MEDIA: When It’s Later Than You Think


HUFFINGTON POST: Last week, Israeli commandos boarded a relief ship attempting to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip and, during a clash with pro-Palestinian activists, shot nine people to death. It was an old-fashioned, bona fide “international incident,” a fiasco that raised alarming questions about the current trajectory of Israel’s security, the wisdom of its government, as well as the fate of Obama’s Middle East policies and U.S. security in general. Within a few days, though, the Washington media’s “Israel narrative” abandoned those questions and focused instead on the ugly words and sudden retirement of cranky 89-year-old White House correspondent Helen Thomas. Somehow, the debate shifted from Israel behaving badly to Helen Thomas behaving badly. MORE

WASHINGTON POST: Count the leader of the free world among those offended by veteran journalist Helen Thomas’s comments that Jews should “get the hell out” of Israel and go “home” to countries such as Poland and Germany. In an interview with the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer, President Obama said the remarks “were out of line. Obama said Thomas, 89, “made the right decision” Monday when she announced through her employer, Hearst News Service, that she would retire. MORE

TODD PURDUM: So forgive me if, when I think of Helen Thomas, now, I prefer to think not of the sad (and perhaps predictable) moment that has brought her to forced retirement, but of the doughty dame who knew all the White House operators; who got a tip that Caroline Kennedy’s hamster had died and tried to wake Pierre Salinger in the middle of the night to confirm it; who thrived on beating the A.P. by 10 seconds on a story that would then be yesterday’s news; who fell in love with one of her chief competitors, the A.P.’s Doug Cornell, and married him upon his retirement (only to have him die a couple of years later); who repaired to the Calvert Café (otherwise known as Mama Ayesha’s) for Mediterranean meals and a glass or two; who kept showing up when others have her age would have given up.  MORE

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