Thomas Claims She Was Never Accused of Being Unfair

February 16th, 2006 2:45 PM

The White House press corps is completely fair to Republicans and not only that Helen Thomas was "never, never" accused of being biased while she was a reporter.

That at least seems to be the view from the fishbowl of the veteran reporter-turned-columnist who sounded off in a highly contentious interview yesterday with radio host Hugh Hewitt. (Transcript and audio available at Radio Blogger.)

"I worked for United Press International for more than fifty years, and I wrote straight copy. I was never, never accused of bias," Thomas said. "I did not bow out of the human race. I permitted myself to care, to believe, to think. But I assure you, I assure you that it did not get in my copy."

Thomas also refused to state whether she disliked President Bush and became increasingly agitated at Hewitt's tough questioning. (Only Republican presidents deserve hard questions, after all.) More quotes below the fold.

HUGH HEWITT: You don't like him to begin with, and you would never believe they were being transparent to begin with, do you, Helen?

HELEN THOMAS: No, no, no. That has nothing to do with it. Don't be silly.

HEWITT: But you don't like him, do you?

THOMAS: I don't like the way he's operated, leaking classified documents, defending torture, in fact, working very hard against any ban on torture. I don't know if you saw the photographs today that were first shown on the Australian TV...

HEWITT: But...

THOMAS: I mean, it's so desecrating to our country, our reputation, our sense of decency.

HEWITT: I have not seen those photographs, but...

THOMAS: Well, I commend them to you. You should see them.

HEWITT: But I'm getting back to the point that you and your colleagues in the press room, you really don't like Dick Cheney or George Bush at all, do you?

THOMAS: I didn't say that. I certainly respect the presidency. I don't like their...what they've done. I don't like the war per se. I certainly don't like torture. I don't like the degradation of America.

HEWITT: Helen, but you don't like them, do you? I mean honestly.

THOMAS: What the hell's that got to do with it?

HEWITT: I think it matters...

THOMAS: No, I consider myself a very straight and fair reporter.


THOMAS: We operate on the news and on the facts.

HEWITT: And you have no bias?


HEWITT: No anti-Bush bias at all?

THOMAS: Look. I take everything that he does with a grain of salt, because I've already seen...I think he was wrong to take us into the war...

HEWITT: Do you think he lied to us about that?

THOMAS: Where are the weapons of mass destruction? Where are the ties...

HEWITT: That's a question to a question.

THOMAS: ...where are the ties to al Qaeda?

HEWITT: Do you think he lied to us about that?

THOMAS: I think he's still looking for the weapons of mass destruction. Are you?

HEWITT: But do you think...

THOMAS: Do you care you care whether a president says there are weapons of mass destruction that can destroy you, destroy us in 45 minutes?

HEWITT: But Helen, did you think that he knew going in that they weren't there?


HEWITT: And so you do think he lied going it? He deceived us all?

THOMAS: I think that he had...there were facts, they've cherry picked the facts, they wanted a war.

No predisposition or bias there. Move along, folks.