Surprise!… Helen Thomas Bashes Bush in Pennsylvania
Code Pink award winner Helen Thomas attacked George Bush and American forces in Iraq during her latest rampage at Franklin & Marshall’s Alumni Sports & Fitness Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Friday.
Lancaster Online reported:
It was uncomfortable being a reporter in Helen Thomas’ audience Friday night.
But it would have been a lot worse being President George W. Bush.
After 57 years as White House Bureau Chief for United Press International, Thomas speaks with the concise, no-holds-barred frankness every reporter desires from a source. And every delightful sentence is quoteworthy.
On the war: “Get the hell out of there. It’s illegal, immoral, unconscionable. (Iraqis) have 5,000 years of civilization. They don’t need our help to go in and kill them… It’s their country. They’ll work it out… What are we, 19th-century imperialists?”
Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Lancaster County, “An Evening with Helen Thomas” used a question-and-answer format, with the questions coming from Sunday News Managing Editor Barbara Hough Roda.
On Bush’s legacy: “Give me a year… The war will be his albatross. He can’t justify the cost, the human price. I think he thinks he’ll be vindicated.”
On how Bush could turn it around: “Well, he could apologize to the world.”
On Bush calling himself a “peacemaker”: “We all delude ourselves.”
Thomas was no more generous to today’s media, who she said canned tough questions at the outset of the war because of patriotism and fear — and in deference to editors who told them not to rock the boat. Oh, and they might have been gung-ho for a few weeks at war so they could come back real “war correspondents.” In fact, she said she couldn’t name even a single standout reporter.
“The press let the country down,” Thomas said. “We might not even be in this war if the press had asked the right questions. … (Bush) should have been nailed — ‘Why are we going to war?’ If you’re going to be afraid, don’t be a reporter.”