Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Left Turns on Helen Thomas

I'm no fan of Helen Thomas. I think she's crass and rude and she looks like a crazy cat woman... (Though I have to admit to finding the HBO documentary about her, Thank you Mr. President, Helen Thomas at the White House, quite interesting...)

That being said, she's been a member of the White House press corpse since Washington was president and (even though she's an avowed Lefty) is pretty consistent about posing tough questions regardless of the political affiliation of the current administration. At the beginning of the era of O it looked like there was a Prez that might have smitten even Helen...

But yesterday, in light of the fact that Obama's latest "town Hall" meeting was STAGED (and chessmom, even the NYT says so!), Helen Thomas actually challenged the administrations claims of transparency (along with CBS's Chip Reid).

"Following a testy exchange during today’s briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas told that not even Richard Nixon tried to control the press the way President Obama is trying to control the press.

“Nixon didn’t try to do that,” Thomas said. “They couldn’t control (the media). They didn’t try.

“What the hell do they think we are, puppets?” Thomas said. “They’re supposed to stay out of our business. They are our public servants. We pay them.”

Thomas said she was especially concerned about the arrangement between the Obama Administration and a writer from the liberal Huffington Post Web site. The writer was invited by the White House to President Obama’s press conference last week on the understanding that he would ask Obama a question about Iran from among questions that had been sent to him by people in Iran.

“When you call the reporter the night before you know damn well what they are going to ask to control you,” Thomas said.

“I’m not saying there has never been managed news before, but this is carried to fare-thee-well--for the town halls, for the press conferences,” she said. “It’s blatant. They don’t give a damn if you know it or not. They ought to be hanging their heads in shame.” (source)

As would be expected, the Kos Kids are turning on her for daring to throw the Nico Pitney (HuffPo) controversy into the mix...

Who would have thought that it would be ol' Helen Thomas that would have ignited a tiny spark of respect for journalism in the Era of 'O'...

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