Helen Thomas, Press Room Idiot
AB: Do you recall a time or a moment in history when journalism was more heroic than it has been in recent years?
HT: Every other time but this time. And it’s because of 9/11. People wanted to be more patriotic and were afraid of rocking the boat. From there, we segued into a war where reporters were worried about jeopardizing the troops. So there was a heavy cloud and reporters had to fall in line for awhile. But they’re coming out of it, thank goodness.
People wanted to be more patriotic? How about "People were more patriotic?"
Reporters had to fall in line for a while to protect the troops? And now it's OK to fall out of line and stop protecting the troops?
Shocking as it is, Thomas' answer would be, "You betcha." She wasn't asked the question directly, but she let her feelings be known:
AB: At the moment it seems there are some cracks in the US foreign policy. Do you speculate as to where any of that is going?
HT: Well, I think that we’ve got to pull the troops out of Iraq. We’ve got to stop killing. This is ridiculous. It’s more than ridiculous, it’s tragic. Wanton killing, killing and being killed – for what? I think the administration wants to hang in there because they actually believe they can win. But I think that’s a long shot, if anything. And what is winning anyway? Winning what? A Shia theocracy? Is that what American soldiers are dying for? Furthermore, we’ve got to find out what terrorism is really about, find out the root causes. I think that it was right to go into Afghanistan and right to go after Bin Laden. But what about the bigger picture? Is it a religious war? Is it American policy that is motivating these people? What is it? Figure that out, and deal with it.
Yet I'm sure Thomas would argue 'til red in the face about the objectivity of the media. How can that be, if they believe victory is not possible, if they fail to grasp the most fundamental issues that face us today in the war for freedom?
Helen, honey, since they've pushed you to the back of the press room anyway, why don't you head on over to Gaza, Damascus, Yemen and Islamabad and do a little research on the root causes. Stop by the madrass schools and listen to what's being taught. Watch the national television and see what's being broadcast. Go to the mosque on Friday (women's side, please) and hear what's being fomented.
Until then, President Bush is perfectly right in not asking you questions.
h/t Media Bistro