The usual suspects all have their panties in a bunch over the snub of their lunatic press goddess, Helen Thomas. Atrios claims that this is proof that Bush is a “spoiled little child,” Kos merely mentioned it in a sort of stream of consciousness/rambling missive whose only overall themse is that Bush sucks. In another shocking revelation, Kos was not impressed with Bush’s speech. Who ever would have guessed that?
At any rate, as far as the Thomas snub- who cares. If anyone deserved to be treated with disrespect, it was/is that cackling old hag, a partisan hack who has not had an original or independent thought in thirty years. I wouldn’t call on someone who has labeled me the “worst President ever,” and Helen has not had a coherent question for ages (“Why do you want to bomb babies, Ari?” is typical fare).
Would Bill Clinton call on Rush Limbaugh if he were sitting in the front row with a press badge?
Oh, and before I forget, read the comments at Kos- they are deep and inciteful, running from the ‘Bush is drunk or was right before’ to the ‘Bush was popping pills.’ These guys are so desperate that a style critic is now their opinion leader.
Helen Thomas didn’t own that first question tradition. The President can call on anyone he pleases. I wouldn’t call the rest of those reporters “softies.”
why is ken lay still a free man
Bush didn’t answer anything about the cost of the war, exit strategies, why he was alienating half the free world or the potential for casualties. Snubbing Helen Thomas was the least of it — although it shows the guy cannot take criticism. Keep on deluding yourself John Cole — the voters will tell Bush what they want in 2004.
And since they want domestic spending on the working and middle classes on health care and education and creating transportation and communications infrastructure, Bush will be out of work in early 2005. And over half of America that voted for Gore in 2000 will let out a tremendous sigh of relief
Hehe. Why are the fruitiest posts always the anonymous ones?
“Hehe. Why are the fruitiest posts always the anonymous ones?”
Apparently the nitwits who pass along information to their left-wing acolytes didn’t get the message to the drooling baboon above. Even the NYT acknowledges that Ken Lay was defamed by inaccurate reporting; it appears that Lay really did go down with the ship like thousands of others.
I like Helen Thomas. She about near drank me under the table nine years ago, when we met during Clinton’s visit to Prague (I was working for UPI then). She was totally contemptuous of Bubba, and clearly had been speaking her mind freely for several decades now, for mostly good and the occasional ill.
So she’s old and sometimes shrill. Great! I’ll take her over Sam Donaldson any day of the week. I think it’s just fine that the White House press corps asks rude & occasionally bizarre questions — they’re there to provoke answers, after all. Ever see that weird old dude, I presume a Washington Times type, who always tortures Ari Fleischer near the end of his press conference? Guy’s a near-loon … and I love him. Presidents and their spokes-dwarves should be made to respond to such people, who at the very least inject a small jolt of color into an increasginly gray little room.
As for the snub, well, I didn’t read any of those people you linked, and I’m not overly concerned with the little pecking-order rituals of the Beltway, so I’m not too excited about it. But it *is* a snub, and a flouting of a minor tradition. The best that can be said about it is that the president is signalling that some issues or eras are more important than petty Washington mores. The worst that can be said about it isn’t very good.
It’s just funny to see so many left-wingers — who, among their other beliefs, tout a firm stance on egalitarianism — thinking that Helen Thomas has achieved some sort of goddesshood that entitles her to special priveleges. It’s like Affirmative Action for Senile Old White Women.
Matt- I would agree with you to some extent in that there should be better questions asked (and perhaps better questioners). Helen Thomas is, IMHO, insane. She does not really ask questions- she really sort of levels Ramsey Clark-like accusations (Why do you want to bomb innocent civilians, Ari? Why do you want to level their civiization?)
That she does it to both parties doesn’t comfort me, either. Get someone young, with a barin, and a sense of manners in there to ask tough questions. Unless she is just there for comic relief.
John — I should mention that I barely watch presidential press conferences, or spokesman’s conferences, and I only caught 15 minutes of this last deal. Also, I have extremely inappropriate ideas about many things, especially journalism and politics.
BUT. I like the concept of cranks asking questions. And I don’t think Helen has descended into full crank-hood yet, though it’s certainly possible (I’ve haven’t read or seen enough of her to tell, though the last things I’ve seen have been shrill). Enough *Americans* are cranks — I’m a crank, you’re a crank. I’d love to see Richard Bennett asking the first question at a presidential press conference. Or Atrios.
Manners? Decorum? Screw ’em. We are an undecorous country, thank Buddha. And again, even asinine questions can produce valuable answers. But this is all making it seem like I actually care about this stuff….
As usual, you are probably right. Althouhg I would use two many four letter words if I were allowed at a press conference- in particular, the word “liar.”
and that should be although and too- but I have no editor, so what can I say?
I am all in favor of cranks asking questions, as long as a court jester circulates among the cranks with a stout piece of bamboo, smacking them on the head once for every stupid question they ask.
Helen just shouldn’t be there. Tradition or none, her questions waste valuable time for legit inquiry. She is, at this point, purely a democratic rep looking to attack the White House at every turn. To her credit, she is active, brave and has charecter. Too bad all that is wasted on such lines of questioning. Sure hold their feet to the fire, but done take up other peoples air if you resign yourself to the lunatic fringe. Time to retire to that senior citizen’s collective Helen.