WHO WAS THE DEAN of the White House press corps? “What made Helen the dean of the White House press corps was not just the length of her tenure, but her fierce belief that our democracy works best when we ask tough questions and hold our leaders to account,” said an incredibly (oblivious? in denial?) ironic President Obama on Saturday.
Ms. Thomas has been called the ‘First Lady of the Press’ and, more intriguing, the ‘Sitting Buddha.’ The Christian Science Monitor once described her as “outspoken, blunt, demanding, forceful and unrelenting. Not only does she command respect by the highest powers in the US, her reputation is known worldwide.”
When Fidel Castro was asked what was the difference between Cuba and the United States, he stated that “I don’t have to answer questions from Helen Thomas.”
Ms. Thomas took this as a compliment.
Suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam
If half of the journalists/reporters in this country were half the journalist/reporter that Helen Thomas was, the United States would probably have one of the most accurate, most informative news media in the world.
Her career can be summarized as “Helen Thomas vs Kennedy Johnson Nixon Ford Carter Reagan Bush Bush Clinton and Obama.”
No one was ever tossed a softball by Helen Thomas.
Alas, such is not the case, nor does it look to be the case in the near future.
Also alas, the “media” in America will remain one of the least respected “sources” of reliable news among the industrialized nations (and even among many third world countries).
To Helen Thomas, 1920-2013: Suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam.