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Dany's RaaD Roundup

Helen Thomas Tells Her Story to Playboy

A little bit of time has passed since Helen Thomas has left the White House Press Corps and recently Playboy wanted to get her side of the story about what happened, along with that though, they got a great retrospective of her time at the White House covering almost 1/4 of the Presidents of the United States (the last 10 Presidents). I don’t know what to think about Helen Thomas, she is a great reporter who said some things that I didn’t agree with, but I still think she should be sitting up front in the White House Press Corps asking the tough questions that no one seems to ask anymore. Sadly, I agree with her view of the current state of journalism in the US.

This is a great in depth interview with her, check out the Playboy interview here (or here).

To get an idea, here are of my favorite exchanges:

PLAYBOY: So is this how you pictured retirement?

THOMAS: I’m not retired! I was fired. In fact, I’ll die with my boots on. I’m still writing and I’ll continue to write and ask hard questions. I will never bow out of journalism.

PLAYBOY: Take us back to the White House courtyard on May 27 when Rabbi David Nesenoff pointed his camera at you and asked for your comments on Israel.

THOMAS: He pulled that thing out like a jackknife. I mean, he started out very nice, introducing me to these two young boys who wanted to be in journalism. He said, “Got any advice? Go for it.” I didn’t know it was Jewish Heritage Month, which is why he was at the White House and also why he asked “So what do you think of Israel?” That’s when I said, “They should get the hell out of Palestine.”

PLAYBOY: Did you realize how controversial those words were as you spoke them?

THOMAS: I knew I’d hit the third rail. You cannot say anything about Israel in this country. But I’ve lived with this cause for many years. Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist—but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home. I’ve had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians. Why shouldn’t I say it? I knew exactly what I was doing—I was going for broke. I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up.

PLAYBOY: What was life like in the immediate aftermath as millions started viewing the video on YouTube?

THOMAS: I went into self-imposed house arrest for two weeks. It was a case of “know thyself.” Isn’t that what Socrates said? I wanted to see if I was remorseful—and I wasn’t.

PLAYBOY: Did the phone ring off the hook?

THOMAS: No. Nobody called. But I still have some friends in the White House press pool, who reached out to me. I understand they formed Jews for Helen Thomas at one point.

PLAYBOY: That’s interesting.

THOMAS: I also heard from Jimmy Carter. He called a few weeks later.

PLAYBOY: Has there ever been an honest press secretary?

THOMAS: Jerry terHorst. He lasted one month. He was President Ford’s press secretary. He had covered Ford in Washington. He had been here for 29 years as a reporter from the Grand Rapids paper and then The Detroit News. He understood the press. But he was incapable of lying, and he quit when Ford pardoned Nixon, on the very day. He couldn’t take it. Poor Jerry Ford. He just wasn’t ready to be president. He had prepared himself to be Speaker of the House and stepped into those shoes okay, but he just wasn’t equipped for the big job. We saw that Betty Ford struggled too, of course.”

Thanks to Playboy for the above pic, to Firetown for the pic below of Helen Thomas Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS and to No Agenda (subscribe here) for informing me about this interview.

Enjoy

Dany

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March 21, 2011 12:45 pm Posted by | DC, Iraq, Israel, magazines, Middle East, military, newspaper, Palestine, photography, podcasts, politics, Religion, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

The Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for February 21, 2010

It would be interesting if the recent revolutions in TunisiaYemen, Egypt and many other countries in the region, lead the people if Iran to be able topple the government that they couldn’t topple after their last election.
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January Jones (who does a great job on Mad Men, but I still have yet to see their latest season) is just cute as a button as she promotes her new movie Unknown (and you know how that worked out for me from my last post when I went to see the preview for it).
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So far, proposals to cut the budget have only dealt with non-defense and non-medicare/medicaid/social security. The problem is that when you combine all those spending programs, that makes up over 80% of all federal government spending, so any cuts in spending not related to those programs, is just shaving off the top layer of snow from the iceberg that sunk the titanic. Until both parties get together and start talking about real spending cuts to the rest of the 80% of government spending (like how congress just voted to cut a military spending program on the F-35 fighter jet that the military did not even want anymore), all this is just one big kabuki theater. Although I must say, John Hodgman‘s got some interesting fiscal ideas!
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John interviews Republican State Leadership Committee Ed Gillespie. I think I will miss Michael Steele being the spotlight Republican organizer, because even though I don’t agree with some of Mr. Gillespie’s conclusions, he is much more measured and interesting to listen to.
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David Albright attempts to explain to Colbert the Stuxnet program, the damage it caused and what it could mean in terms of potential war… with a lot of help from Christiane Amanpour.
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It is time to celebrate another edition of Tip of My Hat/Wag of My Finger. Colbert tackles such issues as the sale of the Huffington Post to AOL, wales and trash tv.
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I love when secret memos get leaked out, especially when it makes news organizations seem petty and stupid. Thanks Fox News!
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Clarence Thomas is again in the news, he has an illustrious history of scandal in the news, but any time a high profile lawyer/judge has problems filling out legal documents, it makes the news.
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Jeffrey Leonard tries to explain how many big businesses are increasingly paying their small business contractors for their services anywhere from 30-90 days later than the small businesses have to pay for their own costs and how this change is really hurting the ability of small businesses from running efficiently, growing and hiring new people themselves.
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Enjoy

Dany

February 21, 2011 3:10 pm Posted by | clips, DC, economy, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Israel, Law, Middle East, movies, politics, tv, Washington, Washington DC, Yemen | Leave a comment

The Daily Show Roundup and Colbert at Congress for September 26th, 2010

I don’t know if it’s hilarious or sad when Stephen Colbert can testify in front of Congress “in character” from his show The Colbert Report. I am unsure because I don’t know if the members of Congress are in touch enough to even understand that he IS “in character.” Thanks to Brian for sending me this story (you can watch the entire hearing here, where you can see Colbert answer questions and comments at 62, 69, 103, 108 and 116minutes into the hearin, sometimes seriously and other times comically).
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It’s funny to watch Karl Rove turn on a DIME with his political opinions with the load of the Tea Party movement pressure. It will be an interesting election this November if even 1/2 of the people running with the Tea Party make it into office.
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I don’t know what’s gotten into the booking team over at The Daily Show, but they got former President Jimmy Carter. Over the past 2 weeks there have been 3 former heads of state and 1 current head of state on the show. President Carter is promoting his book White House Diary.
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This is a good look at the difference between the talking points of Obama‘s campaign vs once he became President
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Here’s another painful look at how the sausage is made in congress or maybe how they fight to avoid making that sausage sometimes. Is it any wonder why an overwhelming number of Americans hate Congress?
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It’s amazing when the Republican Pledge for new ideas is just exactly the same old ideas all over again and they ADMIT that they will not change at all
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It’s wonderful to hear a truly moderate view of the international political process, King Abdullah II of Jordan. I can only hope that the moderates take over by the end of this month and the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks continue forward to a good end. I wish I didn’t doubt the chances of success, but I can only hope to be wrong.
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Enjoy

Dany

it’s funny to watch Karl Rove turn on a DIME

with his political opinions with the load of the Tea Party

movement pressure. It will be an interesting election this

November if even 1/2 of the people running with the Tea

Party make it into office.

September 27, 2010 12:19 am Posted by | books, clips, comedians, DC, economy, food, Israel, Law, Middle East, Palestine, politics, Religion, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

The Daily Show for the week of June 4th, 2010

The Daily Show has been on break for a couple of weeks, but they came back at the beginning of June.

Glenn Beck berates the entire mainstream news media for not airing a clip of an Israeli raid, that most had actually already aired during the 24hour period before Beck himself aired it himself. Confused? Don’t worry, it’s just another reason someone over at Fox News‘ fact check zone should get fired.
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Then, after the initial story about the boat raid aired, the contents of that boat came out and it turned out to be medicine and supplies… so that didn’t exactly turn out the way Israel hoped.
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I don’t know if this is a going to be ongoing or just a one-time assignment, but Olivia Munn joined as the newest Asian Correspondent.
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The Daily Show may be back, but it was still a short week.

Enjoy

Dany

*Update 6-6-2010 – It looks like the Turks who got raided by Israel had set out to provoke a response and they seemed to have gotten exactly what they wanted, so I am feeling less sympathetic to their efforts to deliver aid. They could have submitted themselves to a peaceful inspection and then go on their merry way to deliver supplies after, but they chose to run the barricade.

June 5, 2010 12:54 pm Posted by | clips, Israel, tv | Leave a comment

This Week in the Daily Show for March 11th, 2010

There were a lot of interesting clips this week, from The Daily Show but I saved the best (and longest) for the end, a 3 part extended fully web-exclusive interview.

Enjoy The Daily Show this week.

Dany

Iraq may be a confusing and complicated place, but I don’t remember any election where some of the candidates running for office were killed being called a success… I guess until now?
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Jon Stewart interviews Harry Markopolos, the extremely angry investigator who sent letter after letter trying to inform the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about Bernie Madoff for years before his $60+ billion dollar scandal came to the press. He has a new book No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller. Maybe he would make a good head of the SEC?
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Liz Cheney may want to publicize the identity of Justice Department lawyers who represented terror detainees, which on its own, sounds fine to me, but demonizing them with a scary commercial making them seem like evil people and even branding them The Al Qaeda 7 is just wrong. There are tons of reasons to hate lawyers, the fact that they may defend people you don’t like, even if they are potential terrorists should not be one of them.
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Virginia is for lovers… unless I guess you are gay. It may be getting harder and harder to be gay and work or be gay and go to college now in Virgina.
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Glenn Beck‘s interview with disgraced NY Representative Eric Massa did not go exactly as he expected, but at the same time, there were a ton of things that Rep. Massa said that I never thought I would hear come out of a politician’s mouth.
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After all the news scandals have come out about NY Governor David Paterson, I am very surprised that he is still in office, but at the same time, I guess if President Clinton could remain in office after years of scandal in the press, nothing is impossible. Can we please just throw all the dirty politicians out of NY State government though? It is getting embarrassing to be from such a corrupt state, although I’ll always love being from NYC.
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Vice President Joe Biden goes to the Middle East to try and jump start the peace process again now that the Palestinians finally agreed to come back to the bargaining table, then Israel announces more settlement projects on the same day… can we stop giving Israel so much of our money every year for such an insult and for wasting Joe Biden‘s time?
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Jerry Seinfeld comes on The Daily Show to promote his new show The Marriage Ref. It sounds like a great way for a panel of comedians and celebrities to make fun of problems in peoples marriages and each other… that actually like a pretty good show idea.
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Lastly, a great interview… well, more a heated half hour conversation between Jon Stewart and Marc Thiessen, the writer of Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack. I don’t agree with the inflammatory nature of Mr. Thiessen‘s thesis, but at the same time, I don’t think my opinion is as far from his as I expected it to be.
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March 14, 2010 2:22 am Posted by | books, clips, comedians, DC, Iraq, Israel, Middle East, New York, NYC, Palestine, politics, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment