May 2022 has been declared Jewish Heritage Month by Presiden Biden. Heritage month was first proclaimed by President Bush in 2010. Every year since every president declared a Jewish Heritage Month. The heritage celebration usually includes an event at the White House lawn, and all received excellent reviews. All except for the 2010 event when the good feelings were ruined by the anti-Semitic rantings by the most senior White House press corps reporter– Helen Thomas.
Once she was exposed as a Jew-hater in 2010 through her death in 2013, Ms. Thomas regularly regurgitated her abhorrent hatred.
My “association” with Helen Thomas began Friday, June 4th, 2010, when a friend, Rabbi David Nesenoff, sent me a video that contained a short explosive interview he conducted with Helen Thomas at the White House during the 2010 Jewish Heritage Month. The tape displayed the veteran White House correspondent telling the Jews to go back to the worst countries of the Holocaust. “Go back to Germany or Poland,” she said, which may have been one of the more pleasant things Thomas said about Jews during the last three years of her life.
David asked me if there was anything I could do with the video. He explained he’d already offered it and refused by the mainstream media, the Long Island newspaper Newsday, and even The Jewish Week, a weekly progressive newspaper for the Jewish community.
But no one wanted to take on Ms. Thomas, who was seen as the dean of the White House press corps and very popular with her colleagues, a popularity many reporters had for years after she passed away.
Taking up David’s challenge, I guaranteed David it would have a half a million hits by Sunday.
Getting to work, I quickly wrote it up for The Lid, Breitbart’s Big Journalism, and sent it to Scott Baker (who was running Breitbart TV). To help the posts gain some traction, I sent out tweets and emails to most of the giant website sites. And submitted it to Drudge. Once, it was picked up by Drudge and others throughout the blog world. Once Drudge picked it up, it spread like wildfire. Thirty-six hours later, Nesenoff turned on his computer again after the Sabbath he discovered I was wrong–it was over 750 thousand).
I quickly wrote it up for The Lid, Breitbart’s Big Journalism, and sent it to Scott Baker (who at the time was running Breitbart TV). To help the posts gain some traction, I sent out tweets and emails to most giant website sites, including Drudge.
Two hours later, before leaving on a five-hour car ride to my brother’s house for the weekend, the video was posted on all the Breitbart “Big” sites and as a banner Drudge headline.
The power of the internet was incredible—turning on the TV news five hours later, the same Helen Thomas video MSM rejected a few days earlier was dominating the headlines of the mainstream media, TV, and radio.
Two days later, I followed up with a post urging that Ms.Thomas keep her job, explaining that Helen Thomas’ tirade was merely a symptom of the problem, not the disease—media acceptance of Antisemitism. Firing her would be like treating Ebola with a band-aid. She was pushed out of her job anyway.
Within a few days of the Friday posts, David was being slandered by Mediaite,— Juan Cole was accusing me of selectively editing the video (and other affronts to Ms. Thomas), and the hate email piled and nasty comments piled up in my email box,
A friend who covered the WH at the time told me off the record he wasn’t surprised by her comments. He’d heard her make similar vile before. But that didn’t matter to him because, along with many of his colleagues, he considered her a mentor and was angry that I had the nerve to tell the truth about Thomas. Apparently, others felt the same way.
In the years afterward, unencumbered by a “front line” media job, Thomas[ other anti-Semitic comments, but her colleagues in the media kept protecting her. The ones who did cover her hatred claimed her slanders were political, not hateful. They refused to say she was anti-Semitic, only anti-Israel—a dangerous affront to the truth.
For example, two years after Thomas’ hatred was exposed, Michael Calderone wrote in the Huffington Post:
Thomas, a former WHCA president who covered 10 administrations before retiring from Hearst newspapers in 2010 over controversial comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A former investigative producer for ABC News and CBS’s 60 Minutes, Charles Lewis created a website to honor “independent” journalists. One of the site’s initial honorees was Ms. Thomas. In their chronology of her career, the site lied about what she said: in the video.
Since Israel is the eternal homeland of the Jewish people, there is no difference between being anti-Israel and Antisemitism. Telling the Jews to go back to Poland and Germany confirmed that. But for those who needed additional proof, Ms. Thomas soon began to use “traditional” anti-Semitic canards.
After making that controversial comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Thomas retired (or was tossed out of) Hearst Newspapers. But the mainstream media continued to push the lie that Ms.Thomas’anti-Semitic statement was about Israel- Palestinian conflict.”
Proving that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, on December 2nd, almost six months to the day when the original video went viral, Helen Thomas spoke at an Arab anti-bias workshop in Dearborn, Michigan. There she spit out additional Antisemitism that couldn’t; be misconstrued as solely being anti-Israel..
At the anti-bias conference, Thomas explained that she absolutely stood by her ugly comments about Jews made in June and added the anti-Semitic canard that Zionists [Jews] control US foreign policy and other American institutions.
During the 12/2/10 conference, Thomas was asked about the June statements that destroyed her career.
“I paid the price for that,” said Thomas, a longtime White House correspondent. “But it was worth it, to speak the truth. The Zionists have to understand that’s their country, too. Palestinians were there long before any European Zionists.”
In the case of Jew-haters blaming Zionists is a politically correct way of blaming Jews.
Continuing along, she alluded to the anti-Semitic canard that Jews control the media, Saying:
“You can not say anything (critical) about Israel in this country.
Excuse me, Helen, if the Jews controlled the media this website would have a billion visitors every week
Thomas then blamed anti-Arab prejudice on the Jews, launching into an anti-Semitic tirade about how those wealthy Jews control America.
In a speech that drew a standing ovation, Thomas claimed those Jews own Congress, Hollywood, and Wall Street. Damn, we’re good!
the whole question of money involved in politics.” ”We are owned by propagandists against the Arabs. There’s no question about that. Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists. No question in my opinion. They put their money where there mouth is…We’re being pushed into a wrong direction in every way.
The video below is her full 12-2 speech in Dearborn.
When asked by the interviewer if she had a personal antipathy toward Jews themselves, Thomas labeled the Jews as Arab haters. She denied the Jews had a historical connection to their eternal homeland. She made some renewed claims about the worldwide “Jewish” conspiracy a little later in the interview.
PLAYBOY: That stereotype of Jewish control has been around for more than a century. Do you actually think there’s a secret Jewish conspiracy at work in this country?
THOMAS: Not a secret. It’s very open. What do you mean secret?
PLAYBOY: Well, for instance, explain the connection between Hollywood and what’s happening with the Palestinians.
THOMAS: Power over the White House, power over Congress.
PLAYBOY: By way of contributions?
THOMAS: 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.
(the full Playboy interview is embedded at the end of this post)
Helen Thomas was a trailblazer. When it comes to the White House press corps, she broke the “glass ceiling,” mentored new reporters, and always pressed Presidents and their Press Secretaries for honest answers to difficult questions.
But a Journalist’s job is, to tell the truth. While the mainstream media whitewashed Ms.Thomas’ “go back to Germany” statement as about the “Israel- Palestinian conflict.” That’s a lie. And if the original 2010 video, her comments in Dearborn and to Playboy should be enough corroboration to substantiate what she meant.
When Helen Thomas died on July 20th, 2013, she was celebrated by the mainstream media as the trailblazer she was. However, the media continues to ignore her hatred and/or falsified her entire story. They claimed her career was ruined by an anti-Israel comment--false. Her career was ruined because she was a vicious anti-Semite. Her hatred began to be exposed on this site ten years ago and her media colleagues are still covering it up.
The media is still spinning the truth about Helen Thomas. \
In preparation for this post, I contacted members of the press who covered the WH ten years ago to understand their feelings about the Thomas scandal. Despite an offer of anonymity, only two of the many reporters contacted replied. One rejected the request. But the other wrote:
“Generally, it is sad when someone legendary for longevity exited journalism in such a way. But, the fact is she said unacceptable things that would have gotten anyone on the right fired. I generally don’t want to assume the worst. But, invoking Germany and Poland was eerie. And certainly, she’s said other things in public venues. I was well aware of the lore around Helen Thomas when I started covering. I once even interviewed her very briefly. Another reporter informed me she often asked very anti-Israel in questions. But, before this video, I assumed that might fit in with her view the U.S. shouldn’t be involved in Afghanistan or Iraq.
The comments at this event seemed to indicate her problem wasn’t with the Jewish state per se, but with the people.
It should be said the White House Correspondents Association had announced it would review the seating chart just prior to Thomas abruptly announcing her retirement, which of course wasn’t voluntary.
The reaction was mixed. I recall one reporter suggesting she’s 90-years-old, maybe she didn’t know what she was saying. I don’t really recall anyone defending what she said. But I think so many people there knew her for years they weren’t sure how to address her hatred.
There were two valuable lessons I learned when “outing” Helen Thomas as a hater in 2010. The first was the importance of ensuring that a post is accurate because it can ruin someone’s career (what I posted was correct, and it ruined Ms. Thomas’ career).
The other lesson is that mainstream media will do and say anything to protect one of their own. They guarded her in June 2010, and some of them are still protecting her.