Columnist Helen Thomas
UPDATE: Helen Thomas died July 20, 2013. She was 92. May she rest in peace. Helen Thomas in February 2009 Helen Thomas, formerly the White House correspondent UPI, and later a columnist with Hearst News Service, is inducted into the Hall of Shame for comments of a prejudicial unbefitting a member of the press. Thomas, of Arab descent but a member of the Antiochian Orthodox Church., commented about Israel, Jews and the IsraeliPalestinian conflict saying, the [Israelis should] get the hell out of Palestine and return to Germany, Poland, and the U.S. Hearst Newspapers announced her retirement on June 7, 2010. As a result of these remarks made on a video chat that went viral, Thomas was dropped by a speakers’ bureau and as a commencement speaker at a high school. In addition, during a White House press conference after 9/11, Thomas referred to the terrorist who attacked the United States as so-called terrorist. Up until this incident Thomas held an impressive career as a journalist. She was the first female member of the White House Press Corp and the only one to have her own seat in the White House Briefing Room. All other seats are assigned to media outlets. She began her career at the White House Press Corp in November 1960, during the Kennedy Administration, where she established her signature, Thank you, Mr. President. She has covered every President since then (Kennedy through Obama). Her characteristic rough voice lead Bill O’Reilly to refer to her as the wicked witch of the White House Press Corp. In May 2000 she left UPI and went to work as a columnist with Hearst News Service. This move allowed her air her personal, negative views, which she could not do as a journalist. In a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she quipped, I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter. Now I wake up and ask myself, Who do I hate today?’ In July 2006, she told The Hill, The day Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I’ll kill myself. All we need is another liar… To be opinionated is not a problem, but to refer to known terrorists as so-called terrorists and her racial hate speech toward the Israelis is beyond the pale and is the reason for her induction into the Hall of Shame.