The Short Half-Life of Shame

Richard Kantro
Like a painful, nasty case of shingles you just can't shake, Helen Thomas is back.  A persistent carbuncle on the body of the Fourth Estate -- already none too healthy -- this played-out, Jew-hating crone will subject us to a public recrudescence of her purulent ideas - with a weekly column.

Yes, the online Falls-Church News-Press pridefully announces the freshening up and repotting of this embalmed daisy:

Legendary journalist and 50-year veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas has come out of a seven-month retirement to resume her weekly political affairs column today, published in print and online exclusively in the Falls Church News-Press.

. . .  News-Press owner-editor Nicholas F. Benton writes that, as one who has known Ms. Thomas since 1991, "She is progressive, and following my more than eight hours of direct, one-on-one talks with her since the events of last June, I remain firmly convinced that she is neither bigoted, nor racist, nor anti-Semitic."

He added, "I am proud that a journalist of the stature and professionalism of Helen Thomas is relaunching her career, in her ninetieth year no less, in my newspaper. She more than deserves, and I am honored to help provide her the proverbial 'second chance." 

Well, that would be her 91st year, but who's counting?  And ah, yes, Mr. Benton, about that noble "second chance."  I guess you wanted us to have a second chance, too --  as if a full half-century hasn't been enough -- to find out what this croaking beldam really thinks, and to show us that you are the perfect guy to winch her onto a dais.  But seriously:  to refer to your grave-robbing as her "com[ing] out of a seven-month retirement?"  All rehabbed, rouged, and ready to go, eh, Mr. Benton?  How'd you ever get the "exclusive" on this keeper of a ruby?

In 1976, Earl Butz very memorably ... uh ... misspoke, got fired, and stayed fired.  Today, the more humiliating the disgrace, the faster we shrive the sinner.  Michael Vick has a second chance, and wants another dog, and soon.  Well, why not?  Tiger Woods left golf for what -- a whole two months?  Eliot #9 Spitzer's on TV, and coming back to your ballot (stories here, here, and everywhere).  Why not second-chance Ms. Thomas with a fresh, new column?  And, judging from a good many of the comments Nicholas Benton saw fit to post to this un-bylined article, also on-deck for a second chance are Goebbels and Streicher.  You go, Nick.

Finally, quoting himself in his own article, here's what this intrepid publisher felt it necessary to clarify, right before applying the paddles to Helen's body of work, warning "all-clear", and pressing the buttons:

Her remarks in June were in response to a question about Israel, not Jews, and were intended to mean that in these times, Jewish people are free to live wherever they wish, because the era of anti-Jewish persecution is ended. That was not adequately expressed because of the impromptu nature of the incident."

Among others, Ms. Thomas' plight last summer drew sympathy from former President Jimmy Carter, who called her to offer his support.

"Wherever," indeed.  But don't fret:  just Israelis, not Jews.  And, as regards the "sympathetic" Mr. Carter and "second chances," one simple observation:  bedbugs are back, too.

Like a painful, nasty case of shingles you just can't shake, Helen Thomas is back.  A persistent carbuncle on the body of the Fourth Estate -- already none too healthy -- this played-out, Jew-hating crone will subject us to a public recrudescence of her purulent ideas - with a weekly column.

Yes, the online Falls-Church News-Press pridefully announces the freshening up and repotting of this embalmed daisy:

Legendary journalist and 50-year veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas has come out of a seven-month retirement to resume her weekly political affairs column today, published in print and online exclusively in the Falls Church News-Press.

. . .  News-Press owner-editor Nicholas F. Benton writes that, as one who has known Ms. Thomas since 1991, "She is progressive, and following my more than eight hours of direct, one-on-one talks with her since the events of last June, I remain firmly convinced that she is neither bigoted, nor racist, nor anti-Semitic."

He added, "I am proud that a journalist of the stature and professionalism of Helen Thomas is relaunching her career, in her ninetieth year no less, in my newspaper. She more than deserves, and I am honored to help provide her the proverbial 'second chance." 

Well, that would be her 91st year, but who's counting?  And ah, yes, Mr. Benton, about that noble "second chance."  I guess you wanted us to have a second chance, too --  as if a full half-century hasn't been enough -- to find out what this croaking beldam really thinks, and to show us that you are the perfect guy to winch her onto a dais.  But seriously:  to refer to your grave-robbing as her "com[ing] out of a seven-month retirement?"  All rehabbed, rouged, and ready to go, eh, Mr. Benton?  How'd you ever get the "exclusive" on this keeper of a ruby?

In 1976, Earl Butz very memorably ... uh ... misspoke, got fired, and stayed fired.  Today, the more humiliating the disgrace, the faster we shrive the sinner.  Michael Vick has a second chance, and wants another dog, and soon.  Well, why not?  Tiger Woods left golf for what -- a whole two months?  Eliot #9 Spitzer's on TV, and coming back to your ballot (stories here, here, and everywhere).  Why not second-chance Ms. Thomas with a fresh, new column?  And, judging from a good many of the comments Nicholas Benton saw fit to post to this un-bylined article, also on-deck for a second chance are Goebbels and Streicher.  You go, Nick.

Finally, quoting himself in his own article, here's what this intrepid publisher felt it necessary to clarify, right before applying the paddles to Helen's body of work, warning "all-clear", and pressing the buttons:

Her remarks in June were in response to a question about Israel, not Jews, and were intended to mean that in these times, Jewish people are free to live wherever they wish, because the era of anti-Jewish persecution is ended. That was not adequately expressed because of the impromptu nature of the incident."

Among others, Ms. Thomas' plight last summer drew sympathy from former President Jimmy Carter, who called her to offer his support.

"Wherever," indeed.  But don't fret:  just Israelis, not Jews.  And, as regards the "sympathetic" Mr. Carter and "second chances," one simple observation:  bedbugs are back, too.