So who says Obama can’t show anger? Helen Thomas sure made him angry.
After video hit YouTube of eighty-nine year old reporter, Helen Thomas, telling an interviewer that Israelis should “get out of Palestine” and go back to Poland and Germany and other places, the white House issued an immediate condemnation. Reprehensible was their word. In the ritual flagellation that’s followed, one can’t help thinking that the grande dame of the White House press corps would have gotten less grief if she’d purposely cheated the financial system and took taxpayer money to recover, or killed eleven and destroyed an ecosystem in an avoidable deep water drilling disaster, or let 29 men die in a push for more mining profits. Or shot nine men dead — in the head — in international waters.
Thomas’s comments were regrettable, and she’s regretted them and she has resigned her post with Hearst because of them. Which is more than can be said of most pundits who say hateful things in the money media.
The White House Correspondents Association showed more fury in 24 hours towards Thomas than they’ve ever shown towards the journos who, unlike Thomas, softballed Bush for eight straight years and passed on government lies that lead us into the Iraq invasion. Sometimes one’s strengths are also one’s weaknesses. Thomas was — and remains — a bulldog. She doggedly questioned President Bush about war and torture at a time when the rest of the press rolled over. In return they appear more shocked by a comment — albeit laced with 70 years of horrific history, it’s true — than they are by the deaths of flesh-and-blood humans.
Thomas’s crime wasn’t just antisemitism — it was antisemitism in defense of Palestine. That’s the true source of the outrage. The outrage that Obama and Biden and most other U.S. officials, to say nothing of the majority of the press corps, can’t seem to find for others.