July 30, 2013
Letter writer Jerry Levin's assessment of the journalist Helen Thomas as a "hateful old bigot" because she dared to criticize Israel's treatment of the Palestinians could not be further from the truth ( "Helen Thomas was a path breaker - but also a bigot," July 27). Thomas was a competent White House correspondent for 50 years who was fired because she was not afraid to speak out against Israel's atrocities against the Palestinians. In 2011, the website Salon.org complained that "advocacy of Israeli positions has replaced professional qualifications as the criteria for service.
July 28, 2013
Susan Reimer 's column about pioneering female journalist Helen Thomas makes light of Ms. Thomas' vicious comments about Jews that ended her career ( "Helen Thomas opened journalism for women," July 25). Ms. Thomas' views were not simply "intemperate" and "abrasive" - they were hateful and uninformed. For example, her May 2010 remark that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Poland and Germany not only rejected Israel's right to exist but also showed contempt for the traumatic legacy of the Holocaust.
July 26, 2013
Regarding Susan Reimer 's column ( "Helen Thomas opened journalism for women," July 25), Helen Thomas' comments on Israel and Zionism were more than "unacceptable" and "intemperate," they were insulting. Rather than question their own far-fetched notions, people like Ms. Thomas chalk up their unpopularity to conspiracies and domination by "Zionists. " Her ideas about the Jewish state may have greater resonance in Europe (with its history of anti-Jewish ideas and actions) and the Middle East (wrapped up in the Israel-Arab dispute)
July 25, 2013
In the movie "Animal House," the Deltas are put on trial for their antics. When offered a chance to defend themselves, the best argument the fraternity's president can come up with is, "But sir, Delta Tau Chi has a long tradition of existence to its members and to the community at large. " The line came to mind as I read through the obituaries for Helen Thomas, the longtime White House correspondent for UPI and, for a decade, a left-wing columnist for the Hearst newspapers. Ms. Thomas did help break down the barriers to women in the D.C. press corps.
July 24, 2013
Helen Thomas, the cranky White House correspondent who once said that there is no such thing as a rude question from a reporter, died last week at 92, her pioneering reputation tarnished by a streak of anger her role as a journalist had masked. After United Press International, where she had worked for 57 years (49 as its chief White House correspondent), was purchased by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church in 2000, she resigned. But she was hired shortly thereafter by Hearst Newspapers as a political columnist, writing for another decade.
July 23, 2013
Helen Thomas may have been a pioneer for women attending press conferences at the White House, but she also had faults that should not be overlooked ("Pioneering journalist broke D.C. glass ceiling," July 21). She was abrasive, arrogant, rude and repetitive in her questioning, leaving a number of presidents, press secretaries and foreign dignitaries, including Margaret Thatcher, disturbed by her tactics. She never failed to show her anti-Israel bias at the White House news conferences, where she always launched into a tirade against Israel that bordered on anti-Semitism before her questioning began.