Helen Thomas! Who cares?

Ralph Kinney Bennett
Helen Thomas! Who cares?

I was an accredited White House correspondent from 1966 to 2001.  During that time and long since, I have known many to suffer Helen Thomas, but nobody to take her seriously.

She's a joke.  Can anyone really remember anything she has said or written?  No.  Of course not.

She was a sort of weird press room mascot, trotted out for her embarrassing question to the President ritual while colleagues groaned inwardly and stared at their shoes to hide their rolling eyes.  She was like one of those never-was-a-firemen, who hang around the fire house, becoming a fixture by default, indulged or humored over the years unless or until the nuisance factor gets too high.

Her splenetic Jew-bashing was the most attention she has ever received other than the phony adulation and awards garnered from time to time from bored fellow journalists who realized that, "My God, she's still around."

I don't know why everyone got so animated.  It was Helen Thomas, for crying out loud.  Whatever she did - whatever came off her keyboard or out of her mouth - was like a bear defecating in the woods.  Few have seen it and few would care to.  Boy, if ever there was a candidate for one of P.J. O'Rourke's "pre-obituaries!"
Helen Thomas! Who cares?

I was an accredited White House correspondent from 1966 to 2001.  During that time and long since, I have known many to suffer Helen Thomas, but nobody to take her seriously.

She's a joke.  Can anyone really remember anything she has said or written?  No.  Of course not.

She was a sort of weird press room mascot, trotted out for her embarrassing question to the President ritual while colleagues groaned inwardly and stared at their shoes to hide their rolling eyes.  She was like one of those never-was-a-firemen, who hang around the fire house, becoming a fixture by default, indulged or humored over the years unless or until the nuisance factor gets too high.

Her splenetic Jew-bashing was the most attention she has ever received other than the phony adulation and awards garnered from time to time from bored fellow journalists who realized that, "My God, she's still around."

I don't know why everyone got so animated.  It was Helen Thomas, for crying out loud.  Whatever she did - whatever came off her keyboard or out of her mouth - was like a bear defecating in the woods.  Few have seen it and few would care to.  Boy, if ever there was a candidate for one of P.J. O'Rourke's "pre-obituaries!"