Liberals are forgiving of Helen Thomas's "get the Hell out of Palestine" remarks to the Jews -- even the Jews. But they're still making fun of the lady's face. On Tuesday, Norman Lear sent in a two-paragraph statement to the Washington Post's On Faith page that announced:
What we all intend, at least what our cultures and religions say we all intend, is good. Among them is forgiveness. As journalist Helen Thomas leaves the national stage after her 50-year run, it's time to forgive that now ancient hatched-faced [sic] whippersnapper, whose just being there delighted us for so many years. I will never forgive her offensive last words per se, but rest well, Ms. Thomas, on the billions of other words and on the 90 years it took to say them,
Mocking Thomas as "ancient" is odd coming from Lear -- he's 87. On her radio show on Tuesday, Randi Rhodes was discussing the adultery allegations against South Carolina GOP gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley, but ended by mocking Thomas:
[S]she is the darling of the tea party. She got Sarah Palin's endorsement. Um, and people keep popping up saying they've had extramarital affairs with her! And the people who have said that, you know, they've had affairs with her run the gamut. You've got a blogger, a prominent -- prominent -- a political blogger; and a lobbyist, both claiming to have had affairs with Nikki Haley, I mean -- the fact that she's attractive makes their claims a little less suspicious. But something tells me that if this woman looked like Helen Thomas, these guys would not be stepping forward to say they had sex with her!
On his radio show on Tuesday, liberal Bill Press was complaining that Thomas was forced out for having an unpopular opinion, and insisted it was a terrible idea to distinguish news media from opinion journalism in the briefing room:
I don't think we want to invite any White House, any administration, to decide where people sit in the press briefing room or who gets in the door based on whether or not they have an opinion, and they express an opinion, even an opinion that we disagree with. And even an opinion that is pretty inflammatory. If you start that, that is a real, real slippery slope.
It is a slippery slope, since the "objective" media often decide to avoid the entire concept of objectivity. But the correspondents association is talking about a brighter line than that, where Thomas and folks like Les Kinsolving (who's a talk-show host, not a reporter) would be moved back in the pecking order. If a press conference is about advancing the news, and not just your personal opinions, then it shouldn't be that controversial for the "news" people should get first dibs on the questions.
Press added later: "I don't care who the president is, the White House press corps should not be a bunch of pussycats." As if he really minds the media going soft in the current era.