Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Asking The Tough Questions

For the last 6 years the MSP and the MSM have given George W. Bush pretty much of a free ride, heaven only knows why, as he treated them like a red-headed step child, and has had nothing but disdain for the so called Watchdogs of Democracy. We have had plants in the White House Press Corps, a Press Secretary who rivaled Baghdad Bob for spin, and a crew of Orwellian characters whose leader proudly proclaims that he does not read. Makes one want to send him a gift certificate to the Sylvan Learning Centers, doesn't it?

The worst offense, however, in my estimation, has been the disrespect of one of the Press Corps mainstays, a woman who in her eighth decade, has seen, and asked questions of, every President since John F. Kennedy. One would think it must rankle to be treated thusly by such a group as the Bushrangers.

Helen Thomas is a news service reporter, a Hearst newspaper columnist and senior member of the White House Press Corps. Not too shabby for a lady who started her career as a copy girl for the old Washington Daily News. After joining UPI in 1943 she wrote radio news and covered the Federal Government news, her beat being the FBI and Capitol Hill. As White House Bureau chief, first woman member and President of the White House Correspondents Association and first woman member of the Gridiron Club. she has paid her dues.

In 1960 she started covering then President Elect John F. Kennedy and it was during that man;s administration that she started using her trademark phrase, "Thank you, Mr. President", at the end of each press conference. Since the coronation of the Bush regime, her pride of place in the front row of Presidential press conferences has been taken from her and she has been relegated to the rear seats. She says, "...they don't like me...I ask too many mean questions." And surely that was the case when, for the first time in three years, George W. Bush deigned to call on her. She told him he would be sorry and then asked him why we had gone into Iraq when all the reasons for it had since been proven untrue. Of course his response was just so much Bushshit, saying that Saddam Hussein had denied weapons inspectors. Needless to say, White House Press Conferences are no longer ended with Helen's trademark phrase.

Hopefully, Helen will still be asking the tough questions, once again from the front row, long after Bush & Co. have faded, leaving only a bad memory and a nasty taste in our mouths. Would that all of journalism had Helen Thomas' feisty temperament and journalistic integrity, then perhaps, there would have been no need of her latest book, and the country would not have been steamrollered by the "Gang of Five" which now inhabit Washington, DC and have made a mockery of our great country.

The MSP, needs to take Helen's example to heart, and bring back some of the moral integrity it used to have. Rather than continue to chew on the bones with no flesh, that they have been thrown by the Bush administration for the last 6 years, they need to go back to truly being the Watchdogs of Democracy.

Susan B. Goodwin