After Helen Thomas quickly submitted her resignation rather than fight against the fallout from her taped remarks that appeared to many to be anti-Semitic, it would have been reasonable to expect the story would quickly disappear. After all, nasty remarks were hardly surprising from a woman who has made a career out of nasty remarks, and it she was well past her expiration date anyway. Helen Thomas had, in fact, jumped the shark. (Or the swastika.)
But some of her fans aren’t willing to let her “just go home”. Instead, they continued to spin allegations — it was all a setup, her quotes were out of context, etc. Even more bizarre is the juxtaposition of excuses — Helen Thomas always asked the “hard questions”, they say, and she should not be punished for it. In fact, she’s not a bigot, but a martyr for the First Amendment! (Trent Lott just laughed so hard that milk came out his nose.) But on the next breath her defenders would shrug off her crazy comments by saying she always made crazy comments and who could blame a 89-year-old crazy woman? Well, which is it, guys? Is she the “dean of the Washington press corps” who should be honored for being a tough questioner? Or is she a long-time nutjob who should have been gone long ago? By trying to have it both ways, Thomas’ defenders just keep the story rolling. Worse, some of them are apparently seeking vengeance — a violent overreaction that cannot help resurrect her reputation.
Moreover, her fan base appears to be growing in a disturbing direction. Not only has Thomas held on to much of her base in the blogosphere, but she has added a powerful new voice. Hezbollah has endorsed Helen Thomas’ comments, lauding her as “brave”. If nothing else, this proves that Thomas’ remarks actually did resonate with outright anti-Semitism. No less than one of the leading anti-Semitic groups in the world has declared it so.
Yeah. That will help.