HELEN THOMAS, HELEN THOMAS
Washington press corps veteran Helen Thomas’s March 27 “Lap Dogs of the Press” drew a sustained and heartfelt outpouring from our readers. Below is a sample. –The Editors
Helen Thomas rocks! The rest of you–get rolling!
God bless Helen Thomas for telling the unvarnished truth about the MSM.
How can we teach more journalists to be like Helen Thomas??????
New York City
Hire Helen Thomas!
Bless you, Helen. Sock it to ’em. You go, girl.
My friend Helen Thomas takes the Washington press corps to task for failing to be more skeptical in the run-up to the war in Iraq. She has a good point as far as it goes, but a few reporters–Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker, Walter Pincus of the Washington Post and Knight Ridder–did challenge the Bush Administration’s case for the war.
Starting in 2002, John Walcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel of Knight Ridder began reporting that many intelligence and military professionals didn’t believe that Saddam Hussein posed an increased security threat to the United States and said that intelligence was being manipulated to support the arguments for invading Iraq. In more than sixty stories through 2002 and ’03, Knight Ridder reported that information provided by Iraqi defectors was bogus, that evidence for Saddam’s supposed nuclear weapons program was inconclusive and that the Pentagon failed to plan for the postwar reality that now confronts US troops in Iraq.
The daily briefings in the White House press room almost never shed light on what’s really going on in this Administration. It takes old-fashioned reporting, away from the TV lights–and from message minders whose interest is not in honestly informing the public.
Washington editor, Knight Ridder
Punta Gorda, Fla.
I worship the work of Helen Thomas and wish there were more reporters like her. However, my recollections differ on coverage by the New York Times leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Two prewar articles I recall warned extensively of possible dire outcomes, including civil war, disruption of oil supplies and the prospect that conflict would spread. A front-page Times piece, months before the invasion and by a reporter who had spent many weeks in Iraq, alerted me for the first time to the notion that while most Iraqis hated Saddam, they hated Americans more. I also recall that in the months after the invasion, the Times was accused by some on the right of having an antiwar bias.