Skip to comments.Helen Thomas: Bush a Work in Progress
Posted on 01/26/2002 8:27:21 PM PST by SkyPilot
White House reporter shares insights BY JODIE FAWL Lincoln Journal Star
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Skipping from civil liberties to Enron to presidential news coverage, longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas regaled members of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Thursday with tales about the highest of the mighty.
"I've always felt privileged to cover the White House and to have that ringside seat to history," she said.
Thomas' career has spanned 60 years and nine presidents. She resigned from United Press International in May 2000 when it was sold to New World Communications, a company controlled by the Unification Church.
"We have all watched Helen on TV," said Gov. Mike Johanns as he introduced her to a chamber audience of about 700 at The Cornhusker. "I told her I feel like we know you so well I should have you over for dinner."
Thomas quickly accepted.
Although her speech was laced with one-liners, witticisms and funny asides, many of her topics were more serious.
For example: "What a difference a day makes," she said. After the Cold War "we thought we would live happily every after. There is no question, we're all playing it by ear. There is no road map for dealing with terrorism."
And she said she was struck by how easily Americans have given up some civil liberties in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
She understands the need for more airport security, Thomas said, but racial profiling, wiretapping and government intrusions on private property are too much.
"We cannot be ruled by fear - that's not us," she said.
As a gimlet-eyed observer of the nation's chief executive, Thomas has come to believe that presidents have the greatest honor: the trust of the American people.
"My feeling is, if they want to go into politics they should forgo their privacy. They should decide when they are five and live like Sunday school teachers."
The whole world - and news coverage of it - has changed since the 1960s, when she started on the presidential watch. Among the most written about: A sexual revolution and a cultural revolution.
She said the press corps followed a "golden rule that if it didn't affect the running of the country, they didn't need to report on it. We weren't protecting anybody."
As President Bill Clinton reached his last days in office, Thomas asked him what White House possession he would like to take with him.
His reply: the rock Neal Armstrong brought back from the moon. Whenever tension filled the Oval Office, Clinton said, he would point to the rock and tell those present to "chill out." The rock was 3.6 billion years old, he said; they needed perspective.
"I think the rock is still there, but I'm not sure," Thomas said.
She also shared with the group her impressions of the presidents she covered.
John F. Kennedy was "inspired," she said, and the current President Bush is "a work in progress."
Richard Nixon "always had two roads to go, and he always took the wrong road."
Thomas said that in the White House press room there is a photograph of Franklin D. Roosevelt. His signed inscription speaks to the uneasy truce between presidents and the grim crowd that records their every utterance: "To reporters - from their devoted victim."
Reach Jodie Fawl at 473-7235 or email@example.com.
Oh dear! She and the press "weren't protecting anybody?"
Come Now! Do the words "Fiddle and Faddle" mean anything? I'll give you a hint Helen - - JFKs two secretary's whose only qualifications was keeping their knees apart.
So, Billy took a historic moon rock? What other museam pieces (besides the furniture he and Hillary! looted) did this criminal take?
I remember talking to a Pentagon employee who said a retired 4 star general "took home" a US Govt owned artwork. They hunted him down and threatened legal action. But of course--nothing will be done about Billy's theft.
Helen Thomas is pathetic.
Forgot this part.
Why don't you ask Helen? I bet you can find it in Arkansas.
To Helen the Troll, I say this:
"GW accomplished the following: Yale grad, Harvard MBA, successful business man, former Air Force officer and F-102 fighter pilot, twice elected Govenor of Texas, and now President of the United States."
Dear Helen--what have you accomplished? Other than grabbing fame from others?
Yeah, and 3 pharaohs, 6 caesars, and one Aztec ruler...
This from a woman who has yet to evolve human characteristics.
Hey! You left off restoring honor and dignity to the White House...oh, yeah, and marrying Laura.
Perhaps some reporter will write an incredible puff piece on this article. The media is one big circle-jerk.
Yeah, but after that, I thought the voo doo thing worked pretty well, though. She has that classic Quasimodo look and it seems to be permanent.
The good news for Helen Thomas is never ever having to say the words, "Trick or Treat."
As a repulsive and obnoxious creature - she has never been ruled by fear - at least on her end - of anybody unblessed enough to get snaggled by her disgusting presence.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.