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. D.

    With all due respect Helen was not in mainstream thinking and what a way to go out but it's not over for her. She might be hurting at this point but there will be another cause who will need her input and leadership soon. I had written her earlier for her autograph and was disappointed it never arrived. Now she might truly recognize her place in history and send out the requested person we all know and still respect. She deserves a dinner, tea and a chance to talk with new journalists soon. She resigned not died!!!

    June 10, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. aneanderthal

    Thomas is what happens when liberals get old.

    June 10, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    There have been worst things said about President Obama in the media and nobody got fired, in fact Palin campaigns on hate against our president and she hasn't been fired. Thomas knew they wanted to get rid of her because over and over again during press conferences she would question Bush's war lies relentlessly. Thomas asked questions that cowards wouldn't ask and no one came to her defense.

    June 10, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Concerned

    Does anyone actually take this woman seriously?

    June 10, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. .....

    you go helen! tell it like it is! we'll miss u

    June 10, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. Vivian M

    One ray of truth shines brighter than 1,000 points of light. This woman is a true patriot. I am sure this comments section will be dominated by armchair warriors of the right wing, bashing her as trolls do.

    How refreshing it is to read the ungarnished, truth in ANY mainstream media.

    June 10, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. Ann

    She keeps telling the truth. What I don't understand is her silence regarding the incompetency of the current administration. I guess she hasn't been afraid to be labeled 'unpatriotic' or 'anti-semite', but she is scared to get a 'racist' label.

    June 10, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Including YOU Helen!

    June 10, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. gary

    She was absolutely right when it came to the war with Iraq. The press failed the American people and did not do its job. The Founding Fathers expected a free press to hold the government accountable and to constantly question the government on behalf of the American people. It went right along with the Bush Administration and failed to ask the hard questions, which Thomas often did in her own abrasive style.

    June 10, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. jenn, philadelphia

    Yes, the press rolled over about going to war. Just they way they did during the election about Barack Obama. "Reporters" like Chris Matthews were too busy get a tingling feeling up their legs to ask any questions. Of course, they weren't too busy to trash Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin and John McCain.

    June 10, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Getting a little tired of hearing everyone invoke George Bush's name every time they fail. How does this relate to her being a racist antisemite?

    June 10, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. John

    Helen was right about Israel, and she's right about this. You go, girl!

    June 10, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. SPLackey

    Thankfully she is finally gone. Now if we can get a few more to join her. And as for "not asking tough questions" during Bush's terms....please, give me a break.

    June 10, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. illinois nurse

    BHO should join Helen "jews Go Home" Thomas in her well needed retirement. We will help him in 2012. Untill then, if you want your country to remain the superpower for your kids and grandkids, if you want your freedom from government controlling every aspect of your life, vote democrat enablers out in November. Defang Obama. I was raised in Russia. We escaped to raise our kids in a free society. I know what I am saying.

    June 10, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Jackie

    And where is she regarding the O'Bama administration...oh I know...she agree's with everything they are doing, even if the O'Bama and Democrat Congress is running the Country into the ground and destroying us. Keep in mind, the "real" economic problems started when the Dems took over Congress in 2006. Remember that Congress holds the purse strings.

    June 10, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Eric

    Uh, Helen, even your buddy Wild Bill Clinton and the freaking pacifist French said the WMDs were there. So did your beloved U.N. (the "un" as I like to call it).

    Rather than advertising the fact you're too stupid to realize when you've been "had" by Saddam Hussein's third-rate street-hustler-like slight-of-hand trick ("Gee, there are no WMDs here, so they must have never been here... duhhhh..."), I think the smarter question would be, "We KNEW the WMDs WERE there... so where are they NOW?"

    Has anyone bothered to question Syria?

    Those thinking we were "lied" into war, really need to grow up and realize just because it was printed in Mother Jones (and the rest of the LSM) doesn't make it true, in spite of how much you want it to be.

    I don't know what's scarier... the fact that liberals like Helen Thomas and her rabidly ignorant liberal fan base are allowed to vote... or breed?

    Ugh, on that thought, I think I need to go get some Listerine for my imagination, and some Tums. Easy stomach... easy does it...

    June 10, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. kimberly

    she is 100% RIGHT! AND Isreal needs to get OUT OF GAZA!

    June 10, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    Helen who? Oh, yeah, the racist, bigoted, extremist muslim sympathizer.

    June 10, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Insanity!

    I have been very heartened by the few in positions of "power" that are finally willing to speak out against a Zionist controlled Congress.
    Everytime during my lifetime that someone has spoken up about "our" policies in the Middle East, they have been shouted down as Jew haters and bigots by Zionist controlled power centers. This is not nor ever has been an attack on Jews in Israel nor anywhere else. For
    most Americans it has been about ,"What the hell are we doing?"
    Zionist political groups (including most of the "leadership" since Reagan) need to take a careful reading of the mood of the people in this country. They are more than just fed up, they are angry. Enough is enough. I do not know if either side in Palestine can ever resolve ther hatreds; but, they better try harder. WE are fed up!! And WE are angry!!

    June 10, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. bartmoss22

    Finally, about 30 years too late, this idiot is gone from the White House. Funny, all the posts on here blast Bush. Helen Thomas wasn't too aggressive in her pursuit of Bill Clinton when he lied throughout his administration. She is a typical inside-the-beltway, liberal media activist posing as a unbiased journalist. Good riddance, Helen.

    June 10, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. Mike

    Speaking about free rides, the press is silent about Obama's total lack of action on the oil spill.

    By the way, having bad intelligence is very different from lying. The UK, Russia, and France all agreed that Iraq had WMD's. Also, I don't remember Thomas questioning the intel either. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    June 10, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. Alban

    Helen, it is time for you to go away, please just go away. No one cares what you have to say. Just go away, please.

    June 10, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. CaptainCrunch

    "Lack of knowing the history" Stein-that's laughable. She's LIVED it. The Bible is not a recognized treaty and she was right on the money about everything-especially the cowards who failed to question Bush on the war.
    As a military family, I didn't find Bush's foray to pretend looking for WMD in the oval office as amusing as you and the press corps apparently did. I found it insulting, degrading and horrifying.

    June 10, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @ Dave, Central Illinois June 10th, 2010 12:46 pm ET

    I wonder if the old hagg will comment on how the press is giving Obama a free ride? I bet not. The slobberfest continues...

    ****************************************************************************

    Please elaborate. Instead of spewing what Rush Limbaugh bloviates about during his shows present factual evidence; otherwise, you're just an idiotic, low information voter.

    June 10, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. john smith

    Amazing. The only comment that rings true is Dave from Illinois.
    The others need to read a history book or two. First the so called Palestinians did not exist until 1964. When people spoke of Palestinians prior to 1948 they meant Jews. The Arabs are not paying for the crimes of Europe they are paying for their own. The mufti of Jerusalem was an ally of Hitler who wanted a second front holocaust in the mid-east if the Germans were victorious. Funny they got a free pass on that. The Jews have had a presence in the land of Israel un-interupted for 2000 years. Just not been politically in charge. While the Arab-muslims ran the country the cities were a sewer and the land was a desert. They were offered a state in 1948 and chose war after war which they lost. Their leader ship is corrupt there has been almost a trillion dollars invested in Gaza by the world and yet nobody asks where the money went. (hint Mrs Arafat gets 20 million a month in Paris)
    2nd. There were 23 reasons given by the Bush administration to go war with Sadam. Read the speeches by Hillary Clinton and John Kerry supporting it. WMD somehow got promoted to be the only reason. That was the crime of the press corps. Which continues to worship at Obama's feet.

    June 10, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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