Ten years ago, Connie Chung, then of CBS News, tricked then-Speaker Newt Gingrich's mother, Kathleen Gingrich, into revealing the 5-letter epithet that her son called Hillary Clinton, by assuring Mrs. Gingrich that the disclosure was "just between you and me."
Somehow it's strangely enjoyable to find a liberal "journalist" in the Kathleen Gingrich role now as Helen Thomas's off-the-cuff remarks about becoming suicidal should Vice President Cheney announce his candidacy for the White House in 2008 being trumpeted on the Internet thanks to a prominent DrudgeReport link to the revelation as printed in a column by Thomas's friend,The Hill editor Albert Eisele.
C'mon, Helen, no one who's seen your columns or appearances at White House briefings harbors any suspicion that you are a straight down-the-middle and just-the-facts-ma'am journalist. It's not like you've let out any big secret which will ruin your journalistic reputation.
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX SUN JULY 31, 2005 19:44:05 ET XXXXX
HELEN THOMAS ANGRY AFTER 'KILL SELF' OVER CHENEY COMMENTS PUBLISHED
White House press doyenne Helen Thomas is plenty peeved at her longtime friend Albert Eisele, editor of THE HILL newspaper in Washington, D.C.
In a column this week headlined "Reporter: Cheney's Not Presidential Material," Eisele quoted Thomas as saying "The day Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I'll kill myself. All we need is one more liar."
Thomas also said: "I think he'd like to run, but it would be a sad day for the country if he does," according to Eisele's column.
But Thomas said yesterday at the White House that her comments to Eisele were for his ears only. "I'll never talk to a reporter again!" Thomas was overheard saying.
"We were just talking -- I was ranting -- and he wrote about it. That isn't right. We all say stuff we don't want printed," Thomas said.
But Eisele said that when he called Thomas, "I assume she knew that we were on the record."
"She's obviously very upset about it, but it was a small item -- until Drudge picked it up and broadcast it across the universe," Eisele said.
Still, he noted that reporters aren't that happy when the tables are turned. "Nobody has thinner skin than reporters," Eisele said with a laugh.