Helen Thomas, Jew-Bashing Old Lady Press Staple, Dropped by Agency and On the Ropes
A storm has been brewing in the White House press room since 89-year-old spitfire Helen Thomas voiced some controversial opinions on the state of Israel, offering that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" during an interview with RabbiLive.com at the Jewish Heritage Celebration last week. Since, the video (see it after the jump) has been making the rounds on YouTube across the political blogosphere. Thomas has now been dropped by Nine Speakers, the agency that represented her. Technology is constantly destroying the Olds. Come Monday, she's in big trouble.
"Remember these people are occupied and it's their land," says Thomas. "It's not German and it's not Polish." Words like these are frowned upon, especially from members of the press who represent larger corporations, in Thomas' case Hearst newspapers.
As noted at Mediaite, the comments have been largely overlooked in the mainstream press thus far, but with the Drudge Report (who implicitly blamed Obama, naturally), Sarah Palin and former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer piling on, plus being dropped by her agency, Thomas is going to have a rough coming week. Don't be surprised if this is the last we hear from this particular sassy octogenarian.
Thomas apologized, but the chorus calling for her removal is growing. Politico reports:
The apology isn't likely to end the heat Thomas is facing, however, especially from conservatives who have long complained about Thomas's special status within the White House Press Corps (the James S. Brady Briefing Room has a special seat reserved for Thomas, as a way of recognizing her long and storied history covering the White House).
Hearst, meanwhile, stands by their lady, at least for now: "We deeply regret Helen Thomas' remarks, which in no way reflect the views of Hearst Newspapers or its employees. Helen has expressed her own profound regret over the incident."
Glenn Beck is probably drooling, Jeffrey Golberg is likely seething and, as the mob dons their pitchforks, the safe money is on Thomas being toast.