Press Generally Giving Helen Thomas the Kid-Glove Treatment

(UPDATE: It will be really interesting seeing how the press handles Helen's retirement announcement.)

It isn't particularly surprising that the establishment press is for the most part attempting to give Helen Thomas's hateful remarks and her dubious apology a very light once-over -- if they're covering her outrageous statements (that citizens of the Jewish state of Israel should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Germany, Poland, and elsewhere) at all.

That said, the Associated Press has engaged in a few eyebrow-raisers already. The following is the only search result I found at the Associated Press's main web site at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time:

APsearchResultHelenThomas060710at1130am

That's a classic "Don't read this, it's boring" headline. It also confirms that the AP hasn't considered the Thomas situation newsworthy until very recently. Yes, as seen in the related video, the question from RabbiLive was about "Israel." But at the barest minimum, Thomas's remarks were "anti-Israel," and at bottom they were anti-Semitic. Any doubt about that characterization goes away when one observes Thomas's sickening sense of self-satisfaction after delivering her opening "get out" answer.

But it got more interesting when I clicked on the AP search result's link.

Apparently for a brief time (no longer the case), the AP had the following story up, of which I was able to graphically capture the first four paragraphs:

APonHelenThomasSupposedFlap060710.jpg

Flap? FLAP?

The double standard is so obvious that it wouldn't be worth bothering with except for the fact that the establishment press and its apologists continue to deny it. When Don Imus made his remarks about the women's basketball team at Rutgers three years ago, the AP, as shown here, didn't hesitate to whip out the word "racist" in both its headline and content. But no one dares call Thomas's remarks what they are.

Beyond that, the AP's eagerness to shift the focus of the story from Thomas to the White House accomplishes what any Ministry of Propganda would be proud of. It makes the Obama administration look good for condemning something that's obviously condemnation-worthy, even as its foreign policy moves continues to stab Israel in the back.

Well, at least the AP is covering the story now. At Pajamas Media, Richard Pollock notes that another pillar of journalism has also finally gotten around to it:

... over at the Washington Post, there is near silence. As of the this writing, searching “Helen Thomas site:washingtonpost.com” on Google brings up two articles on Thomas being dropped as a commencement speaker at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, a Howard Kurtz piece mentioning her remarks, and a post debating if Hearst will drop Thomas as a journalist.

Otherwise, the Post, which prides itself since the days of Watergate as being the “political” paper of record, is dark. There’s no initial report on Thomas’ remarks, which given her stature as a near household name, particularly inside the Beltway, are certainly newsworthy.

I can confirm having done the same search at the Post early Saturday morning, and that I found absolutely nothing relating to Helen's hate-filled remarks.

Over at the New York Times, an advance search on "Helen Thomas" (in quotes) done at about 12:15 p.m. came back with only the two AP items discussed earlier, plus a 10:55 a.m. Media Decoder Blog post.

The Times also obviously ignored the story for three days, as did most of the rest of the establishment press.

They'll probably figure out a way to ignore this little gem from the MSMDC blog as well:

Schakowsky: Helen Thomas ‘is awesome’

Normally it’s White House correspondent Helen Thomas who asks all the questions. But the seasoned reporter traded places on Friday with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) at the lawmaker’s annual Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch in Chicago, where Thomas was the guest of honor.

Schakowsky, who chairs the Congressional Women's Caucus, interviewed Thomas before a crowd of more than 1,500 supporters. The lawmaker told ITK that the correspondent, who turns 90 later this year, "outlasted" her all day. Luckily, Thomas shared her secret.

"I asked her how she does it, what keeps her going every day,” Schakowsky said, “and she had the best answer: She told me, ‘Being angry keeps me strong.'"

When Rush Limbaugh tells his audience that liberal and leftists are consumed by anger, he knows whereof he speaks. From time to time, in "safe" venues, they say it themselves.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.