Thursday, June 10, 2010

Huffington Post Bloggers Stand With Helen Thomas

The Huffington Post has been bringing the bloggers out of the woodwork to talk about the Helen Thomas controversy, but it is only now that a few days have passed that we can see the bias in who they decided to call up to write on the subject. In reverse chronological order, here is the line up:

First we have Sam Stein to tell us that Hezbollah has stepped up to defend Thomas as well. Calling her remarks "courageous." Sounds familiar, doesn't it? The Huffington Posters have been saying pretty much the same thing for days.

Then there was MJ Rosenberg, which is confusing because though he acknowledges that she called for Israel's destruction, it is in fact Israel's fault that she did that. You'll have to read the article.

Next up: Ahmed Rehab who couldn't believe that people weren't more angry over "the murder" of Furkan Dogan than Helen Thomas' remarks. Here's a hint, Mr. Rehab, maybe if you provided some evidenced that he was in fact "murdered" rather than killed in the process of trying to lynch IDF soldiers you might see some more outrage.

Then Carol Smaldino bemoaning "the culture of blame" and called Thomas "a scapegoat." She also provided her own two cents about the Israeli/Palestinian situation as well.

Joanne Bamburger asked why Thomas was being fired but not Rush Limbaugh or other pundits who say racist things. Of course, Thomas wasn't fired in my understanding, but if she was I agree Limbaugh should follow.

Robert Scheer complained that there was "vilification" against Thomas going on, though he does condemn her remarks.

Sam Sedaei uses a ridiculous, logic-defying argument that it is in fact Thomas' critics who are the anti-Semitic ones! Elder of Ziyon wrote a great fisking of Sedaei.

Jonathan Richards did not so much defend Thomas and (a) misrepresent what she said as "intemperate remarks about Israel" and (b) complain that someone was forcing her into early retirement.

Jason Linkins attempted a counterattack by posting a video of the rabbi that filmed Thomas' remarks acting racist. He ran into a problem with the fact that shooting the messenger doesn't work.

Laura Flanders, after acknowledging that Thomas' comments were "regrettable," then proceeded to defend her and accuse her critics of having an agenda. She also complained that, again, people were giving Thomas too much grief when they should be concentrating on other matters.

Hani Almadhoun begrudges that Thomas was a victim of "gotcha journalism." He also tried to speak for Thomas and said that maybe she was just referring to the settlers, and now we'll never know.

Jason Linkins used the same tactic that Ms. Flanders did and complained that Ed Henry was tweeting more about Helen Thomas than the oil spill. Could it be because the oil spill is at this point somewhat old news? I mean that is the way journalism works.

Andy Ostroy unilaterally condemned Ms. Thomas and remarked about how this is just another sign that anti-Semitism is still around. He wondered why she said it as well. This is so far the only example of an unequivocal condemnation of Ms. Thomas' remarks.

John McQuaid made it clear that what she said was "deeply offensive" but then pointed out that it's really "trivial," and instead started complaining about how America is too pro-Israel. We are supposed to conclude that "the real Helen Thomas scandal" is that Israel is in the wrong and they are trying to deflect onto Ms. Thomas.

Meanwhile, Jon Stewart made fun of Thomas on the Daily Show and the HP published it. So I guess we'll count that as a condemnation.

Dexter Rogers and Michael Fauntroy wanted to know if Ms. Thomas was resigning, then why not Chris Myers and Pat Buchanan, respectively.

Richard Greener (our old buddy) says that this means that we don't have a free press because you can't "criticize Israel and the Jews." Does that sound anti-Semitic to anyone? More on that later.

James Zogby points out that though she did say something wrong, she should be remembered for her legacy of good, not this last mistake. I suppose I can't fault him too much for that.

Beau Friedlander successfully sets up and knocks down the strawman that "criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic." Congratulations to her.

Roger Friedman talked about how the story has been ignored by the mainstream media, but ultimately did not take one side or another.

Paul Jay wrote his second Helen Thomas article in which he accused her critics of being "apologists." But I covered that in detail the other day.

Bill McGowan both attacked Thomas' remarks and the way she apologized for them. That's two.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wrote a somewhat hysterical article claiming that Thomas' remarks means it is now 'open season on Jews.' That's three.

Update: Here are some more!

Paul Jay quoted Ralph Nader to say that Helen Thomas should be reinstated.

Scott Blakeman complimented Thomas on her great work and bemoaned her departure from the national stage.

Mike Green fell over himself praising Jon Stewart for "a defense" of Helen Thomas that wasn't. 

Mike Farrell wrote a neutral article in which he admitted he really didn't know what to think.

Jawal Nga strongly defended Thomas and blasted back at the "victimhood" that Israel's defenders were using against her.

So to conclude, that is three unequivocal condemnations of Thomas (not counting Jon Stewart) and implications that she got exactly what she deserved. These are counterbalanced with a grand total twenty-three comments defending Thomas and her remarks, or otherwise attempted to relieve the negative attention on her. It's nice to know that the HP has chosen a side in this discussion, isn't it?


  1. I think Sam Stein's piece can be given a thumbs-up; he's making the very salient point that the most vocal overseas defenders of Thomas have general goals and a worldview that the HP would absolutely despise...if their enemy was a country other than Israel. Seeing the posters trying to defend Hezbollah was amusing, in a sad way.

  2. Anti Semitism is the last remaining politically correct form of bigotry on earth.

    Otherwise, we wouldn't see the HP go all the way to defend Thomas.

    Its really sad more anything else - and it shines quite a light into the sick souls found on the Left today.

  3. Ben, I counted Sam's but not Jon Stewart. He was definitely making the point that her friends are not our friends.