On Monday March 9, 2009, legendary White House correspondent Helen Thomas will be the guest on the Basham and Cornell Radio Show, at 8 am Pacific Time, on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas, and simulcast on the Internet (and archived). The show can be listened to at www.BashamAndCornell.com
The venerable Helen Thomas has been a Hearst Newspapers columnist since July, 2000. Thomas went to the White House in January, 1961, as a member of the U.P.I. team headed by the late Merriman Smith, and was there until May, 2000.
She began covering President-elect John F. Kennedy in 1960, and flew with him in Air Force One. It was during his administration that she began her signature tradition of ending all presidential press conferences with, "Thank you, Mr. President".
Helen Thomas traveled around the world several times with Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, and covered every economic summit. In February, 1972, she was the only newspaperwoman to travel with President Nixon to China during his historic trip.
To date she has covered 10 presidents, including President Obama.
Thomas has been a trailblazer. She served as President of the Women's National Press Club from 1959 – 60. She was the first woman officer of the National Press Club after it opened its doors to women members in 1971. (The National Press Club had been integrated since 1955.)
Thomas became the first woman officer of the White House Correspondents Association in its 50 years of existence, and served as its first woman president from 1975-76. Thomas also became the first woman member of the Gridiron Club, and the first woman to be elected president in 1993.
In the Christian Science Monitor, Jimmy Orr said of Thomas, “Nothing speaks to her legend more than when USA Today founder Al Neuharth had an interview with Cuba’s Fidel Castro. He asked the Cuban leader what the difference was between Cuba’s democracy and the U.S.’s democracy. Castro responded, “I don’t have to answer questions from Helen Thomas.”
While serving as White House Bureau Chief, Thomas authored a regular column for U.P.I., "Backstairs at the White House," which provided an insider's view of various presidential administrations. A best-sellling author, she has written four books. Her latest is Watchdogs of Democracy?: The Waning Washington Press Corps and How It Has Failed the Public.
According to Basham and Cornell, Thomas “sees a growing—and alarming—reluctance among reporters to question the government and probe for the truth. The result has been a wholesale failure by journalists to fulfill what is arguably their most vital role in contemporary American life—to be the watchdogs of democracy.
“Today’s journalists, to hear Thomas tell it, have become subdued, compromised lapdogs. Watchdogs of Democracy? provides readers with rich historical perspective on the roots of American journalism, the circumstances attending the rise and fall of its golden age, and the nature and consequences of its current lapses. Drawing on her peerless knowledge of Washington politics, as well as frank interviews with leading journalists past and present, Helen delivers a powerful discourse on the state of political reportage—as well as a welcome and inspiring demand for meaningful and lasting reform. ”
On Lydia Cornell's blog at http://www.lydiacornell.com/blog.html, the entry for Sat. March 7, is HELEN THOMAS: LEGENDARY WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT ON OUR SHOW.
The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern). All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at www.BashamAndCornell.com
On the radio at AM 1230 KLAV, The Talk
of Las Vegas.
The Basham and Cornell Show,
2301 E. Sunset Road #8022, Las Vegas, NV. 89119
Contact Number: 702 - 460 - 8254
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Christian Science Monitor, Aug., 16, 2008. http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2008/08/16/helen-thomas-featured-on-hbo-special/