Saturday, July 20, 2013

Helen Thomas - RIP

A wonderful person and a journalist of historic significance
It is sad to read of Helen Thomas' passing. She lead an exemplary life as a journalist and a woman. She has had a very positive impact on journalism. The nation's history during her time with us is a bit more honest and open because of her. She asked the tough questions that her male colleagues didn't think or dare to ask. Presidents were forced to anticipate her questions when planning what to say. Which Washington pool reporter today has that impact on the White House? 

Ms. Thomas would find it a fitting tribute if in reviewing her life, career, and her impeachable integrity as a journalist, that we use her example to deepen our examination of journalism as it is practiced today. This is especially opportune at a time when whistle blowers are pursued as traitors, telephones at news agencies are bugged and journalists turn on their own for printing what every American has a right to know about what government is doing. I hope some of the young journalists coming up today will take some lessons from Helen Thomas and show the courage that she displayed over her career. And I hope that news organizations find the courage to challenge their corporate over lords and empower journalists to uncover what is true and important for the rest of us know.

On a more personal note, while I never met Ms. Thomas, she was very kind and welcoming to two young journalists in my familly when they first arrived in Washington. She was, and remains an inspiration for many. Knowing how much I admired her my family gave me a copy of her book, "Watchdogs of Democracy" which she signed for me. Thank you, Helen. 

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