The grand dame of the White House press corps and historic figure, Helen Thomas, has announced today that she’ll retire after coming under fire for her most recent comments -- all caught on tape -- about how Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine.”
Looks like instead, Thomas is getting the hell out of the White House. It’s about time.
The brash Thomas has never been shy about her left leaning, pro-Palestinian beliefs, but this time she’s crossed the line. When the interviewer asked, “Where should they go?” she asserted that they – Jews --“go home” to Poland, Germany, the United States “and everywhere else.”
In a statement posted on her website and dated Friday, Ms. Thomas said, “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”
The fact of the matter is that Thomas was an opinion columnist who had no place in the briefing room. Though she cut her teeth and rose to iconic status as the Washington Bureau Chief for United Press International, she retired from that position in 2000 and became a writer for Hearst.
It was then that her press pass should have been pulled. Despite her bias and repeated jaw-dropping zingers through the years, she was largely given a pass because she was a woman, and a liberal, who had blazed a historic trail and racked up an impressive tenure. But even her colleagues found her recent comments unjustifiable and outrageous.
While the First amendment – freedom of speech and of the press -- allows all of us to be anti-Semitic bigots if we want, there is no place for that kind of rhetoric -- especially from someone who works at the White House, or anywhere.
Thomas may have told the Jews to "go home" but at least she's smart enough to realize she's the one that needed to be sent packin'.
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Andrea Tantaros currently serves as co-host of Fox News Channel's The Five (weekdays 5-6 PM/ET). She joined the network as a contributor in 2010. Follow her on Twitter @andreatantaros or on Facebook.com/andreatantaros. Click here for more information on Andrea Tantaros.