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Helen Thomas -- In Defense of Her Honesty and Her First Amendment Rights, Freedom of Speech

By       Message Sam Hamod     Permalink
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I've wanted to write this article since Hearst Newspapers fired journalist Helen Thomas for an answer she gave in an interview about Palestine and Israel. I've waited for more "prominent journalists" to speak out about her First Amendment rights of freedom of speech in some of our "important journals of note," such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Nation magazine, Harpers, Atlantic, ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS -- but nothing was said, at least nothing I've come across.

I feel this shows the shame of the "fourth estate" (that actually no longer exists) and the cowardice of our major media to defend not only her rights but their own belief in our Constitution. They want that freedom of speech for themselves, and for printing their pro-Israeli "news," but will not, and did not, defend someone of distinction like Helen Thomas because she spoke against one of their icons and myths.

Helen Thomas was fired, in what was a clear violation of her First Amendment Rights; but none of our major media or professors of Constitutional Law screamed in her defense, because she spoke the truth about the "Sacred Cow" of American politics -- Israel, and Israel's abuse of Palestinians.

Ms.Thomas was, and is, the most famous, most courageous, and most truthful of all journalists in American history. She was what journalism schools teach, and have always taught. She was used as an example at universities such as Northwestern, Columbia, Missouri, Harvard, etc., for what a true journalist was, and should be. But when she spoke the truth about something that none dared speak of, she was fired.

I hope that our journalism schools have the courage to teach about this shameful act, so that students know the pitfalls of what happens in America if you speak too much truth. Perhaps future generations can correct this in the major media. If not, perhaps they will carry on the belief in truth that we find these days only on alternative media sites.
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As everyone is aware of by now, in one of the most shameful acts in American journalism, in June of this year, 2010, the Hearst Newspapers fired Helen Thomas, the most famous and most respected journalist in American history, for speaking the truth about Israel and its treatment of Palestinians, and the favoritism America shows Israel even in the face of Israeli atrocities.

Ms.Thomas has always stood out with her courage and truthfulness. Even in Washington, when politicians would invite her to "private dinner parties," she would not attend; I remember this clearly from her comments when I edited, THIRD WORLD NEWS, and she was the top reporter at the White House and the top journalist for United Press International before it was sold out to a pro-zionist group and editor.

Helen Thomas continues to speak out, even though her former colleagues in the media did not have the courage to stand by her and support her First Amendment rights of Freedom of Speech. I know her well enough to be able to state unequivocally that she would have stood up for them. During the Bush administration, she was moved to the back row during press conferences, and was called upon only at briefings. If her peers had been true journalists and had her courage, they would have told the president, "Helen is the top journalist here and she deserves to have the first seat and first question here at the White house." Had they done that, George W. Bush, the eternal idiot, would have had to back down.

In this recent case, even if she was no longer with Hearst Newspapers, Helen Thomas had every right to keep that front-row seat and to ask the first question, even if she was a freelance journalist. But her "colleagues" were not really her colleagues, they were cowards and do not deserve to be called members of "The Fourth Estate" any longer; they are but lackeys to the corporations and the political parties that are ruining America.

Long live Helen Thomas and the truths for which she stands. And thank God for sites like whose members have the courage to speak the truth in this bad time for America and the world.

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Sam Hamod, Ph.D. is a graduate professor; he has taught courses in creative writing, politics, religion, mass media and intercultural relations. He has one of the very few PhDs awarded by The Writers Workshop of The Univ. of Iowa, has published 12 (more...)

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