Our Bravest Reporter
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Radio NZ Interviews: HELEN THOMAS
Transcribed For Scoop by Rosalea Barker
Published with Permission of Radio New Zealand National
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ON THE CORPORATE MEDIA
Helen Thomas: My colleagues let the country down. They gave up their one weapon, which is skepticism. They took all of these falsehoods in stride and even when they knew it was so questionable, they didn't ask the questions...They didn't know you don't go thousands of miles away to kill people in their own country, or to get one man.
Kathryn Ryan: Why didn't they ask the questions at the outset?
Helen Thomas: The fear card was played very heavily. I think. After 9/11, everyone started pulling their punches. They didn't want to ask tough questions--this is my belief--because they didn’t want to be called un-American, unpatriotic. So they remained silent when they should have been questioning very strongly, and the administration got away with it.
HER TREATMENT BY THE BUSH ADMINSTRATION
Kathryn Ryan: what happened in terms of your own treatment, in the early days of the Iraq war, when you were questioning President Bush over his decision?
Helen Thomas: Ha! Persona non grata! I will survive. I didn't go into this business--and neither did you, I hope--to win a popularity contest. I feel my job is to ask the questions and let the chips fall where they may. And I don't expect to be kid-gloved or anything else.
ON BEING A LIBERAL