Politics & Prejudices
Leadership for sale
Lackeys in Lansing take a holiday
Published: December 8, 2010
I have known Thomas, now 90, for years, and while I knew she had long been angry about what she saw as Israeli imperialism, I had never heard her say anything clearly anti-Semitic.
Unfortunately, she confirmed everybody's worst fears this week, when she came to Dearborn and ranted that "Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists." That gave Wayne State University no choice but to officially pull the plug on its annual Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award, though in fact the award had effectively been killed in May. What's tragic is that in the last years of her career, Helen, who was a trailblazer for women in the media, seems to have evolved pretty much into what the Anti-Defamation League called her: "A vulgar anti-Semite," with a "deep-seated and obsessive prejudice."
This is especially tragic because, for years, the former White House bureau chief was someone of whom Detroit and Wayne State were immensely proud. For a long time, she was almost the only journalist sharply questioning George W. Bush's false assertions on Iraq.
But sadly, Thomas would be better regarded today if she had retired a few years ago. I think there's a lesson here, and, accordingly, plan to stop writing this column in 2042.
> Email Jack Lessenberry