Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Helen Thomas

I'm thinking, what a sad way to go out. My first thought was to somehow excuse her gaffe as the ramblings of an aging, confused mind: she's past it, she doesn't know what she's saying any more. But then I realized of course that thoughts like this don't come out of nowhere; they have been hidden in the deep recesses of the mind, like all prejudice, unsuspected perhaps even by the one who hosts them. What Helen Thomas lost was not her marbles, which would have been forgivable, given her age, but rather the social and intellectual inhibitions which kept those secret thoughts under careful scrutiny and control.

Sad, though, to have ended her long, legendary years as gadfly of the White House press room in this way. She was, as they say, an institution in herself, and was privileged to have been a close witness to some of the major historical events of the latter part of the 20th century. And not only a witness, but one with the opportunity to participate in those events with her sharp questions. It was a special privilege to have been in a position to hold so many presidents' feet to the fire.

So I wish her well. I send compassionate thoughts her way, and trust that she may be granted that other, deeper privilege we all so much desire: the ability to take care of herself with ease and dignity in her final years.

5 comments:

elleonthego said...

Nice way to put it.I'm still astounded, how a journalist like her could have thought and expressed those thoughts?!
I think you're quite right it's not a question of age,one doesn't suddenly change her opinions.

mandt said...

The attack on Helen Thomas is the rankest and most bitter of hypocrisies. We simply must get to the point of discourse where legitimate condemnation of Israel's state terrorism is separated from the just narratives of the Jewish peoples. Israel needs a swift kick in the pants.

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks, Elle, good to find your site...

mandt, to agree that Israel needs a swift kick in the pants (I do) is not the same as to endorse the outrageous view that Jews should go back to Germany and Poland--which in the historical view is tantamount to endorsing their elimination. That's something far worse than hypocrisy. I share the view that the least and most urgent act is for Israel to put a stop to the expansion of the settlements--which just might open the door for negotiations. Gaza, to my mind, is not quite such a clear-cut case, so long as the powers there remain obdurate in their insistence on the destruction of Israel, and in their continuing efforts to ensure that end.

Rarian Rakista said...

There is a better way to question the legitimacy of the state of Israel since they did not abide by the UN guidelines in setting up their state. In fact they murdered the first UN mediator, but the way she did it was tacky.

mandt said...

I know Peter I know.... What a sad way to end a mostly distinguished career.