Ok, point taken. One could, I suppose, ask him “How do you feel about what she said, then?”
The other argument is;
This is simply Olympic caliber obtuseness. The deafening silence of Thomas’s colleagues testifies to what we already know. The White House Press Corps is reflexively hostile to Israel. An institution that lit its collective hair on fire in its haste to condemn Trent Lott is now studiously looking at its shoe tops and whistling.
Helen Thomas is going to stay in the White House Press Corps until someone finally discovers that she’s simply a dessicated corpse because no one in the White House or in whatever alleged news agency she belongs to or amongst her colleagues sees anything wrong with what she said.
I’d hope given the seriousness of what Thomas said, that Jake Tapper would at least man up and, since the spotlight is now on him, say Thomas was wrong. Obviously she was, unless your view of the Middle East includes Israel shouldn’t exist, and the history of Israel began in the 1940s, not thousands of years prior to that.
One person I have a lot of respect for is Ari Fleischer. I remember when Ari was on Hardball, and he took Chrissy Matthews down. Good video, if you haven’t seen it.
Ari came out, of all places, at Huffington Post via Sam Stein. I won’t link to them, but I will link to Morrissey who has a great take, but first, Ari Fleischer;
“She should lose her job over this,” Fleischer said in an email. “As someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to like her, I find this appalling.”
“She is advocating religious cleansing. How can Hearst stand by her? If a journalist, or a columnist, said the same thing about blacks or Hispanics, they would already have lost their jobs.” [my emphasis]
Helen Thomas has been a national joke for years, at least since Tony Snow thanked her once for providing the “Hezbollah view” in the daily briefings, but people rolled their eyes at her cranky, off-topic commentary for years before that. Stein says that her more “filtered” questions — really just rants about Israel dressed up as Jeopardy-style answers in question form — were popular with some of the “political and foreign policy observers” (presumably, Stein means in the press corps). Yeah, I’ll bet.
Now that Thomas has expressed her true feelings on ethnic cleansing — and remember, Jews have lived in “Palestine” for millenia and got kicked out of other old Ottoman cities well before Israel came into existence — will those observers stand up to defend Thomas and those views? Will they just keep silent? Or will they call for an action that is probably at least 20 years overdue in asking for Thomas’ expulsion from the WHPC and asking for someone to replace her and her exhausted anti-Israel hobby horse? For that matter, will the Hearst chain endorse Thomas’ views on Israel by keeping her employed, or will they cut her loose?
I’d bet that we’re in for a big round of silence. Hearst will bury its head in the sand, and Thomas’ friends in the press will desperately look away as one does with a mildly demented old relative who shouts embarrassing insults in crowded public places and hope that bystanders believe that they’re too embarrassed to correct the old lady.
One may argue, Helen Thomas is 89, for crying out loud. Old people say…things. I mean, she apologized, fer crissakes;
In a written statement issued Friday, Thomas apologized, saying, “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
She said the comments “do not reflect” her “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,” she added.
Her spokes hole did, obviously. I’m not buying it, and another on the list of those who’s not is Michele Bachmann;
Once again the liberal media has shown its true colors! The White House media dinosaur, also known as Helen Thomas has called on Jews to leave Israel and move back to Poland and Germany. This anti-Semitic sentiment has no place in our public discourse. I call upon her employer, Heart Corporation to dismiss her at once! The White House needs to revoke her press credentials immediately.
Her apology is not sufficient, considering her many previous negative sentiments against Israel. Her language is offensive, vulgar and intolerant.[my emphasis]
Yeah, Jake. Go back a few years and take a hard look.
It’s time for Helen Thomas to go “bake cookies”, since she might possibly be keen on “ovens”. Or something.
[UPDATE] Apparently Allapundit is “satisfied” with her “apology”…not;
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?