Someone should inform Helen Thomas that the First Amendment does not protect one's right to honorary degrees.
The disgraced former White House correspondent lashed out at her critics Tuesday, and stood by her vicious anti-Semitic remarks - both her most recent claims that "Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists" and the remarks that led to her resignation.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Thomas issued a bizarre threat - unmoored from any coherent legal understanding of "freedom of speech" - to Anti-Defamation League president Abe Foxman, who had called for Thomas to be stripped of all honorary awards:
If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences goes ahead with its plan to award French filmmaker Jean Luc Godard an honorary Oscar on Nov. 13, Hollywood will be celebrating a man who defends Palestinian terrorism and who regularly equates Israel with Nazi Germany.
The filmmaker, renowned for his avant-garde “French New Wave” films, has described Israel as “a cancer on the map of the Middle East.” He has also suggested that the Jews murdered during the Holocaust had actually committed suicide in order to arouse international sympathy and bring about the formation of Israel.
Benjamin Ivry has a great post detailing some of Godard’s most egregious comments at the Jewish Daily Forward:
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl fretted over the possible expansion of Israeli settlements near an important archeological site in Jerusalem: "So archeology is being used as a political tool....indoctrination, almost." She claimed that "organizations that move Jewish settlers into Arab areas have infiltrated" the surrounding Arab neighborhood.
Stahl described the dig site: "...more and more Israeli settlers have moved east into the Arab-populated areas. One place where it's gotten especially complicated and volatile is the Arab neighborhood of Silwan. The complication in Silwan involves an Israeli archeological dig called the City of David." She worried about the religious implications: "It's controversial that the City of David uses discoveries to try to confirm what's in the Bible, particularly from the time of David, the king who made Jerusalem his capital....There's an implicit message that because David conquered the city for the Jews back then, Jerusalem belongs to the Jews today."
Since Bill Maher released a video of Christine O'Donnell saying evolution is a myth, the Left and their media minions have been falling all over themselves ridiculing the Republican senatorial candidate from Delaware.
Throwing some deliciously cold water on the attacks Tuesday was the Weekly Standard's P.J. O'Rourke.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Hardball," O'Rourke told the perilously liberal host after he showed O'Donnell's remark, "I`ve got some problems with evolution myself."
"I look around at, say, Democrats and I say, 'That`s evolved?'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Catching up on an item from the August 22, Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, host Zakaria -- formerly of Newsweek -- ended his show with commentary in which he ridiculously suggested that Americans who oppose construction of a mosque near Ground Zero could learn a lesson about tolerance from the terrorist group Hezbollah, and cited the group as being accepting of diverse religions – including Judaism – in Lebanon in light of the restoration of a synagogue in Beirut. Without informing viewers of the history of viciously anti-Semitic speech from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and other leading figures within the anti-Israel group, the CNN anchor quoted Hezbollah’s claim that, rather than being anti-Semitic, they are simply opposed to "Israel’s occupation of Arab lands." Zakaria:
The project is said to have found support in many parts of the community, not just from the few remaining Jews there, but also Christians and Muslims and Hezbollah. Yes, Hezbollah, the one that the United States has designated a foreign terrorist organization. Hezbollah’s view on the renovation goes like this: Quote, "We respect divine religions, including the Jewish religion. The problem is with Israel’s occupation of Arab lands, not with the Jews." Food for thought.
But, as recounted by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), Hezbollah members not only desire to take over all of Israel which they consider to be occupied, but the group’s leader Nasrallah has been very direct in his anti-Semitic speech, once even declaring that if the Jewish people "all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."
Disgraced former White House correspondent Helen Thomas will be receiving a lifetime achievement award next month from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Coming roughly three months after Thomas was forced to resign from Hearst Newspapers for disgustingly telling Israeli Jews to move back to Germany and Poland and "get the hell out of Palestine," this is clearly going to raise a lot of eyebrows especially with all the media's recent hyperventilation over so-called Islamophobia.
Consider how the following report from The Hill is going to play in an environment where the press are accusing Americans of being anti-Muslim (h/t Hot Air headlines):
Comedian Bill Maher took his anti-religion, anti-conservative views off HBO and into the mainstream Sept. 13 during an appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show." Maher told host Jay Leno he's against the Ground Zero Mosque, because he's "against a mosque anywhere. I'm against a church anywhere, or a Hindu temple or a synagogue."
Maher declared that houses of worship are "places that people go to retell nonsense stories from a time before men understood what a germ or an atom was, or where the sun went at night. They try to telepathically communicate with their imaginary friend. These are places that fleece people, and scare people and they perpetuate mass delusion. We shouldn't build any of them."
But Maher conceded that because the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, "they should be able to build them anywhere."
He also attacked conservatives and Sarah Palin, calling her an "evil dingbat."
Appearing as a guest on Saturday’s Huckabee show on FNC, actor Jon Voight condemned Time magazine for the cover on its September 13 issue which provocatively displays the words "Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace" in the middle of a Star of David made from daisies. Voight charged that there must be anti-Semitism at Time magazine if such a cover could be devised. Voight:
Listen, if Israel falls we all fall. Did you see the Time magazine, did you guys see the Time magazine cover? Cover? It was amazing. Here's a cover with a Star of David on it, and it says Israel doesn't care about peace. ... But this is anti-Semitism. This is, who are the anti-Semites who are running Time magazine? And their prior cover, you know, they alluded to the Islamophobia, they're calling America Islamophobic.
As previously documented by NewsBusters, Time managing editor Richard Stengel bizarrely seemed to see a down side to fewer terrorist attacks against Israelis when he appeared on the Thursday, September 2, Morning Joe on MSNBC, as he suggested that it was a "sad truth" that the low level of recent violence from terrorists -- including the "Hamas folks" -- had made Israelis feel less urgency about negotiating with Palestinians. Stengel:
Imagine for a moment you were the editor of a magazine owned by the Washington Post and Newsweek. Would you a day before the ninth anniversary of 9/11 publish an article with the following headline:
The Talibanization of America Viewed from Pakistan, the rise of U.S. Islamophobia looks depressingly familiar.
Seems rather inflammatory hours before such a solemn day in America, don't you think?
Yet, such was published Friday by Foreign Policy magazine, an affiliate of the Slate Group.
Sadly, the contents - which in paragraph three equated former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with prospective Koran burner Terry Jones - will likely be even more offensive to the vast majority of Americans especially on September 11:
If you believed the media, you would think that hate crimes against Muslims was a growing epidemic in America.
Just Monday, the New York Times had a front page story hysterically noting a "torrent of anti-Muslim sentiments and a spate of vandalism."
"The knifing of a Muslim cab driver in New York City has also alarmed many American Muslims," wrote Laurie Goodstein in the second paragraph of her article titled "American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?"
Unfortunately, as Michael Doyle reported on August 28, the most recent data concerning hate crimes in this country paint a very different picture than what Goodstein and others in the media have been dishonestly portraying of late:
For centuries, theological seminaries minted trained and licensed ministers of their respective religious traditions. They took seriously their creedal and confessional commitments to their respective faiths and denominations. While comparative theology may have been taught, it was with a view to understand and critically evaluate them as rival truth claims, not equally valid truthful claims. But those dark, backwards days may be behind us if Claremont School of Theology successfully paves the way.
Dias's 10-paragraph-long August 22 article portrayed Claremont president Jerry Campbell as a "classic American" entrepreneur who took a novel approach to the school's "low enrollment and in-the-red" balance sheet: "end isolated clerical training" by "bring[ing] toegether Claremont, the Islamic Center of Southern California (ICSC) and the Academy for Jewish Religion California."
Of course, religious training deals in matters of eternal verities, not marketplace commodities, so that sort of approach is unwise, religious conservatives would argue. Yet Dias excluded any dissent from her examination into the newly inclusive Methodist seminary.
Bob Schieffer on Sunday blamed the internet for the growing number of Americans that think Barack Obama is a Muslim.
Namelessly referring to last week's Pew Research Center poll finding that eighteen percent now believe this, the "Face the Nation" host concluded Sunday's program saying that "in the internet age, ignorance travels as rapidly as great ideas."
He continued, "Now, not only great minds can find one another and compare notes, so too can the nuts and the perverts and those who are simply looking to validate their prejudices."
And continued, "So despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, a new poll tells us a growing number of Americans, most of them on the right, believe Barack Obama is a Muslim. No doubt, due in part to the fact that stories to that effect have gone viral on the internet" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Is President Obama good for the Jews?" asked New York Times columnist Charles Blow Saturday.
His answer was quite surprising: "For more and more Jewish-Americans, the answer is no."
In his piece marvelously titled "Oy Vey, Obama," Blow referred to Thursday's Pew Research Center report finding "33% of Jewish voters identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, up from 20% in 2008."
From there, Blow went where a liberal columnist for the New York Times typically dares not:
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered a "Special Comment" in which he invoked Nazi Germany and suggested that blocking construction of a mosque near Ground Zero could be the first of a "thousand steps" toward another holocaust. He also hinted at a moral equivalence between the Islamic Empire’s conquests and America’s expansion into the lands of Native Americans as he attempted to discredit former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s concerns about the choice of "Cordoba House" as the original name planned for the mosque as being intentionally symbolic of a Muslim victory at Ground Zero.
After starting his "Special Comment" by quoting Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous words about the Holocaust of World War II, he at first tried to make his rant sound more moderate as he contended that, "I make no direct comparison between the attempts to suppress the building of a Muslim religious center in downtown Manhattan and the unimaginable nightmare of the Holocaust." He added: "Such a comparison is ludicrous – at least, it is now."
But the Countdown host was still alarmist enough to fear the mosque controversy could lead in that horrific direction. Olbermann: "Niemoller was not warning of the Holocaust. He was warning of the thousand steps before a holocaust became inevitable. If we are at merely the first of those steps again today, it is one step too close."
When reporting on the nationality of a criminal from another country who has already been arrested, it normally would be considered unnecessary or even uncalled for to take the extra step of explicitly identifying the suspect’s ethnicity or religious affiliation as well. But, given that Israelis, the vast majority of whom are Jewish, often face sharp criticism and negative press reaction over conflicts with their Arab neighbors – inflaming anti-Semitic sentiment – if an Israeli citizen who is non-Jewish is implicated in a violent crime, informing viewers that he is non-Jewish would seem to be in order.
But so far in the media coverage of serial stabber Elias Abuelazam’s arrest, some major news shows on both broadcast and news networks have avoided explicitly informing viewers that he is not a Jewish Israeli, while others have been more upfront with viewers on the subject. CNN’s The Situation Room, the NBC Nightly News, FNC’s Fox and Friends, and CBS’s The Early Show all have directly relayed to viewers at least once that Abuelazam is an Israeli Arab. But ABC’s World News, the CBS Evening News, FNC’s Fox Report, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN’s American Morning and NBC’s Today show have all avoided such a direct identification of ethnicity.
Time magazine's Joe Klein has a penchant for self-righteous bluster in his writing, particularly, it seems, when he's smacking around adherents of his Jewish faith who happen to disagree with him politically. Klein can't seem to let his wrath take a respite, as witnessed by a sabbath-day posting on Time's Swampland blog.
Klein lit into Abraham Foxman of the ADL in a Saturday morning blog post for his opposition to a planned Islamic center just blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan (emphases mine):
It never ceases to amaze that Oliver Stone thinks Ronald Reagan was a dunce. When it comes to judging iron-fisted dictators and anti-American despots, Oliver Stone is the intellectually incurious simpleton. He thinks Reagan was stupid because he clung to an all-encompassing ideology. But so does Stone. He thinks every evil in the world came from corporations, especially American corporations, including those he uses to make himself millions.
How else would you explain the (new) mess Stone (again) has made as he prepares a 10-part documentary for Showtime on "The Secret History of America," including evaluations of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. In an interview with the Sunday Times of London, Stone declared Hitler was a monster, but he was apparently still America's fault: "Hitler was a Frankenstein but there was also a Doctor Frankenstein," Stone said. "German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support."
"Hollywood may shun Mel Gibson for his anti-Semitic ravings, but the right wing in George Bush's increasingly hate-filled America won't," wrote Salon.com's Neal Gabler on August 1, 2006, four days after Mel Gibson was arrested for drunkenly spewing anti-Semitic hatred to a police officer.
Fast-forward to 2010. It's been three days since director Oliver Stone churned out similarly disturbing anti-Jewish rhetoric to the Sunday Times, and many of Gibson's most prominent critics on the left - including Salon.com - still haven't issued a word of condemnation about Stone's comments.
Similarly, the network news shows have ignored Stone's remarks, despite their wall-to-wall coverage of Gibson's reprehensible diatribe in 2006. The media blitz over Gibson's comments began the day after his arrest with ABC's World News Saturday, and continued non-stop on ABC, NBC and CBS until Aug. 4, 2006.
With recent controversial race topics entering the spotlight, such as the voter intimidation incident and Shirley Sherrod story, the media has been more than willing to open their arms and turn on their cameras to hear the opining of the National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party, Malik Zulu Shabazz. Shabazz has appeared on Fox News, issued a statement through CNN, and done exclusive interviews for various media outlets.
The Anti-Defamation League has described Shabazz as anti-Semitic and racist, trying "to recast himself as a serious civil rights leader in recent years by cloaking his bigotry and intolerance in religious and civil rights principles and inserting himself in high profile, racially charged issues around the country." This certainly seems to be the case as he has made an increasing number of appearances in the media, in which the audience is to suspend belief and assume this man is an evenhanded voice on race relations in America.
In fact, Shabazz used his statement at CNN to accuse the ‘Republican or right wing tea party strategists' of ‘stir(ing) up racial fears'.
Director Oliver Stone belittled the Holocaust during a shocking interview with the Sunday Times today, claiming that America's focus on the Jewish massacre was a product of the "Jewish domination of the media."
The director also defended Hitler and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and railed against the "powerful lobby" of Jews in America.
Stone said that his upcoming Showtime documentary series "Secret History of America," seeks to put Hitler and Communist dictator Joseph Stalin "in context."
"Hitler was a Frankenstein but there was also a Dr Frankenstein. German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support," Stone told reporter Camilla Long during the interview, which can be found behind the paywall on the Sunday Times' website.
Author Frank Schaeffer, son of the late prominent theologian Francis Schaeffer, can't seem to find anything good about evangelical Christians.
In his latest blog on the Huffington Post, Schaeffer criticized evangelicals' support of Israel. "Some of the nuttiest American religious leaders today (and in the past) have latched on to one form or another of Christian Zionism," he said.
"To put it mildly, the evangelical theological/biblical ‘reasons' have deformed US policy and made America act against self interest," Schaeffer wrote. "This has also harmed the state of Israel."
Schaeffer suggested that so-called Christian Zionists "would rather see an innocent Jewish or Palestinian child blown up in a rocket attack as long as the ‘Promised Land' is ‘fully reclaimed' to fulfill their harebrained ideas of biblical prophecy."
During an interview on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday, Rabbi David Nesenoff, known for exposing Helen Thomas’s anti-Semitic views, informed viewers that, up until now, he has considered himself to be a liberal Democrat – who even opposed the Iraq War and supported Barack Obama – but now asserts that "I have to really reevaluate liberal and conservative and really find out where I stand because I think I've been a little blind."
As Nesenoff recounted that he had previously agreed with Thomas in her opposition to the war in Iraq, and her challenging of President Bush on the matter, he now sees himself as unknowingly being allied with people who think that "Israel and the Jewish people don't have a connection." Before being interrupted by host Howard Kurtz, Nesenoff began to explain his evolution of thought:
They’re accusing me of being some right-wing ambusher, and it really rocked my world because I have to reevaluate my life and my standing in the agendas because, yeah, I’m a New York Democrat Jewish liberal supporter of Obama, donated to his candidacy for a year, said give him a chance ... watched all these liberal media, and now I have to reevaluate ... I have to now speak to people with all different agendas because if I was part of a team where their agenda was that Israel and the Jewish people don’t have a connection – which is exactly what Helen Thomas said – there’s no connection, why are they even there-
On Friday’s Countdown show, after having decided not to include Helen Thomas as a nominee in his "Worst Person" segment for her anti-Semitic declaration that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Germany and Poland, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann included Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace in his "Worst Person" segment for suggesting that it would be "poetic justice" if Fox News were to be given her seat in the White House briefing room.
Olbermann went on to claim that FNC personalities are guilty of making comments that are similarly racist as compared to Thomas’s attack on Israeli Jews: "Wallace thus implying that a far right entity that occasionally says indefensible and even racist things should replace a far left entity that occasionally said indefensible and even racist things."
On Wednesday’s Countdown show, Olbermann had similarly found a reason to include as a nominee in his "Worst Person" segment the rabbi who exposed Thomas’s anti-Semitism, even though Thomas herself was never featured in the segment.
It's not just members of the media standing up to support disgraced journalist Helen Thomas after her unscheduled retirement caused by anti-Semitic remarks she made on camera last week.
The rabbi that caught her disgusting comments on videotape and put them on the Internet has received 25,000 hate-email messages - and counting.
Hours after MSNBC's Keith Olbermann actually called Rabbi David Nesenoff one of his "Worst Persons in the World," CBS-TV in New York reported the vicious electronic attacks streaming into the rabbi's inbox like a "ticker tape" (video follows with partial transcript, h/t HotAirPundit):
On Wednesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann included Rabbi David Nesenoff – famous for exposing Helen Thomas’s anti-Semitic beliefs in a video of her posted on his Web site – for inclusion in his "Worst Person in the World" segment because Rabbi Nesenoff’s site also includes a video which the MSNBC host viewed as being racist toward Mexicans.
As he explained who Nesenoff is, Olbermann also misstated the severity of Thomas’s declaration that Israeli Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine," as many in the pro-Palestinian movement consider all of Israel to be part of "Palestine." But Olbermann suggested that she was only referring to Israeli Jews who live in settlements in the Palestinian territories: "Runner up, Rabbi David Nesenoff. He is the man who precipitated the end of Helen Thomas’s career, got the video of her saying Israelis in settlements in Palestine should go home to Poland and Germany and the U.S. It was sad. It was narrow minded. I can`t defend it. On the other hand, Rabbi Nesenoff doesn`t exactly have clean hands."
Notably, the Countdown host had passed on featuring Helen Thomas in his "Worst Person" segment for her anti-Semitic remarks, explaining on Monday that he was thinking of "reluctantly" including her in that night’s "Worst Person" list but chose not to because she had resigned from her position at Hearst. Olbermann, on Monday, introducing the "Worst Person" segment: "But first, with a thank you to Helen Thomas for doing the right thing and bowing out before I had to reluctantly put her out this list, get out your pitchforks and torches, time for tonight`s 'Worst Persons in the World.'"
As other media outlets have given Helen Thomas the kid glove treatment in light of her "trailblazing" career, media consumers may be forgiven for assuming that Helen Thomas's anti-Israel, arguably anti-Semitic comments were an aberration in an otherwise unblemished career of assertive but fair journalism.
To his credit, Washington Post's media reporter Howard Kurtz made note of other incidents, such as the time Thomas blamed Israel for inspiring "99 percent" of terrorism and the time in 2002 when she exclaimed "Thank God for Hezbollah," the Iran-backed terror group that murdered 241 U.S. servicement in 1983 and has plagued Israel for decades.
As the excerpt below shows, it's not just conservatives who have had complaints about Thomas (emphases mine):
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, and Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday’s “The Daily Rundown” were in “anguish” over the forced retirement of Helen Thomas, but showed little sympathy for the Israelis that the Hearst columnist so odiously disrespected.
“I think a lot of people feel some anguish about this because the comments were beyond the pale,” lamented Guthrie. “And yet it tarnishes a career that otherwise people would be celebrating because she was indeed a trailblazer.”
Glossing over the longtime reporter’s comments that Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany or Poland, Mitchell lauded Thomas’s career as “storied” and proceeded to hearken back to a time when Washington was an “all-male town” and Thomas was blazing the trail for women.
“When I first arrived here, after dinner, at political dinners, women went to one room, men went to another to smoke cigars and have brandy,” recalled Mitchell. “This was a very traditional place–not like New York or other East Coast cities.”
In an attempt to make excuses for Thomas while appearing to condemn her remarks, contradictions ran rampant. First up, Mitchell: