For longer than I can remember I have been watching Helen Thomas hail zingers at Presidents and White House Press Secretaries. The slight woman with the sharp tongue and hair right off the rack of a second hand store was the dean of the press corps and as such got the first question. Hers was a unique role no one else occupied and rare in these days where age is insignificant. But poison words would eventually be her suicide, giving her politically incorrect personal ideas about the Middle East and having her first chair taken away.Poor Helen, it was bound to happen in an age where reporters have quit asking the questions but also trying to answer them. I can just imagine her going home after being booted from her life’s work and sitting down to watch the news. She has to wonder why blabbermouth James Carville with limited political clout gets to stay on assignments after years of inane commentary from the skeleton figure of questionable accent who nearly leaps out of the TV and scares you to death. Why, I’m sure she muses, do we allow the likes of Glen Beck to be acceptable, spewing hate and taking unforgivable cheap shots at good people and their families while becoming an icon of hate in our country akin to days in Germany we would rather forget. And, she must be sick that her reign is ending when egotists like Nancy Grace and Bill O’Reilly, two screaming idiots so self involved that they speak of themselves more than subject matter, are stars in the new age of TV journalism.Too bad Helen. You got sucked in by these gasbags who lured you into their seedy world, where anything goes to get attention and make a quick buck. You thought that you could say whatever you wanted and get away with it. The fact is, you occupied the first chair in America and not the gutter. And, like those who have honor bestowed upon them, you were a standard bearer of journalistic values in an industry that has “gone to hell in a hand basket,” as you might say.Your mistake Helen was not so much what you said, but that you felt you were important enough to say anything you wanted. So your punishment is really the disappointment from all of us seeing one of the last fixtures of a substantive press corps bite the dust. You will go the way of newspapers and magazines and quietly disappear under the thunder of pseudo news profiteers stepping over everyone and American values to rip the nation apart without shame or conscience. Go find Dan Rather and have a drink. Reminisce about the days of quality, objective reporting and think about the millions of us who view your departure as the sad end of an era.
THE FALL OF HELENWritten by The Boiling Frog
It is said, drop a frog in boiling water and he’ll jump right out but allow him to hang in the water as you turn up the heat gradually and he’ll succumb. Follow the Frog as it unearths political and societal struggles, trying to stay afloat and keep cool in a boiling brew.