Certainly one of the worst civic memories that will haunt me to the grave is the alleged press conference George Bush held just before the eve of the second Iraq war. Here he was, loser of the 2000 election, Sarah Palin clone in sense of duty to the people and intelligence, turned into a hero for unforgivably ignoring 9/11 while jetting around the country like a decapitated chicken, about to launch an insane war with an unbelievable arrogance, disregard to life and precious American core values.
Supposedly guardians of one of them, Truth, were marched into the podium-power room in pairs like children, utterly disdained even in their long-lost mission of journalism, a bully’s disgust their only reward for such craven, semi-churlish obsequiousness. But in this American horror show one DC player was missing—amazingly, for wild horses usually couldn’t keep her away from an occasion like this. She was never going to be led around and the war felons of course wouldn’t trust her to go along with this blood-drenched charade. That legendary long-time journalist Helen Thomas was absent that terrible night utterly tells us all we ever need to know about that ruinous lying war, while indelibly defining her core character when it mattered most.
The United States of America is still ensnared in that horrifying war because its “journalism” corps—the White House press gang notorious among them—giddily amplified lies and alarmist rhetoric (war is good for ratings), sneeringly downplayed accurate dissenting views (Scott Ridder), and happily acted as a classic government propaganda arm by constantly airing retired generals without disclosing they were on defense industry payrolls.
Helen Thomas was just fired from her seemingly inviolate slot in the White House press corps for inopportune remarks about Jews and Israel. Naturally the alleged American journalism corps is reporting the sordid evolution and thinks its words and broadcasts record the truth for the present and history.
Nothing could be further from empirical fact. Nobody trusts those charlatans to pack a lunch box, let alone accurately convey the little fact a real journalist just got knifed and disgraced because the rest of their contemptuously squirrelly souls are total masters of kissing ass, that’s how to succeed as a DC journalist, oooh baby grasp those official cheeks while you woof it in to get your war on, how virulently, completely disgusting.
The Judy Miller New York Times reported that Helen Thomas often made her clownish and dangerous colleagues “cringe.” Oh please, shut the fuck up, with a few exceptions the US journalism corps is cringe-worthy, Jesus Christ somehow get a clue to the most basic elements of the world you live in. Jesus.
For the record, Ms. Thomas’ remarks were of the most mildly inopportune flavor that she should have avoided, but some extremely relevant qualifiers needed to be added before the story is closed.
First is that had the remarks been ill-suited to Arabs or people of color the sickos like Ari Fleischer who went after her never would have uttered a peep. Americans and American conservatives in particular are very selective and hypocritical in their religious and racial sensitivities.
Second is that the horrid American “journalism” environment is chock full of total lunatics like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh who have spewed the most offensive, searing filth for years and they never lost their jobs.
Third is the continuing atrocious American “journalism” environment that enabled the knifing of Helen Thomas. After the Change Election and America’s first black President American journalism went out and hired any rank Republican hack they could find, even the obvious Valerie Plame felon Karl Rove is always on television, while just incredibly putting John McCain continually on Sunday televison to de-legitimize the results of the election. That’s the kind of squirt-gun environment that knifes a little old lady who barely strayed from her path, obviously the most precious element of her life.
Ms. Helen Thomas, American Journalist, you don’t get to die with your boots on. It doesn’t matter. You have a shining career of indefatigable duty to truth, of unquestioned bravery and integrity to the written word. Reality and history will forever record that indelible truth, not the charlatans who dare to call themselves your colleagues.
We love you, we will miss you terribly. Retire in peace, please oh please start a blog and keep talking to us, ask Roger Ebert about it, he would love to help you. Know like the sun rose we cherish you and hold you in the highest honor. You did incredibly well for so long, of course we will never forget you, of course we will always look to your life for guidance and reassurance. Bye Helen.