August 03, 2005

Run, Dick, Run! Update

Albert Eisele, whose quotation of Helen Thomas threatening to kill herself should Dick Cheney run in '08, which provoked from Thomas a a hissy fit and handed the Blogosphere some choice material for its amusement, has a semi-clueless defense of his action up today.

Properly, he tells Thomas, who was "outraged" at being quoted in the original piece, to go pound sand:

[T]he larger lesson here, and one that I’m surprised Ms. Thomas, who has been a Washington reporter since 1943 and retired as UPI’s White House correspondent in 2000, failed to understand, is that “off the record” is a virtually meaningless term, which is why this column bears the name it does. It’s bad enough that public officials hide behind it to discredit their critics, as the CIA leak imbroglio demonstrates, but even worse when reporters do it.

Heh, indeed.

But Eisele spends a large chunk of his time going after those meanies in the Blogsphere as well:

Little did I know, being a creature of the typewriter/telegraph era of journalism, that cybergossip Matt Drudge would pounce on the item and transmit it to the farthest regions of the Internet universe, along with an unflattering photograph of Ms. Thomas. That was all Drudge acolytes needed to unleash a flood of e-mails condemning her — and me, as her unwitting accomplice.

All I can say is get used to it, Big Boy. The MSM no longer holds a monopoly on the control of either information or opinion. The yard is full of dogs now and if you can't deal with that, you'd better get up on the porch.

He also, apparently, still doesn't understand what all the laughing was about:

Anyway, having unintentionally caused Ms. Thomas considerable pain, I wish to rise to her defense. Thomas is a great journalist, the first lady of the White House press corps, who has blazed a trail for women journalists and has been doing for decades what White House reporters are supposed to do but too often don’t, which is to ask tough questions of presidents.

Um, noooooooo..... Threatening to kill herself because Dick Cheney is a big fat liar? I'm willing to go along with the idea that Thomas was a trailblazer and a good journalist at one point, but the truth is that in recent years she has become the crazy aunt in the White House press corps' attic. I'm sorry, but "What is asking tough questions?" is not the answer we're looking for. Would the other contestant like to try? "What are delusional rantings, Alex?" is correct!

Naturally, that doesn’t sit well with a lot of people, who apparently would prefer to see their politicians treated like gods and who have a visceral hatred of the press.

Ah, yes! Anybody who dares point when the Fourth Estate strolls into the street butt-naked, ipso facto, must be a brain-dead Guv'mint toady. 'Scuse me a minute while I make my noontime genuflection to Dubya. Which direction is the White House from here?

UPDATE: Who are we to argue?

The more flattering "new look" of Helen Thomas.

Posted by Robert at August 3, 2005 12:13 PM | TrackBack

Why do words like "Glass houses" and "pot" and "Kettle" come so readily to mind?

Posted by: Brian B at August 3, 2005 01:48 PM

"unflattering photograph of Ms. Thomas" Isn't that a bit redundant? What was Drudge supposed to do, substitute a picture of Jessica Alba?
And it is ok Eisele to PUBLISH, for all the world to see, Helen's statement. But no one else is allowed to comment on it? Such arrogance.

Posted by: rbj at August 3, 2005 01:53 PM

I think as a public service, Jessica Alba's photo shold replace that of Helen Thomas whenever possible.

Posted by: LMC at August 3, 2005 03:00 PM

Yeah, the "unflattering photograph" comment certainly caught my eye, rbj. I guess it's possible that somewhere there's a daguerrotype of a young Helen Thomas in a cute, sexy Betty Grable pose. But to render any photo of the woman taken in the last half-century non-unflattering, you'd have to blur it to the point where it looked like one of those long-distance snapshots of Sasquatch, or the Loch Ness Monster.

Posted by: utron at August 3, 2005 03:05 PM

that'll get that Helen picture out of my brain.
Mmmmmm, Alba.

Posted by: rbj at August 3, 2005 03:55 PM

You have no idea what public service you have done today.

Posted by: LMC at August 3, 2005 05:55 PM

I'd like to trade in the old Helen Thomas for the newer model - could you imagine White House briefings?

Posted by: KMR at August 3, 2005 07:11 PM
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