Helen Thomas: The Naked Truth

Playboy's standards are slipping

Most of us were amazed when Helen Thomas, veteran White House correspondent, was caught on camera saying that the Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and that they should “go home to Poland.” O.K., it wasn’t a huge shock for those who are familiar with Thomas’ anti-Semitic history, but it was still unusual to hear her so explicitly saying how she really feels.

But now, just when we thought that we had heard enough from her, she is back and goes into shocking details about her feelings on Israel and the Jews. Here are a few gems. (You can read more at PRNewswire.) I won’t link to Playboy directly because many of our readers might find the content offensive (and I’m not talking about just the interview.)

On the situation in Palestine: “I’ve had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians…[The Palestinians] are incarcerated and living in an open prison.  I say to the Israelis, ‘Get out of people’s homes!‘  ”

On Palestinian violence against the Israelis: “Of course I don’t condone any violence against anyone.  But who wouldn’t fight for their country?  What would any American do if their land was being taken?  Remember Pearl Harbor.  The Palestinian violence is to protect what little remains of Palestine.  The suicide bombers act out of despair and desperation.”

On American support of Israel: “We keep giving Israel everything.  Stop all this aid to Israel when they’re killing people!…Why do they send my American tax dollars to perpetuate it?”

On memorializing the Holocaust: “There’s nothing wrong with remembering it, but why do we have to constantly remember?

On the Jews’ influence and power: “[The Jews are] using their power, and they have power in every direction…Power over the White House, power over Congress…Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood.  Same thing with the financial markets.  There’s total control…It isn’t the two percent.  It’s real power when you own the White House, when you own these other places in terms of your political persuasion.  Of course they have power.  [To the interviewer] You don’t deny that.  You’re Jewish, aren’t you?”

There’s a lot more but nothing is all that surprising. The bigger issue is how someone who espouses completely anti-Semitic views and blatantly anti-Israel opinions was allowed the continue in her role as a leading journalist for decades. It is simply impossible to believe that none of her employers or colleagues in the White House Press Corps knew of her warped and hateful obsession.

Yet year after year she was given a coveted place in the White House briefing room and even selected for the honor of asking the first question to many incoming Presidents. Why were so many people willing to look the other way and ignore her complete lack of journalistic professionalism?

Would journalists who expressed such prejudicial feelings about any other ethnic group or country have been allowed to remain in their roles?

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