Helen Thomas Retires From Hearst Publications
Original Post: Agency Drops Helen Thomas For Israel Remarks
It is with a heavy heart that Nine Speakers, Inc. announces its resignation as the agent for Helen Thomas, Dean of the White House Press Corps.
Ms. Thomas has had an esteemed career as a journalist, and she has been a trailblazer for women, helping others in her profession, and beyond. However, in light of recent events, Nine Speakers is no longer able to represent Ms. Thomas, nor can we condone her comments on the Middle East. Nine Speakers will continue to enthusiastically represent all of our other current and future clients.
I can see calling for her to step aside from the White House Press Corps, given it's an honorary position granted by her colleagues. Plus, her lack of impartiality, to put it mildly, is unacceptable for a reporter (as opposed to a commentator.) But, demanding her own agency stop representing her? That strikes me as impeding on her First Amendment rights. Has any agency refused to represent the divine Ms. C. who repeatedly makes equally offensive comments about a variety of groups? Of course not.
“I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.” (June 4, 2010)
Up in the air: Whether Hearst will cancel her contract. I'll bet it doesn't. As a private company dealing with an employment contract, that's between them. No one has to buy Hearst publications or read her.
How come this Nine Speakers agency doesn't have a website? Is it all one person, named Diane Nine? While she's registered in every directory, I can't find a website. Odd, in this day and age.
One more thought on Ms. Thomas. I didn't know until tonight she is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants. It immediately brought to mind one night in 2000 when I went to hear Ralph Nader speak, right before the November election. I was shocked by his anti-Israel remarks. Only later did I learn his parents were Lebanese immigrants. It's probably too much to expect impartiality from anyone with a direct interest on either side of the Middle East issue. But if they can't be fair, and they exhibit such strong bias that those listening take their remarks for hatred, they probably shouldn't be national reporters or politicians. Both need to leave their private agendas behind in order to serve the public.
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