June 10th, 2010
12:27 PM ET
4 years ago

Thomas takes swipe at White House reporters over war coverage

 Helen Thomas criticizes White House reporters in a newly released interview.
Helen Thomas criticizes White House reporters in a newly released interview.

(CNN)– While many of Helen Thomas' colleagues condemned the longtime White House reporter over her controversial comments on Israel, Thomas herself took aim at her fellow journalists in a just-published interview.

In the interview with Vice Magazine conducted in March but published Thursday, Thomas says White House reporters failed in their duty to question the Bush administration's assertions in the lead up to the Iraq War.

"I think that journalists became afraid to be called unpatriotic if they didn't support a war, even one that was obviously not true," Thomas said in the interview. "No one asked for proof of weapons of mass destruction. It was very, very clear that President Bush wanted to go to war at any cost….We went to war on lies."

The magazine said it decided to publish the comments in the wake of Thomas' resignation after she said Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine," and that the Jewish people should go home to "Poland, Germany … and America and everywhere else." The White House Correspondent's Association condemned the statements, though did not directly call for her resignation.

Thomas, a longtime critic of both the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, also told Vice her colleagues bear some of the blame for the ongoing conflicts.

"Everyone rolled over and played dead at a time when they should have been really penetrating. They were there for Watergate. But in this case they bought all the propaganda. Or, whether they bought it or not, they took it and spouted it," she said.


Filed under: Helen Thomas
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. walleye

    I dont support her view on Israel, but on this topic she is RIGHT ON. People need to understand that they must control the politicians and not just let the politicians control or simply manipulate public opinion for their own purposes. Without dwelling on it but just to remind of the clear and regrettable example of how completely Bush-Cheney, with the stubborn and irresponsibly arrogant total support of the Republican Party, were able to use deceptive manipulation that literally cost all of us so much – “more of the same’ should never be acceptable. We now really need to correct the flagrant abuses implemented that allowed for the considerable benefit of just the few and instead make significant progress back towards the middle, otherwise we will keep sliding down to disaster.

    June 10, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Steve (the real one)

    I don't remember her asking Obama what he meant by 'fundamentally changing this country" either.

    June 10, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. Willy Brown

    Who but Rosie gives a rats rear end what this old bigot says now. Bash Bush but let Barry ride for free on the war.

    June 10, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Chris (Sacramento CA)

    She is a nut and should have been fired from her post years ago.

    June 10, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Ron in California.

    Like a bad penny she won't go away. You left leaners forget the facts..even his holiness Bill Clinton and many more Dems believed that there were WMD. Saddam even portrayed himself as having Ttem. Not just the CIA but other country's intelligence organizations thought he did. You may blame Bush for everythin. But Obama is going to let Iran et nukes....just wait, The Iraq war is going to look like a picnic.

    June 10, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. SocialismBad

    The press rolled over on Bush??!! GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

    What would the senile buffoon call what the press is doing with Obozo and the DemocRATS destruction of this country? Oh yeah... she agrees with that. Probably because of our support for Israel.

    This old goat should have been turned out to pasture decades ago. Her senility and rabid liberal bias is showing badly.

    June 10, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Naqib

    Bye Bye.... enjoy your long overdue retirement eh... I mean termination... go hang out with Dan Rather...

    June 10, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Ben

    The old bat should keep quiet. She's the poster child for everything that's wrong with journalism today. no ethics, no integrity, just smear, smear, smear.

    June 10, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Ya gotta watch them fiesty old broads. :)

    June 10, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. Pat F

    Helen Thomas is a moron and a coward.

    She's a moron because there is no such country as Palestine – never has been. Palestine was the Roman's designation of the land between the sea and the Jordan.

    She's a coward because she waits until she is retired to "grow a pair."

    Good riddance to another liberal stooge in the press corp.

    June 10, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. joe

    Dave, Central Illinois

    What does one thing have to do with the other? Did the Bush Administration not lie? Lets stop with the partisan nonsense and call a spade a spade. She is right on this one.

    June 10, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Obozo's Record Deficit + Higher Taxes

    Irrelevant old wench. On one cares about her opionions.

    Never did, don't now, and won't in the future.

    Where was she went Slick Willy was lying under oath and running wild around the WH?

    Where was she when the lies about OBOZOCARE were being swept under the rug?

    June 10, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. Shaun

    "No one asked for proof." Doesn't that statement include herself?

    June 10, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    100% correct. It's not about journalism anymore. The "news" media is an orgy of "he-said-she-said" gossip and nothing more. Using any time of intellectual, factual, evidentiary, etc., filter would harm their ability to spin controversy out of straw men and ramp up their ad revenue by sensationalizing tripe.

    June 10, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    Can't someone shut this old bag up?

    Whats the matter, Helen Thomas? Sour grapes? Can you even remember what regular grapes are?

    Geez... a little green face paint and she'd be a dead ringer for the wicked witch of the west.

    June 10, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Slick William

    Typical liberal rhetoric to distract from the disaster in the WHITEHOUSE!

    June 10, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Love but NOT be afraid of Islael

    She has the age, wisdom and most importantly–gut, tell it like it is. no politically correct or bias. Since her origin was from Lenanon, she cannot be accused of anti-semitic. We are like a futher to Israel. Even as a futher, there must be time to time some show of "tough love" if she gets out of hand or she, along with herself, will drag US down.

    June 10, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. brown

    Helen deserves a medal! She had the courage to say what
    many people are thinking but are too politically correct to
    voice!

    June 10, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. salamander

    @ Dave, Central Illinois: Funny you should ask that. I honestly don't know if she's voiced any opinion on how the press has been on the current administration, but it is telling that she's the only person to ask Obama directly a question about the U.S.'s occupation of Afghanistan. Namely, when we're finally pulling the troops out.

    June 10, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. T - Cherry Hill, NJ

    I disagree completely with the comments Helen Thomas made about Israel. She is correct in her assessment about the coverage of the war. We went to war based on lies that the administration at the time probably knew were false so we gave a pass then and we continue to give a pass now. We need to get out of both wars and bring our troops home. Now the media says that President Obama doesn't show enough emotion about issues but as soon as he does, the media will be the first to say "look at the angry black man".

    June 10, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. B.H.

    She just told it like it is! This is a free country and she can speak her mind!

    June 10, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Nadeem

    I cant beleive the way they would go after a frail 90 year old woman for what, if applied against anyone else, whould be considered pree speech or journalistic freedom.

    June 10, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. steve

    I guess that just leaves Dan Schorr to tell us the truth

    June 10, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. David in Houston

    Truth to power...

    June 10, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. .....

    To Dave in Illinois...the difference is OBAMA DOESN'T LIE LIKE BUSH DID! you right wing nuts still don't get it!

    June 10, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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