Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crybabies . . .

In the several days since the Helen Thomas affair--just the kind of story our shallow media treats like throbbing piece of raw meat--defenders of her right to say whatever the hell she wants to say have begun saying what they thought about her abrupt resignation after 50 years as UPI's White House reporter. Were her remarks ill advised? Certainly. Offensive? Certainly, to many people. A reason to be virtually hounded out of your profession? Condemned by the president? Well, I don't think so. Thomas herself admits the foolishness of her remarks, and she has expressed regrets and apologized. But she is gone.

If you Google something like "Helen Thomas defense" or just look for "Helen Thomas" in Google News, you will find any number of people defending her. Here is the best of the ones I've looked at. It appeared as a comment by one Robert Reilly to a piece at Big Think by Robert de Neufville entitled "We Need More Obnoxious Reporters," which is certainly worth your reading also.

Here it is:

The Helen Thomas affair proved once again freedom of speech in the U.S. is qualified. What ever happened to "I may dislike what you say but I'll defend your right to say it?" This is another example of high powered interest groups bent on destroying a person for what they say and they are getting away with it to the detriment of the country by showing our ideals are far different than the reality. In other words, we use the Constitution when it suits our purpose for issues like freedom of speech and stomp on it when it doesn't. We're become over sensitive wimps. Crybabies over a few words. Scared to death over the utterance of an 89 year old woman. The fact is, Thomas wasn't a policy maker. What she said didn't mean a hill of beans in the scheme of things. She expressed an opinion that carried no weight. And her critics got to express their outrage like they have a right to do. But it wasn't enough for them. They wanted and got her head on a platter while ruining her professional reputation after fifty years of work. If Obama had said the Jews should get out of Palestine that would be a different matter. His opinion matters on the world stage. Thomas, however, should have been asked to explain her views more fully, bring them to light, and then challenge her position in a civilized fashion. Stopping on her with jackboots was about as anti-intellectual as people can get. Unfortunately, that's becoming the norm in the U.S.
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