Monday, June 07, 2010

Helen Thomas

Unless you're an obsessive political reader, you've probably missed the sorry episode of Helen Thomas saying something monumentally stupid - thus hastening her retirement from journalism.

I'm not sure if it's always been this way, but the way the world functions today, you are defined by your lowest point. It really doesn't matter who you are, or how you've conducted your life... the sum of it, the way you are viewed by everyone else will be by the worst mistake you've made.

I'm pretty sure Helen Thomas sat in on the press briefings of the Lincoln administration, if not even further back, defined by the "old way" of doing journalism. The way journalism functions today is that "reporters" court favor from the powerful in exchange for "access", thus passing on propaganda to the rest of us. Thomas never came across as anything but an advocate for information in the public interest.

Now.. she's old, and defined as an anti-Semite. That is her legacy.

Josh Marshall noted;

Relatedly, I can't help but notice that statements like these seem to come out of people very late in life. It's like a pattern. Our internal censors atrophy deep in old age, though that only suggests that unspeakable views were earlier kept under wraps.

Maybe the filter loses it's function as we age.. or maybe, when you're old as Methuselah, you don't give a fuck anymore. In any case, how unfortunate a life-time of work is defined by a few seconds on youtube.

Human beings are becoming increasingly judgemental based on some societal definition that really isn't achievable for most people. The vast majority of people in the world.. or at least in the US.. are assholes.


Of course, it all spins on how we're supposed to think about Israel. Virtually every nation on the planet is condemning Israel's latest actions, in killing unarmed civilians while raiding an aid ship. In the US, there seems to be some prohibition against criticizing Israel for anything. I don't understand that at all.

Ultimately, there is no profit or power in any peaceful solutions to political problems.

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