Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Jon Stewart (and DovBear) on Helen Thomas

Jon Stewart:
Click here


(1) What she said was cruel, rude and stupid, especially the bit about Jews going back to Germany, Poland, America and wherever (even though she didn't actually say Jews should go back to Germany and Poland, as conservatives claim, she did agree with the interviewer when he said it, and saying we should go back to "America or wherever" is bad enough, and I agree that even though she didn't say it outright, the sentiment was present.) The first part (Jews should get out of Palestine) is less offensive, provided she meant those Arab areas that Israel holds in violation of international law. You and I may prefer for Israel to keep that land for any number of reasons, but its not necessarily anti-Semitic to disagree. However, if by "Palestine" she meant all of Israel, as the rest of her comment strongly suggests, the first comment was reprehensible, unacceptable, anti-Semitic, etc.
(2) The controversy surrounding Helen Thomas was the epitome of political correctness gone wild, which is something conservatives claim to hate.
(3) Liberals threw Helen overboard, as she deserved. We're still waiting for Republicans to do the same to Glen Beck, Pat Buchanan, and other respectable voices of the right who have made grossly unacceptable comments about Jews, Blacks and other minorities.
(4) The idea being circulated on RW blogs that Obama should have fired her, or that she criticized Jews only because Obama's presence in the White House emboldened her is another example of the "blame Obama for everything up to and including sunspots" trope RWers have embraced (the line is a paraphrase of something Dave Barry said about Israel and the UN. ) Obama can't fire her, or ban her from the press room. Freedom of the Press, remember? Also, Helen Thomas criticized Obama just last week for being too soft with Israel (distorting Obama's position on Israel in general and the flotilla in particular is something else RWers do); also, Helen Thomas was saying crazy things about Israel back when GWB was president, too,
(5) When Helen Thomas speaks to a camera at an event, she represents only herself. She was not speaking for Hearst (not that she necessarily speaks for Hearst when she writes an opinion column either) or for the liberal media.The fact that she has a reprehensible, unacceptable, etc. view tells us nothing about anyone else who pushes a pen for a newspaper or magazine, or about newspapers and magazines in general.
(6) I've been accused of "downplaying" Helen Thomas' remarks based on the fact that I did not post about her right away. I expect this means Cross Currents, Muqata, Emes V'Emunah and all the others blogs who have not yet written about her are "downplaying" her remarks as well, though I don't expect the genius who made the accusation against me to connect those particular dots.

[Moved to the next post]

Search for more information about Helen Thomas at 4torah.com.

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