Wiesenthal Center: White House Should Send Helen Thomas and Her Bigotry Packing

June 6,2010

Wiesenthal Center: White House Should Send Helen Thomas and Her Bigotry Packing

By Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Associate Dean
Simon Wiesenthal Center

How long would any veteran American journalist last, if she told Blacks to 'go back to the Plantations' or to  'Africa'. And in 2010, we are in the midst of an abrasive Immigration debate. Oh yes, there are those who say 'go back to Mexico' to all Latinos, but such people are correctly identified as extremist hate mongers and decent people on both sides of the debate are committed to keep such bigotry in the gutter, not in the mainstream of our society.
So what to do when an icon of American journalism, fixture at presidential news conferences, uses her access to the White House to put her bigotry on display for all to see--to tell the people of Israel  "to go back from where they came from...to Germany... to Poland". Watch the YOUTUBE exchange. This was no slip of the tongue. Helen Thomas wanted to stick it to the Jews and she chose the White House's Jewish Heritage celebration, no less to do it.  Thomas told the "occupiers"-- to "get the hell out" of the Holy Land.
I'm not sure what the Hearst Media group will choose to do with this bigot. If they can't figure out that she blew any pretense of being an “objective” journalist, that's their problem.

But the White House doesn't have to wait for Hearst's decision. It represents all Americans and it can and should send Helen Thomas and her bigotry packing--immediately. Her continued presence is an affront to our people's past present and future. But her presence at White House briefings should also be an affront to every decent reporter, who strives every day in every story, to report the truth, not leverage their position as a soap box for their own views.
And don't worry about Helen's future. Even if Hearst drops her, there will be plenty of offers from Al Jazeera, Iran's Press TV or Hezbollah's Al-Manar.

Rabbi Cooper can be reached at 310-210-9750